Week 2 May 2017:
The cruise continued this week. Due to cyclonic activity the cruise itinerary changed and we missed out on visiting two islands.
Two days were spent a sea and we soon adapted to life at sea. This is our third cruise. After dinner each night we take a walk around the promenade deck. Three circuits equal one mile or 1.6 kilometres. Sometimes we have to forgo our walk as it was too windy.
On the second day we had breakfast in our cabin thanks to a voucher supplied by our travel agent. There was so much food that we did not have to have lunch.
Our first stop was Luganville on the island of Vanuatu. The day was hot and humid but we managed to walk to the shopping centre. The prominent plant, we saw one our walk, was the Columnar Pine (Araucaria columnaris) native to the islands.
Our next port of call was Dravuni Island. This is a small island with a population of about 130 people. We walked across the island and saw a range of interesting plants. Coconut palms are the dominant tree. We came across a Fan Flower with its distinctive five-petalled flowers that are spread out like a fan. Later we identified this as Scaevola taccada known as the Beach Cabbage because of its large fleshy leaves and because it grows right on the beach. The Beach Cabbage also occurs in northern Australia. The island is also home to some very colourful butterflies.
Sunday was Mothers’ Day and we arrived in Suva. We booked a bus tour and spent an interesting couple of hours driving around this bustling city. Our tour guide was a wealth of information.