2014 2nd Segment

Yap Island, Micronesia

On February 24, 2014 we docked in the the port town of Colonia on Yap Island. Yap is known for its stone money, which are large donut shaped stone disks  which can reach 12 feet in diameter. Most of the stone money was mined on the island Palau that was 281 miles away and was transported back to Yap on rafts powered by sail driven canoes. We walked out of the port area and were greeted by girls from the visitors bureau in traditional dress. We walked into town to visit the Yap Living History Center where there were traditional huts, vendors of local crafts, and local carvers. We found a...

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Madang, Papua New Guinea

Madang, Papua New Guinea was our port of call on March 21, 2014. Madang is located on the north coast of the mainland.  We traveled out of Madang to the traditional village of Bilbil. Bilbil is located on a lagoon and was noted for its clay pottery. In the olden days these pots were loaded on big sailing canoes and traded with other islands. While we were there we witnessed some traditional dances by the villagers. After leaving the village we traveled to the Balek Wildlife area and walked through the native forest.  When we returned to town we stopped at the Coast Watchers Memorial, which...

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Alotau, Papua New Guinea

We found ourselves in Alotau, Papua New Guinea, a small town situated on a hillside in Milne Bay on February 19, 2014. Alotau is divided into three sections, the “Lower Town” which is on Milne Bay, “Middle Town”, and “Top Town” which has panoramic views of the bay. We first went to a vista in Top Town where we saw some of the local homes with their thatched roofs. We then proceeded to the Cameron Secondary School with its Cultural Village and classrooms in Middle Town. Our next stop was in Lower Town at The Main Market with the new and old buildings. Here...

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Cairns, Australia

On February 17, 2014, we docked in Cairns, Australia. At 9:15 am we took the Kuranda Experience tour, which included a train ride from Freshwater Station to the town of Kuranda. On the train we climbed to 1,072 feet above sea level, passing thru 15 tunnels and crossing 37 bridges on this 21 mile trip. The train went up into Barron Gorge National Park and along the way we passed Stoney Creek Falls and Barron Falls and ended at  Kuranda Station. In Kuranda town we had time to explore and to get lunch at Annabets Famous Gourmet Pies where we had a kangaroo meat pie. After visiting Kuranda we...

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Brisbane, Australia

After a day at sea we sailed up the Brisbane River and docked just outside of Brisbane at Portside Wharf about 6 miles from the center of the city,  on February 14, 2014. We went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which is 8 miles on the other side of Brisbane. This sanctuary featured Koalas,  reptiles, birds, kangaroos and the elusive Platypus, all of which are endmic to Australia. On our way back to the ship we stopped at two overlooks to get panoramic views of Brisbane’s skyline. The thumbnail pictures below represent this stop on our trip. Click on any of them to see actual picture....

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Katoomba, Australia

On our second day in Sydney, we took a trip into the Blue Mountains, which lie 37 miles to the West. The Blue Mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage site and got its name from the blue haze that hangs over them.  On our way to the mountains we stopped at the Featherdale Wildlife Park to see some of Australia’s indigenous animals. We continued on to Katoomba where we had lunch in the Mountain Heritage Hotel, which had spectacular views of the mountains. After lunch we went into the park where we stopped at Echo Point to see a rock formation called the Three Sisters. This formation was...

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