Our days at sea follow the usual pattern of lectures for Ian, sunbathing, me and both doing the gym. This is a necessity for me as I have put on around a stone since getting on the ship! I am also playing 'Killer Darts" ! The wonder is that I haven't killed anyone with my dart throwing! I just throw in the general direction of the dark board and hope I hit it. I don't think I will be the female equivalent of Bobby George but with my weigh increasing I'm looking more like a dart player!
We haven't done as well at the quizzes just missing our by a point or two but having said that tonight we won a bottle of fizz.
The dynamics of the guests on board have changed since Australia and New Zealand with a the Aussies outnumbering the other guests. They are more lively and boisterous in the theatre and the casino and slot machine area which use to be almost deserted are always busy. Mainly with women of a certain age playing on the 'pokies' (slot machines)
An Australian couple have joined our table at dinner, Noel and Carole( no their surname is not Christmas!). They are from Melbourne and are an entertaining couple.
We have travelled 27172 miles since leaving Southampton all those days ago.
Our next stop is Apia in Samoa. The Samoan group of Islands lies in the centre of the South Pacific. Since 1899 they have been divided into American Samoa, with seven islands and the new independent sovereign state of Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa) with nine islands. The land area of Samoa is about the size of Dorset. The islands lie well within the tropics so we can expect temperatures in the 30's and possibly heavy rain showers.
We are going on a organised tour "Essence of Upolu".
This involves a scenic drive along the north-eastern coast stopping at Plum Pudding Rock. Probably called this because it resembles a Christmas pudding albeit covered in coconut, mango and other trees. We travel through lush green forests and Le Macao Pass 1700ft above sea level. We wonder several times whether the old coach will make it! We see lots of waterfalls, plantations and traditional villages. The homesteads consist of four buildings, one open plan building with no furniture this is the meeting place where they entertain visitors. One building that is the home , one kitchen and the other the young boys home. When a boy reaches his teens he moves in here to prepare for his working life. The guide says that girls have a very hard time and parents are very strict with them.
We eventually get to Sopo'aga Mini Botanical Gardens and Waterfalls. Beautiful indigenous plants and waterfalls.
We travel on to Tafatafa Beach and have a short swim in the turquoise waters. Golden sands and coconut trees a truly tropical island. After a barbecue lunch we drive back stopping at Papapapaiuta Falls for a photo opportunity. We also drive pass Robert Louis Stephenson's home.
An interesting day and onward to Hawaii.