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14 Feb 2019

Kangaroo Island, Australia 2019

Wow, until I signed up for this cruise I had never even heard of Kangaroo Island and it turns out it was one the great tour days. We enlisted our friends Stanley and Linda Blend, and Tommy and Heather Schweiger to join us for a private full day tour.

First we went Seal Bay Conservation Park and visited Sea Lions up close and personal. We all felt the trip was worth the price just from that one stop. But it kept getting better.
Next, also up close, we stopped to visit koala bears in their natural habitat. We saw so many. Amazing.
The mother is carrying the baby.
It is extremely seldom you see them moving, let alone on the ground.
The tour company provided an amazing lunch for us exclusively, out in the wild.
The highlight of the day was next at Admirals Arch. The New Zealand fur seals were only surpassed by the magnificence of the totality of the sea beauty.
We finished at Remarkable Rocks which are some huge weather-worn builders sitting on top of a giant granite dome.








11 Feb 2019

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 2019

But for Antartica, Australia is the southern most continent on earth. Tasmania, the world's 26th largest island, is Australia's southern most state, and Hobart, its capital, is the country's southernmost city.

Not counting the 35,000 years of indigenous inhabitants, Hobart was founded in 1804 as a British penal colony. That is what we visited last time here.

This time we took a day trip to Mount Field National Park for a beautiful semi-strenuous hike to see tall trees, and water falls. 
Russell Falls was beautiful and a perfect resting point.
Horseshoe Falls was the highest point on our hike.
 
The Tasmanian eucalyptus tree is the tallest flowering tree in the world, second only in height to the California redwood.
The world famous Tasmanian Devil is a marsupial about the size of a small dog that only is found natively in Tasmania. It is ugly, has some odd habits and is quite disgusting actually, However it is in jeopardy of extinction, so that would be sad. We viewed them previously in a zoo environment.
Apparently they export timber here.








09 Feb 2019

Sydney, Australia 2019

Just approaching Sydney is excitement in itself.

It's difficult to find a city nicer than Sydney. We are talking the people, water, old buildings, excitement and even food.


Here we have Allyn's favorite (retail) mall in the world - Queen Victoria Building. Located inside are so many high end stores with items just not found elsewhere.

And in the mall is her favorite store, an Italian designer shop, via Condotti. She is a sucker for matchy matchy and bling. Maybe I am the sucker?

It's even fun watching the underage rappers in the middle of the street. I'm sorry I did not take a video. They were great.

Doris Wineman, a beautiful, lovely, old time cruise friend was kind enough to invite us to dinner tonight to celebrate her 78th birthday. Somebody was shocked she mentioned her age and she responded that she is thrilled to be here and be 78. Classy lady.









05 Feb 2019

Auckland, NZ 2019

Auckland is always lovely.
Previously,  Allyn bungee jumped off the Auckland bridge. She was a bit more constrained this trip.
 
We did manage to take an incredible speed boat ride in an adventure jet. We got soaked and bumped having a blast.
 
A wonderful dinner was had at Oyster and Chop. All six dinners were different and all were perfectly prepared.
We are at sea for the next two days and then one of my world favorites - Sydney.








01 Feb 2019

Fiji, 2019

 
It was snorkel day on Fiji for Allyn and her friends
This is what you think of when you think Fiji. Actually it is really quite mountainous and rugged.There is no Fiji Island. It is a country with over 300 islands about a third of which are inhabited.The vast majority of its 800,000 citizens live on Viti Levu.
 Kava is the traditional drink here and prepared and served ceremoniously. It tastes a bit like bitter dirt we were told.
Firewalking is a fun tour. 
Yes Fiji water is from here. The ship brought on a huge amount of Aqua Pacific, a relatively new brand that has scored very well in international tastings.