Another lovely port, a real experience of the locals on the island …
Day 8 Nuku’alofa 16th October
Got up as we were docking and took pics and video of the Police band playing and dancers on the pier welcoming us. The video ran out of memory so we did the rest of the day with just the camera. Showered and dressed, washed my hair as yesterday’s swim caused the frizzy hair to come back.
Breakfast at Plantations met a guy called Bob Johnson who now lives in Geelong, he knew Ballarat and chatted about his life currently playing harmonica on the ship, been a mine manager at Beringa in Victoria, and followed on with other jobs in Ballarat. We managed to gracefully get away after he told us the story of his wife’s Alsiemers and he was related to Rob Gaylard the TV presenter in Ballarat. Clive went on to tell him about how Rob Gaylard took our dog Hafey but only overnight.
We made our way off the ship and walked up and down the Main Street, got some Aussie dollars exchanged to Fijian money, bought some water and caught up with Craig in the same shop so gave him back his $20 Fijian dollars. We had 6 bottles of water bottles, the large ones we ran them back to the ship. I set off the alarm but that was ok, next time through they remembered and turned off the beeper.
We went to find a cab driver, the first guy had a lovely looking car but wanted to charge $140 Fijian, we thought this was a bit steep and moved on. We were starting towards town and was met by a guy who could do the same trip we showed him on the guide map for $50 for both of us. He drove a very run down little car, he drove very slowly just 40ks per hour. William was 42 but looked about 32, he and his family lived on the East side of the island, he was taking us to the West side of the island. He explained that each village we drove through had at least three churches, these seemed to be at regular points along the long road. We he did eventually get to the same resort some of the ships tours were doing, only they were inside the long hut listening to music.
We went up to the bar and got an apple and orange juice and a beautiful meal, salmon and salad. Then we walked down to the beach and met up with the other half of Craig’s family, Sam the snorkel man and wife and daughter. After a refreshing paddle we headed back to find William our driver who drove back a little more quickly. Back in our cabin by 2.15pm.
Siesta time for Clive and a catch up of the soccer news on BBC world, while I fixed up this diary.
Later, got into my bathers and headed out to the pool deck. I had a swim and it was lovely, then we sat in deck chairs for a while and had a drink. Then I went into our cabin to change while Clive kept our spot. Went back down and only moved when we heard music on the pier. We watched the Dancing and Tongan police band sing several songs until the boat prepared to leave. This was magic as they lined up along the dock and danced. The band was something special, playing all different tunes and they stood and moved about too. Brilliant.
Then we went down to see if our pirate photos are ready. Couldn’t find them so went to Plantations for dinner. Joined Bob Johnson again, ate our meal, then went out the back deck for a while. Then moved to the pool deck to watch the movie ‘Lincoln’. Fiona came by and said hello. We left that to go back to the cabin for a toilet stop. Then headed to the atrium to see the photos again but not there again. They were preparing for the New Years Party there, we didn’t fancy waiting till 10.30 pm for that to start, so we hit the sack.