Kangaroo Island Australia – Tour

We talked and ask why in the world were tours on Kangaroo Island so bloody expensive and really never got a good explanation. It was really hard to find a tour on the island and most the ship offered were full already. While touring in other parts of Australia we always asked if anyone had a connection for us to take a tour when we arrived at the island, but alas little was found.

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While in Adelaide our guide made several calls and located a possibility that was really expensive and we had to commit to like 12 people, and that we could not do. The guide kept working on it but everything was so expensive and required us to commit more than we could. You see when you are a small group touring you can’t find anyone nor do you have the ability to connect with friends to commit a small fortune. So we ended up arriving at with no tour lined up.

Another issue we had with the expense was that we couldn’t really find out much about the island and what it had to offer. There was Seal Bay, but we have seen seals all over the world; from Antarctica to Alaska and to Greenland and the Canadian Maritimes too. So we thought big deal another place to see more seals. Then there were the beaches. Ok what in the world could be so great about these beaches? Then you could see Kangaroos – oh boy – we have been seeing ‘roos for the past several ports. We even saw them at the zoo in Sydney. And there was the rocks that had the name of “Remarkable Rocks”. Another yawn here as why would we want to drive over 2 hours each way to see rocks? So with that line of thinking is what we thought when hearing the prices of tours. The ship tour was something like $550 per person.

Fleur, our tour guide in Adelaide, showed us pictures of these “remarkable rocks” and we thought WOW they look like they would be great to see. Since we had not lined up a tour we thought we should take an early tender and see what we could do on shore.

So the quest began – 5:15am wake up (yes we are on vacation) and on one of the first tenders off the ship. Sadly when we got the Information booth we are told – no unless you have something booked you will not get to see the ‘rocks’ they are too far away. We reserved ourselves to riding the ‘free shuttles’ to see the two closer small towns. We watched the local ferry unload and load then wandered back to the information booth. Pierre the man we first talked to noticed us and advised us that there might be a chance as a driver had a cancellation.

Still we were not holding our breath as the driver was gone and would be returning. Long story short he was right there was a driver, we pulled two additional people together and headed out at 8:15 for what turned out to be the most fabulous day of our trip!!! Robyn was an amazing guide, the sites as you can see are over the top – we would rank Kangaroo Island on par with Easter Island – just plain beautiful and amazing. (lunch with a bottle of wine wasn’t bad either).

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Hobart, Australia

We are so very blessed with fabulous friends (lucky us) Pat & Noel flew in from Melbourne and toured us around. Noel was born here and it was so wonderful to see them again. It was a perfect day, sunny skies – Apple Museum, Wine tasting in the valley, fresh apples (just picked), a high climb up to Mt Wellington – the pics as you can see look almost like they were taken from a plane. We ended the day in Richmond with a lovely lunch, some fresh cherries & apples to bring back on board to share with the staff, a little more shopping, view of a quaint harbor and then back on board. It was way too short of day with them.

Note to self we could drink our way around New Zealand and Australia – fabulous wines, amazing views, great friends and family all over down under – make plans to come back soon!!

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Tauranga, NZ – The Shire

No tour booked and an early departure trying to figure out what to do – and we found a great tour guide on shore. We just had to do it – just because we could. Rather magical to be honest – and we had to watch Lord of the Rings to see all the hobbit homes and which was which. Just an FYI the first 40 minutes is in the shire – and you can see all the places we have seen and have pictures of – very cool!!

We ended the day with a coffee on the beach and then back to the ship.

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Easter Island

We were fortunate to spend a fabulous sunny day on this island. You know how some places you have heard about and your expectations build and then you hear more and more and you build such expectations that you don’t think anything could live up to it. Well after hearing about this place and reading about it with all the history I was ready to be let down by our visit.  I can tell you that you can believe all the hype! This is an amazing place and one that we will not soon forget.

They told us that sea swells can be problematic and not many ships can tender into the island. You see there is no dock on the island. So the only way to get ashore is by tendering in. Look in this next picture at the Tender boat coming back to the ship. Where we went ashore was just past that first row of rocks and just before the second row of rocks. One tender (boat) lost its front corner window and another one lost the front door. They had to stop bring people to shore for a while after we were ashore. Even some of the afternoon ship tours were not able to get ashore and had to be canceled. We counted ourselves lucky, for sure.

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Once ashore we found our guide and headed off for a private tour of Easter Island. Along the way we heard about the history of the island and what it is like to live there. There are a total of around 8,000 people that live on Easter Island, according to the last census. The place has been growing as the previous census recorded 4,000 people.

It had rained for several days before our arrival and this day was a beautiful partly cloudy day. Everything was clear and bright. You will notice the bright fresh green in some of the pictures.

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Yes for us the island lived up to all the hype. It is a very special place that we are very lucky to have spent some time on.

WiFi Hot Spots – Traveling Locations

When we travel we use the Internet A LOT! Sometimes it can be very frustrating to find a place quickly and even if you ask someone they don’t always know. We have found good WiFi even when people have told us there was none available.

The purpose here is to keep an updated list as best we can of where you can find WiFi. As people send us other information about places we will try to keep this updated also.

NORTH AMERICA
Alaska – Traveling on a Cruise ship in most ports, at least in Southeast Alaska Seaport Cyber has been good for us. Most times you can use it directly from the ship with pretty good quality and it isn’t that expensive to use. They usually have office locations in the ports also.

CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA
Columbia, Santa Marta – Santa Marta Digital – Look for access on your PC by that name, it is free WiFi

Costa Rica, Puerto de Caldera – Wellcome SPC – Look for access on your PC by that name, it is free WiFi
Costa Rica, Puerto Limon – On shore there are many locations close to the port docks. Look for signs.

Mexico, Cozumel – End of Pier, Three Amigos, sometimes they charge but not always, so check. They like to play LOUD MUSIC so be aware of that.

Panama, Panama City – Just off dock at Alberto’s, buy a drink and it is free.

Roatan, Mahogany Bay – Look for the Red Roof, Crazy Ice Gelato. Buy something and they will give you the password

EUROPE

Denmark, Torshavn(Faroe Islands) – Library free, Bar/Coffee shop free

Iceland, Reykjavik – unknown
Iceland, Isafjordur – Everywhere

Norway, Bergen – Burger King (coffee, Fish Market Bar free
Norway, Flam – NONE
Norway, Kristiansand – Library free