Adelaide, Australia

Hired PartyBus Steve (but our driver was actually Fleur, she was super) to drive us out the Borassa Valley – what a great day! A visit to 5 wineries, lovely new friends Jane & Keith who live in Adelaide joined us for the day. First stop Langemeil Winery. Vines over 150 years old and the wine …. wow in a word over the top fabulous. We bought lots of wine (being we are rather deprived in Ecuador) as they tasted so great!! We bought two bottles of Freedom Shiraz, 167 year old vines aged in Oak 24 months, (15% Alcohol). Fifth Wave Grenache 60 & 90 year old vines, 12 months in Oak 15.5% Alcohol, Jackman’s Cabernet 35 year old vines, aged 24 months in oak 14.5% a bottle of Sparkling Shiraz, and port one of Dave’s favorites (YUM). Our second stop, a small winery Kabminye run by a husband and wife team. So charming and the lunch they served us – over the top. Our favorite wine there was Irma Adeline (named after her mom), second runner up Ken & Neville.  We stopped into St Hallett’s bought a ‘rolly’ crystal decanter and a couple bottles of their Faith Shiraz, lovely finish on this one. Next stop was Jacobs Creek – a wonderful tasting no purchase here though. And our final stop Maggie Beers – first sight was this lovely Mercedes and inside was all kinds of goodness. Pate, cheese, wine, jam, jelly, and crackers – we bought just a little to have an Australian treat on board on a sea day with friends. Just a fabulous day we came back with enough wine to make us happy for a little while!! Cheers!!!

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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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Sydney, Australia

Our sail in was almost magical – just like a post card! Friends flew in from Melbourne to meet us and we had a grand adventure.
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Taking in the Zoo (over the top) then off on the ferries to see Bondi and The Gap. A lovely drive across the cliffs back to the port and then Amanda & Lochie joined us on board for a fabulous dinner at the Pinnacle (Holland’s Specialty Steak House on board). A quick tour of the ship and then our time with them was over (too soon to be honest) as they were flying home early the next day. Day 2 in Sydney we wandered through the ‘Rocks’ and bought a few things.

Sail away was picturesque as well very thankful for our table on the window in the rear of the ship – perfect!

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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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Busted for beer in Auckland New Zealand

I know it is hard to believe but… it happened. It is tough to take but we have to admit it happened. Who would have thought! Ok, Ok, I guess we will have to go on to details after having said that…

To set the stage; we thought some fish and chips would be great to have for a dinner and after a hot day; a good beer would be the perfect addition. We found a nice bay that had a Fish and Chip place with a bar that had beer next door.

Now it might be important to mention that the five of us ordered Fish and Chips and each order was freshly made and wrapped in paper. They actually put all the orders in a box so we could move them a bit better. You can see in the picture a tin can. That is what they call Red Sauce. It was cheaper to buy a “tin” rather than the individual packages.  As there were no great tables; we proceeded to the beach to enjoy the beer and the Fish and Chips.

That manager of the bar walked over to us and explained things. What we learned is, the license is for a square foot space and as such doesn’t expand to the beach. Now we could have gone to a store and bought a few beer and then drank them while we had fish and chips, but, buying a beer and taking it out of the bar and drinking it with our fish and chips was not legal. She would lose her license and have a heavy fine if we stayed there. We, of course, had no idea. So we drank the beer at the bar and walked back to the beach and ate the fish and chips.

What a wonderful time of enjoying Auckland. We have seen this city from every angle and what a great place it is.  Kudos to Cousin Shelley for being the best tour guide ever!!!

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French Polynesia – Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora

My, these islands are such beautiful places. I am glad we saw them in the order listed above too. Each one is unique and has its own charm in different ways.
The first stop Papeete Tahiti, is a beautiful place and more of a city than we saw during our other stops. We were there on a Sunday so basically everything was closed. But it still was a great day, especially after being at sea for so long. It was nice to walk on land for a few hours and see what things are like there.
Next we went to the Island of Moorea. It is more of a rural island with lots of agriculture there. With some friends we rented a car and drove all the way around the island. These pictures give you an idea of what the island looks like:

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The final French Polynesia stop was Bora Bora. We got up about 5:15 am for the approach to Bora Bora. There is only one opening in the reef to get into the island and … well see what you think;

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course Ace was with us too…

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We did a 4×4 tour of the island and what a photogenic place it is;

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We only visited for a day but we are sure glad we got to spend the time we had there.