Random decision to have a look through the old Melbourne Gaol today in the middle of the city. There was some great stuff in here. The first part was a guided tour by a police officer with a power trip, but this was the section that housed crims all the way until 1994. The free area was the older part where hangings occurred, where Ned Kelly met his final days. there’s quite a few more pics on my flickr page here. Worth a look when you’re next in the city.
great time so far, apart from the plane being hours late. chilling in a perfect place close to the city with great food and a chance to just destress. tomorrow we’ll catch a football game not far from here as well 🙂 hunt the markets out, go a little shopping (found the adress of the comic store, it HELPS when you know the proper name of the comics store you’re looking for :P)
i’ve snapped a few photos up on my flickr page. being away on my ipad its a little hard to properly code and whatnot, ill muck around with all of that later
hope you all have a great long weekend off 😛
Music – Rain Forest by Green Lab (used with permission from friendlytunes.com . Contact me for any information.)
This had to go in its own little section. This was the same day as the Port Vila trip (not far, but I can’t remember the exact location) but it was so beautiful and amazing. The sad part is that this was all planned by my Uncle (who had been before) and I don’t think there were any official tours to this place by the Cruise company! All of these people were other tourists (some from the boat, most not) who just knew of it as well.
I remember this place with fond memories from the first time I visited when I went on the Fairstar with my parents at the age of 12. Last time (I think) we checked out more of the traditional stuff. On this day we went on another trip with probably the friendliest but quiet guy who drove us around. Learning from our Fiji mistake, we made sure how much we were going to pay this guy. Obviously what we offered him was a lot – he hung around and waited for us all day even when we went to the waterfalls and the little island later on in the day.
This was the first time we as a group saw some of the poverty that was around this area. Beautiful setting but just walking down the streets you can see the vast differences between here and Port Denarau. Also was interested to notice a large Indian population here. When I saw the badly pirated Bollywood films for sales in some of the store windows, I couldnt help smile 🙂
The next port of call was Port Denarau. This was a quiet day, I didn’t go on any tours, I went by myself, so basically I just wandered around the little village, took footage, listened to the band and just relaxed. I’d love to go again and properly check the place out, or get drunk at the Planet Hollywood. Looked very nice 🙂
Other things I remember
1 – MOUNTAIN DEW!! – This may sound odd, but there’s some silly Australian rule that says only cola flavoured soft drinks can have caffeine in it. So our version of Mountain Dew over here is nice, yet tame. You don’t drink it to get buzzed. 🙂 On my trips, when I had a moment, I’d stop in different stores and see if I could find a bottle. First stop was Noumea. While my uncle and crew paid through the nose for a couple of drinks at the deli right next to the port (suckers) I paid something like 1.50 or something for a 600 ml 7up (no MD was found yet). I spent half an hour just looking at all the French versions of different foods and drinks over there. Twisties were really popular over there. Don’t ask me why. I could be wrong, but I’m SURE I saw Arnott’s Shapes as well. Being an Australian food, this is pretty surprising for a French colony…
Yes, found some in Port Denarau, and had to take a photo of it as well 😛 I’m surprised how much caffeine they pack into those bottles, actually! I’m a pretty steady coke drinker, and I’m sure that had more of a kick than your standard bottle of Coke. Maybe it was the lack of soft drink on that trip (mainly cause I was drinking beer 95% of the time) but I could of sworn that was more of a Red Bull like pick me up. Anyways 😉
2 – Rich area. I mean RICH RICH. After visiting places like Suva, and even Noumea which was very commercial, still had its points of poverty (like most cities), this place was nothing but expense. Looking at the map a few minutes ago, I honestly thought (until now) that PD was actually a small island not connected to mainland Fiji, so no doubt a ten minute drive down the road would show you the rest of the place. Even so, If I had Bill Gates like wealth, I’d certainly pick up a place there for a holiday pad. WOW
This is how the wonderful people of Fiji saw us off from Port.
It’s strange. I enjoyed the day, but the dodgy driver before and the massive crowd we had on the day made it really impossible to just go walking in town. Not by yourself anyways. And the rest had retired to the boat – My Uncle on his walk, the other two – probably at the bar (where I should of been). This changed my mood totally. Especially the cute little “Aussie Aussie Aussie” chant at the end. I know they probably do this all of the time, but it was good and they were very very talented. I wish I could of left the boat to get closer and watch them, but we were already preparing for departure at that point…
This was one of the more interesting days. We didn’t have plans and took a little site seeing tour with one of the worse vans I have ever been in. In Australia, this thing wouldn’t pass inspection. The guy kind of ripped us off at the end of the day, but It was our fault not asking before how much it was going to cost. Our trip to Vanuatu we made very sure.
It also happened to be one of the busiest days of the year for them. They had their annual carnival on, and the streets were packed. We also discovered later the Rugby finals were also on. Teams from all of the Fiji islands came over to play, where the winning team would get over 2 grand in prize money – quite a lot for some of these people…
It was a very rainy, yucky day but at least cleared up a little by the time we got to the falls. That was gorgeous. We didn’t stay for long, but they had this nice little cafe up the top that would of been great just to sit and relax for an afternoon or something…
The funniest thing I noticed on the drive (which you can kind of hear on the video) was the music. Many different cultures co-exist on these islands, so the music ranged from top 40 pop, your typical reggae music you heard everywhere on the trip and Indian Bollywood music from the latest hit film that hit their shores. At one point the DJ was complaining about how she couldn’t get twitter on her mobile phone as she didn’t have an iphone and her current phone didn’t have a data plan. Somethings are the same the world over….
Date: Thursday, 20th August, 2009
Noumea was a lot better than I previously remember. I went when I was around 12ish. The day was freezing, It rained all day and it wasn’t that different from what we left in Sydney, I thought at the time. This time around, however I was a little older, a little wiser and actually enjoyed myself. It’s probably the most commercial when it comes to all of the Pacific islands, but after the drive we had hours to kill and that’s when I truly enjoyed myself. I returned to the ship, dropped off my handycam and just wandered the city like I belonged there. Beautiful parks, shops all around (although not much to buy! I never did find a music store on the island, probably plenty and I passed them all).
I know it sounds odd, but I love wandering supermarkets. Seeing all the same stuff just that little bit different, in a completely different language. For some reason, Twisties are MASSIVE over there. Maybe it’s got something to do with a cultural thing, or something which doesn’t translate well, but the normal slogan “Life’s pretty straight without Twisties” to “Life’s great with Twisties”. I have no idea. 😛
The boat was late to set off that night because two people were late in returning?? Where were they?? Why, McDonalds of course. Go all this way and you get junk food at Maccas. To be honest I was tempted to go there just so I could order a “Royale with Cheese” (which is probably bullshit. but a giggle)
Date: Monday, 17th August, 2009
Finally getting around to doing my holiday video from my Cruise last year on the Pacific Dawn. imovie is a little annoying in parts, but it’s bloody easy to use and simple to get going. Once I figured out that the video from my handycam will only work while it’s STILL on the camera, and not off (seriously? WTF?) it was simple enough to import, cut and choose what bits I want. And cut out the naughty words my uncle says so I can get it on youtube without getting into trouble.
This is the first of many. Unfortunately (or fortunate, if you look at it that way, thanks…) because of the ten minute limit on youtube it’s going to take a little chopping once I’ve done my version that I’m going to put onto DVD. The Noumea van drive around the island is being converted and created as I speak. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the trip. I’m definitely going on another of these trips 🙂