was all about butterflies. When Margo and I got off the tender and started walking up the hill they were all over. White, yellow, orange flitting singly and in groups around the hibiscus, frangipani and anything else that was blooming. Of course, since we were planning on going snorkeling I had my GoPro and not a regular camera.


On the one end of the island, perhaps the head of the turtle swimming in the pacific waters, stands a church looking out to see. It has become a standard representation of the island. Hiking up, more flowers, butterflies and the occasional birdsong. The lack of children from the ship was frankly refreshing, While some of the kids are lovely, there is more than a few of the obnoxious kind. Believe it or not, as an average, the group on the five day was better behaved, including the schoolies.


Ah, tendering. Unlike in most US ports it seems that Australians are not known for getting up and off early especially on those cruises which are child “enriched.” As a result the first hour of tendering was named “the early bird” and you didn’t need tender tickets. I am not sure that Margo really had her eyes open but she gamely came along. The first tender wasn’t even full!


We then checked out the pay snorkeling cove and decided where the area might well be worth the 15$AUS that was requested, climbing down ladder, stairs and heading immediately into deep water was not what we intended. So it was back out walking.


There is really only one road on the island and we had not exactly docked on the town end, so traffic was almost non-existent on the single lane. Passing the landing area of wooden jetty with enough space to dock two tenders and set up a security space, two sheds for local market and a parking lot we headed toward the other end of the island. There was a second church, this one dating from 1889 (or so) along with a small graveyard still obviously in active use. Another 40 minutes along the road it was obvious we were not going to read town or anything else resembling civilization (which might just explain the dozen mini-buses in the landing parking lot).


Turning around, we passed again the church, the old man with the sign for “Caves and Beach” with a slightly lower price than the other snorkeling area and stopped at the main beach. The water was lovely, but I didn’t bother breaking out my snorkeling gear – the few people out already said that there was really nothing there but for a couple of small fish and a lot of legs.


I made what was to be a brief trip back to the trip (it took an hour for a seven minute tender each way – there are a lot of toddlers whose parents don’t seem to mind encouraging the independent climbing of stairs even if there are a hundred people waiting behind them). Dropping off the snorkel gear I grabbed my good camera and came back.


[insert standard – as soon as I can find anywhere with enough band width I will upload the pictures] We hiked back along the road capturing images of flowers and butterflies. It was one of those blinding flashes of the obvious. I didn’t see any birds, all the plants are flowering. the butterflies are flitting from flower to flower. Duh – they are filling the niche of pollinator.


The rest of the day was for me quiet and restful. I finished off another course and Margo made it back to the gym once again. We went to the show, dinner in the MDR and I started yet another hat.

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