Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The people of Lifou Island

My World, again on Lifou Island in the Loyalty Island Group, for the last time.
Random photos of some of the colourful people of Lifou Island. Plus a small old statue I found hiding in the palm trees and a live swimming turtle that was playing near the wharf.
I find the scenery is almost as interesting as the people, on this lovely Island.

The men have white paint on there faces and long head scarves, this is because they had been dancing for the tourists and face paint is part of the costume.
The ladies dress in big bright dresses with flowers in their hair.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The sky at lifou Island

The Sky at Lifou Island in the loyalty Islands.

Sky Watch for this week.

The Pacific Sun positioned just perfectly between the Palm trees.

The beach at Lifou, with lots of swimming tourists, but not us, thought it was too cool.


The headland with a Church perched right on the top.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lifou Island, Loyalty Islands

My World, do check out all the other my world posts.

Cruising the Pacific on Pacific Sun.
Lifou Island.
On a pleasant morning we arrived at Lifou Island, a place we were never meant to be going to. The itinerary said we wold be visiting Ouvea an Island of Vanuatu, I think, but there was some unrest among the Islanders so to protect the 2000 of us tourists an intinary change was made.
Lifou is not a very large Island, but larger than Mystery Island. The people here all speak french and some English plus a Canuk language. We had to stand a long way off shore and take a tender to the wharf. There was a big market day put on for our entertainment, dancing and food plus carvings etc for sale. We had booked into a shore tour on this Island to go visit a native village where the Chief lives and to see native food being cooked as well as a visit to the oldest Church on the island. We were driven along the island through the main town, with its one general store, a Post Office, Police Station and a Hospital, as far as I could see that was the whole town. Our first stop was the old Church a type of Chatholic church with beautiful stained glass windows. There was a huge old well outside the church which was the oldest well on the island too and still in use. We were given a hand made flax sunhat to wear, that the ladies made for us.
We then walked over to the Main Chief of the islands residence and nice modern building, with good new cars outside. .
Our Guide told us that everybody had a small house and a small thatched bura which they all slept in at night, it was not used for any other purpose, we saw these buildings at every home.
At the chiefs compound there was an extra large bura which is a meeting house for the whole tribe, it has 2 doors, one for the Chief exclusively and the other for ordinary folk, like all of us, we went inside and saw the small smoky for that is used to keep insect out and also to preserve the straw and timbers.
Then we wandered into the cooking area to watch a bunga being prepared and cooked. It consists of a large chicken with yams, taro, banana and pawpaw and coconut wrapped up tightly with many layers of banana leaves then placed in the embers of a fire the all the embers were scooped up and spread over the bunga and left for 2 hours to cook. They had prepared one earlier for us, so were able to open a bunga and allow us to have a lovely meal of the chicken and vegetables, some of our party of about 25 wouldn't even try the food But I sure did, and it tasted lovely and tasty and well cooked.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunrise in the Pacific.

Pacific Sunrise. Sky Watch Friday.
I gave my Husband the camera one morning when he went up on deck to make me coffee to bring back to bed, so he could catch a lovely sunrise. There is land in this sunrise, I think it is Mystery Island.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Port Vila, Vanuatu

Ifira Island as we cruised past.
My World, do visit lots of other people's world.

Cruising the Pacific. Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The Pacific Sun sailed during the night, from Mystery Island, on to Port Vila the major island in the Vanuatu group. We have been here before for a couple of weeks, 2 years ago, when we met and made friends with Christopher and his wife Niven and child Trisha, they had us visit their home on an island out from the city of Vila where only the native people live, no white people at all. We were really looking forward to seeing them again, there had been many emails about where we were to meet and the things we would all do when we met up. It would be the day before Vanuatu's Independence Day and Christopher said we would all celebrate early over on Ifira Island with all the family, we really looked forward to this, it probably meant lots of kava drinking for the men and lots of talking and singing and eating for the ladies, but we never got to find out unfortunately.
The ship docked about 8am and we managed to get ourselves off ship and into a local bus which for $6.00 Aus took us into town, usually it would be about $2-00 Vatu but it was cruise ship day, a chance for locals to make a little extra, so we played the game with all the other passengers, but we got dropped off at the Ifira jetty rather than where ever the others got taken. First we went to the market, where I found a huge coconut crab all trussed up and photographed it with a small boy that was nearby, how we would have liked to buy that crab, last time we didn't get a chance to try this great Vanuautuan delicacy and wish we could of this time. We then bought a huge hand of bananas to take as a gift for the family ( we already had masses of gifts from New Zealand for Christopher, Niven and Trisha, which we had in our bag, along with our swimming togs and towels and sun screen etc.
But although we waited more than an hour at the meeting place we had agreed upon Christopher didn't arrive. We left messages with lots of people from the island, and several people tried to phone him for us, but it was no go. We wonder how we managed to miss each other. So eventually we decided we had better do something with our day, so we caught the free ferry to Iriki Island, at least we knew it as a free ferry as it had been when we were there before, but all the other tourists had to pay, since it was cruise ship day, we just walked on like we owned the ferry and sat down, no one asked us to pay. When we got to Iriki resort we were met by a native dressed in traditional clothing, then we just hailed a cruising small transporter and went to the big swimming pool complex that we had swum in before. (There are at least 4 or 5 different pools all near each other) No one stopped us but after our swim we found a notice saying the pool was only for paying guests! Too late we had already swum. So we bought some food and drinks from the resort and ate up all our gift bananas, them lazed in the sun with others from the ship that had found the same place, before catching the free ferry back then catching a local bus back to the ship, this time for $2.00 Vatu. We had a great time and enjoyed ourselves but we did so miss seeing our friends again. maybe next time, if there is a next time.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Beautiful Evening Pacific Ocean

Sky Watch Friday.
During our cruise there were many lovely evenings with pretty sunsets, here is just one of them. Taken somewhere off the coast of Noumea, a small group of us gathered to shoot the sunset most nights, I like the rays in this one.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Cruise around the pacific

Cruising in the Pacific Sun around the Pacific.
Mystery Island. Vanuatu Group.

We have been away on a cruise around parts of the Pacific on board the Pacific Sun. After 3days off sailing on the ocean with no sight of land we came to our first port of call. Mystery island Vanuatu. Everyone was pleased to see land again and was anxious to be off on dry land, it was a rush to get on the tenders to be transported to the shore. There were flowers and greenery all along the rather shaky wharf to greet and welcome us.
Here we are sitting on a log on the beach of a deserted island called Mystery Island, no one lives here, but lots of natives from neighbouring islands paddle over to sell shells , sarongs trinkets and other things. We walked all the way around this small island, stopping for a swim along the way. Athough there was apparently loads of pretty corals and masses of pretty shoals of fish we saw very little as we choose the wrong part of the beach, but no problems we saw some.
While at the market I stopped to chat with a lady and asked where I could buy some lap lap which is their native food, and I quite like the taste, she offered to share her lap lap lunch with me, so I sat down at the little stall and encouraged all the fellow cruise passengers to buy her produce while she got out three different types of lap lap. She carefully cut off a piece of each type for me to try with her. I enjoyed eating and chatting with her. I think I made her day, especially when so many people stopped to buy her goods, she had a good day.
We found a group of men selling green lobsters to willing buyers from the ship, the men cooked the lobster right in front of the diners over small open fires. We were too late, they had sold all the lobsters they had caught and were then going out to try and catch more.
As we walked around the island we discovered the landing strip and even saw a small plane land at the airport, the sole building on the island is the airport terminal. Near there we found this very rustic memorial to when the Queen Elizabeth of England landed on the island in 1983 I think it was. We were astounded that she would have visited such a tiny place.

My World for this week is rather far from home. check out other great posts.