Thursday, April 28, 2016


Where We Were In Fiji

We spent 8 days in Fiji this time. We were going to stay on one of the Mamanuca Islands, but Cyclone Winston flattened the resort and blew it away, so we stayed at this place instead. It is the Warwick Fiji, on the Coral Coast of Viti Levu, the main island of the Fiji group. The Warwick is one of the "grand old ladies" of Fijian resorts and has been reconditioned many times. It is still a great place to stay. These pictures were taken on our first day there. You can see that it has a large, clear lagoon, sheltered by a reef that runs right along the western and southern coasts of the island. The Oldies intended to spend lots of time snorkeling in this lagoon, but the weather decided otherwise. It was fine this day, but then a chain of tropical lows and yet another cyclone hit Fiji, rain pelted down and the lagoon became dangerous for swimmers. So we spent lots of time in the dry areas of the lounges, particularly the Sunset Lounge deck. I will put up a few photos that will show you how it got its name. A bit disappointing, but still a reasonably good time.


Sunday, April 17, 2016


Flying to Fiji

Flying with Virgin on long-haul flights is usually fun. It is a 4-hour flight to Fiji and the Oldies splurged and booked us into business class. I managed to get a quick look into the flight deck before we left. Passengers are not allowed in there, but small bears can sometimes take a peek from the cabin door. The flight crew were well into their pre-flight checks, but I couldn't stop and listen because of all the passengers coming on board. The cabin crew were magnificent. I made a new friend, the cabin crew boss lady, Kara. She is a very nice lady and loads of fun. Notice how she and Dad are photo-bombing what should have been a serious photo of Mum. I am now her number one boyfriend! The photo of a Boeing 737 like the one we flew in was taken on arrival at Nadi International Airport. The first thing you notice when you arrive here is the heat (around 30ยบ C), next the humidity (always nearly 100%), then the superb sound of Fijians singing their welcome song. Unfortunately, this was the best weather of our whole trip - more about that later.

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'Bye to NZ For Now

Did anyone guess where I have been since the last post? A country with 4 letters in its name, only 3 of them different? It was, of course, Fiji and there will be a batch of Fiji photos following over the next weeks. Let's finish this series of New Zealand photos with these taken on the way out of Auckland harbour. The channel to the north is fairly narrow and marked with many lighthouses. Here are a few that I managed to see on our way out. The top left one is the Bean Rock light. This is off North Head of the  Hauraki Gulf at the entrance/exit of the inner harbour. It has been there since 1871. The next photo is of Rangitoto Island and its red and white striped tower. This tower was built in 1905, but it has never had a lantern room on top, just an open light. Rangitoto is a dormant volcano; it will make a real mess of the harbour when it decides to go active again.The third photo shows some ships waiting at the end of the channel for "Voyager of the Seas" to exit. The smaller ship fitted in with us, but the big car carrier decided to anchor and wait. In the background you can see Tiritiri island. On the south-eastern end of the island is Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse. Built in 1865, this is NZ's oldest active lighthouse and it and the keepers' cottages are being actively preserved. You can take a day trip to the island by ferry from Auckland. The photo was taken at extreme magnification on Dad's camera; sometimes the old guy can keep pretty still.

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