Tuesday, January 28
Cruising day, so we listened to a couple of lectures, and attended another class in Photoshop….and we napped. Enjoyed a show tonight featuring pianist Kym Purling and vocalist Peter Cousens. What a demanding life this is!
Wednesday, January 29
We docked at Lautoka, on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji about 8am. The sky was overcast, and the temps were a little lower – in the low 80’s.
The Fijians were known to be ferocious warriors. Captain William Bligh was chased away from Fiji while adrift following the mutiny on the Bounty. Travelers avoided Fiji until the early 19th century when sandalwood was found growing wild on the island of Vanua Levu. Within 10 years of the discovery, virtually all of the sandalwood had been harvested and shipped to China.
Fiji’s primary sources of income today are sugar cane and tourism.
We visited a local temple where we received a traditional welcome, and were served some kava. This kava was not as strong as what we drank on Bora Bora. Nevertheless, Mark took a good nap after we returned to our cabin.
Next, we visited a village. All of the people living in a specific village are related to each other. They elect their own leaders, have their own church and monuments. When they marry, it must be to someone from another village. The bride then goes to live in her husband’s village.
We stopped in a the village church, where we were serenaded with holy songs. While there, the rain started. It was coming down fairly heavily and we had to wait it out before getting back on the bus.
Next stop the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, which houses Fiji’s largest orchid collection. It was founded in 1977 by the actor, Raymond Burr, to house his own orchids, and was given to the island upon his death. It was beautiful! The rain continued, turning into a thunder storm, but we didn’t mind getting wet.
The ship left port early because of the weather. They were predicting swells of eight feet and winds in excess of 50 knots, and more rain, of course.
The after dinner show was called “Route 66,” and featured songs that originated along that highway during the 60’s. We heard a little Motown, a little country, and a little surfer music. It was energetic and fun.