Day 1,766 of Traveling the World | Port Lincoln, Australia | December 7, 2022

Port Lincoln is the kind of small town anyone would want to visit, or live in. It is located approximately in the middle of the southern coast of Australia. Located on Boston Bay and in the Great Australian Bight, the water is a dazzling array of different colors of blue. We suppose it depends on the sun’s position at any given moment. But the people! Oh, they are wonderful. Everyone was very friendly, ready for a chat. Two different times we had children run up to us, asking if we were on the cruise ship, what were our names, where were we from. When told that we were homeless and just traveling the world, we got more excited questions – and assurances that now they knew what they wanted to do with their lives!

At any rate, there is a boardwalk along the bay, running through the whole town. Port Lincoln had quite an array of retail shops, bakeries, restaurants, churches, grocery stores, and cafes. Two venues – Hotel Boston and St. Thomas Anglican Church – provided crafts markets because a cruise ship was in town. We saw some beautiful items, and were a little sad that we couldn’t purchase some of them. But we did buy the best coffee we have had in all of Australia from Tim’s Coffee Cart. And we also purchased a jar of homemade Quandong Jam from a lovely woman named Lindy. Right – we had never heard of Quandong, either. Look it up to see what it looks like! It is a delicious fruit, and tastes nothing like any other fruit we have ever had. It is hard to describe, with a texture like peaches (it is called the Native Peach), but a bit more tangy. A few hours later, and one-quarter of the jar is already used up!

The most fun we had was watching some school children doing Bubble Sports – putting on blown-up costumes and spheres, then knocking each other down. It turned into a roly-poly lawn game, bumper cars without the cars. We also then met two of our favorite crew members, Meredith and Gracie, whom we had never seen outside their ship uniforms, with their hair pushed up under their caps. Seeing them as they really are, and their gorgeous hair, was a treat – they were so, so beautiful. We told them to stop talking to us and go see the town, so they said, OK, one last group hug before we go! Guess what? There were seven last group hugs before we parted! They are quite affectionate and adorable. So – we had a great day. Great people, great small town, great food, great coffee, great scenery. Delightful all around. (We kind of pitied people who had taken tours today!)

Port Lincoln is on Boston Bay, one of the world’s largest, most protected natural harbors. It is over three times larger than Sydney’s Bay, and the water color changes every few minutes!
Kayakers out in the bay.
There is a long boardwalk all along the bay in the downtown.
This bird had views all to herself until we came along,
The water on the other side of the bay, away from most of the downtown, was this glorious dark blue.
They are just getting ready for Christmas.
We asked two friendly children who ran up to us asking where we were from and what our names were: “What are they supposed to be?” Answer: “Sumo wrestlers, of course!”
Later, we passed by the same field, and these kids wearing spheres called Bubble Sports were having a blast. The teacher/coach held a ball that was never used. Instead, the children would run at each other, like bumper cars, and try to knock each other over. You can see the girl in front was knocked upside down. They didn’t have this fun stuff when we took Phys Ed!
Not “grab bags,” as in the US, but Lucky Dips!
Meet Lindy, the owner of The Mulberry Tree. She makes jams, sauces, and chutnies to sell as well as other handcrafts. This is where we bought the Quandong Jam.
A permanent installation on St. Thomas Anglican Church grounds, all made of mosaics. The sofa has a quilt and doilies, the flowered area rug has cute fringes, and the table has a scrabble game in progress. Very clever.
Tim sold us the best cup of coffee we had in all of Australia!
What a lovely idea! It was empty, though, by the time we peeked inside.
The entire Esplanade was planted with these majestic pine trees.
As you can see, this building dates to 1905, and now houses The Ethical Kitchen. It looks like an old American West building!
A fun name for a women’s clothing shop – Call Me the Breeze.
The Grand Tasman Hotel has its own beer in this part of the world.
If you can see the hours on the right, Mantra Tattoo is open most days. The hours? – 10ish to 6ish. We love it!!!
And (Christopher) Walkens (walk-ins) are most welcome.
Late afternoon in Boston Bay, as we departed this glorious place.

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Day 1,765 of Traveling the World | Perth, Australia | December 6, 2022

If Sydney is analogous to New York City on Australia’s East Coast, Perth is Los Angeles’ twin on the West Coast. We weren’t expecting a sophisticated metropolis with skyscrapers, a busy harbor, sculptures, shopping streets, and a large variety of restaurants and cafes. It was crowded, busy, and beautiful.

For lunch, we tried a Toasty – Australia’s answer to a panini sandwich. Sitting at a cafe on Elizabeth Quay, watching the boat traffic on a warm, sunny day, and eating like an Australian made our day in Perth a perfect day. The train ride from Fremantle took just 30 minutes, and cost a whopping $3. The station is in the middle of all the city’s excitement and best attractions. We only had a few hours, but our tiny taste of the city was rich enough that we intend to return in the future to partake some more.

One of several pedestrian-only shopping streets.
Santa plays cricket! Loving the cheekiness…..
A Santa Cap on a crocodile. Normal.
Once again, like a lot of Australia’s west coast, a late 19th century building.
The Elizabeth Quay Bridge, from the boardwalk.
Downtown Perth, taken from the bridge in the previous photo.
Children’s play fountains in Elizabeth Quay.
A man sculpting from sand for a holiday display at Elizabeth Quay...
…and a completed sand sculpture of the Nativity.
This sculpture in Elizabeth Quay, installed in 2015, is titled First Contact, also lovingly called “The Bird” or “The Penguin.”
A shot of the harbor beyond the bridge.
In the Barrack Street Jetty is the Bell Tower. An interesting feature is that its bells include 12 from St Martin in the Fields, London, which are recorded as having been in existence from before the 14th century and were recast by Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century.
A toasty! It’s an Australian mainstay, a toasted sandwich. When we said we’d never had one (in our American accent), our server said, “Well, you aren’t a proper Aussie if you haven’t had a toasty!”
A wide lawn behind the Supreme Court of Western Australia.
A pretty view of the Swan River.
The Government House of Western Australia – gated in and all locked up, of course.
There were extensive Government House gardens, which were so peaceful and beautiful – but fenced off with “No entry” signs.
A retro building next to a modern art installation.
The attractive Salvation Army building downtown has the inscription one level down from the top, “Erected to the Glory of God.”
An alley with unusual upside-down bucket lanterns.
Australian Commonwealth building. As you can see, the Post Office is also housed here.
The main train station in Perth. It looks like it is straight out of an old movie, as so many buildings here do.
Some street art near the train station.
Perth Digital Tower at Yagan Square, with an ever-changing digital screen.
Another balconied wrought-iron building reminiscent of New Orleans.
Cacti! The US Southwest comes to the Australian Southwest!
We’re ready….are you???

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Day 1,763 of Traveling the World | Fremantle, Australia | December 4, 2022

Ah, Fremantle, we are mighty happy we knew you for two days! Such a pretty port town. You likely have never heard of it, but it was our gateway to Perth, which you have heard of. Our post on Perth will come in the next day or two. But Fremantle had a lot to offer on its own. It is located south of Perth at the mouth of the Swan River. Aussies shorten all the words they can, as you will also see in one of the photos below. So the locals don’t like to say the three syllables of “Fremantle.” They call it – Freo.

Visited by Dutch explorers in the 1600s, “Freo” was settled in 1829 and named after Captain Charles Fremantle. It became Great Britain’s primary destination for convicts. Fremantle Prison, in fact, is now a tourist attraction and World Heritage Site, but it operated into the 1990s, for about 140 years. Today it is a busy cruise port (three giant cruise ships were docked all at the same time), with late 19th/early 20th century buildings. The standout for us was Fremantle Market, which is open on weekends and has been around for 125 years. There was an interesting array of lovely booths, a good mixture of retail goods, bakeries, fruit/vegetable stalls, cafes, and restaurants. We purchased strawberries that were all as big as plums! And we bought some Filipino treats to give to the crew, as they are missing home and their native foods (which we all miss when we are traveling). For us, Fremantle was more than just a town via which we could get to Perth – on its own, it was a delightful place to visit with very friendly folks!

Fremantle Town Hall. With the flag on top, it was easy to spot anywhere in the city to lead us back to the center of town.
Only two statues in town that we noticed – one of a former governor, and this one of a dingo with a snake slithering along its body.
A building dating to 1896. We wondered what the street level looked like back then.
The National Hotel has architecture very reminiscent of New Orleans.
…and this building was very reminiscent of all the Moorish architecture we have encountered in our travels.
An Escape Room sign that we liked.
Most of the sidewalks downtown were covered, providing a welcome respite from the sun.
A beautiful building, this one is now the Beerpourium.
Of course, the pig caught our eye.
Forever Fun. Just saying the name of the candy is fun.
The window of a Chinese restaurant.
This is the pretty FOMO (fear of missing out) parking garage.
As part of the covered sidewalks, this building installed some interesting arches.
A beautiful Australian woman mural with some native animals.
We just love how most words are shortened here. You all know barbie for barbecue and brekkie for breakfast. Here’s another – Hot Choccy. But we confess that we are not sure what a Cappuccino Strip is!
An old Fremantle building, across the street from the fabulous market.
Meet Saba, the gorgeous town barber! She was taking a break, wearing red antlers (of course), and was very friendly and gracious, letting us photograph her. Her shop is called Fresh Man.
Fremantle Market. It was decorated with stars and moons, reminding us of ourAustralian/German friend Stella (“Star”) and her daughter Luna (“Moon”). And Stella’s husband’s name is Marcus, so he completes their Galaxy Family, as his name is derived from Mars, of course.
Boxing kangaroos – only in Australia (but you knew that).
Beautifully decorated stall.
Fremantle Market is very attractive. As you can see from the sign, it was founded in 1897.
So many fun emu pictures!
Aussie whimsy. We love their sense of humor.
Pretty cupcakes, including Smiley cupcakes and Raspberry Sundae – 9 for $21 is equivalent to $14 US, or $1.50 each. Not bad!
A Sin Gin menu? You’ve got to be kidding! They did a great job with their descriptions.
Real roses – a stunning blue, some rainbow, and even black!
Not Intel Inside, but Pretty Inside. Anna is pretty everywhere, as far as we can see, and happy to let us take a photo. She was shopping with her friend Olivia, on the right.
You may be wondering what in the world this variety of names is all about. It is a fudge shop, with about 40 different uniquely named treats. The Summertime fudge is meant to resemble a slice of watermelon!
A most unusual business – a photo of your gorgeous iris!
The store is My Lucky Evil Eye. We liked the swirling Arabic lamps.
The Latin inscription around these three wolves says, “Glory is the reward of valor,” which is the motto of the Scottish Clan Donnachaidh. It is also known as Clan Duncan or Clan Robertson – hence, McRoberts Brewery.
Very colorful braids!
MUFFLE: warm, crispy, chewy dough (in the shape of small round balls) filled with ice cream, fruit, or whipped cream, as you can see. Sounds yummy.
These beauties said they were going to a Christmas party. Several more groups of 6-8 young women followed, dressed differently than this group, but all in clothing similar to each other. It was fun to see!

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Day 1,761 of Traveling the World | Geraldton, Australia | December 2, 2022

Geraldton was a great cruise stop. What? You’ve never heard of it?? Well – neither had we! The port was industrial, so we were forbidden to walk through. But that meant that the city provided free shuttle buses that took us to the middle of town. There was a really lavish shopping street that went on for many blocks, with stores, restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. Many of the buildings date to the early 19th century, and they were mostly kept up and taken care of.

We spent a bit of time in St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, which made us gasp as we entered. It is like walking into a Moorish mosque in Spain, with gorgeous stripes everywhere. Apparently, originally, the background striping was black and white, but today it is a muted gray and white, which softens the interior. Work began on its construction in 1916 by a very beloved Fr. Hawes (later Monsignor Hawes), who designed it (and actually helped build it) based on churches and mosques he had seen around the world. Very unfinished, it opened two years later. The new bishop refused to grant any money at all toward its ongoing construction, as he considered it “peculiar.” But today, there is a host of volunteers at the church, very eager to tell the story of the beloved Fr. Hawes and their beautiful, unusual church. We found it to be the city’s major attraction.

The beaches are gorgeous, like all we have seen on the Indian Ocean. Some of the sand dunes were being “repaired,” but we don’t know what that means exactly. Everyone we encountered seemed very proud of their city and all it has to offer. There is a photo of the bent-over trees, which are famous up and down the west coast due to the constant wind. Best of all for us, for the first time in over two months, we got to go to a movie theater and see a new movie – with popcorn! It was great. Geraldton had everything.

View from the beach in downtown Geraldton.
We are not sure what this process involves. We kept out, but others wandered onto the beach.
These five almost-equally spaced birds seemed to be protecting this woman and child.
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. The outside is reminiscent of a California Mission, which was one inspiration for its design.
It is a complete surprise to walk inside and see this design and burst of color.
The organ, with some of its pipes, on the side. You can see the inscription around the bottom of the dome, “You are Peter. Upon this rock, I will build my church.”
The confessionals!
We liked how the windows, and arches, had the orange and white stripe motif.
Close-up of the angel on the column.
Wild colors/patterns, yet somehow it all fits together.
The Baptismal Font, with a beautiful inlaid mosaic.
Down in the “crypt,” although no one is buried there.
Monsignor Hawes, who conceived, designed, and helped build the cathedral. He looks rather serious, but the Santa cap indicates that he is really a Cool Dude!
In front of the city theater is this pretty array of water cascades.
The Iris Sundial, installed 2004. There is a complicated description of how to tell time with it, but it was easier to glance at our phone!
Apparently, this is common on Australia’s west coast – the wind blows so much that trees all over get bent in half!
GRAG – the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery – has this sentinel outside watching over it.
The city’s planters all were painted with different indigenous animals. The large animal on the right is an echidna.
Such a strange sign! It is for a hotel (and the banned groups are very specific), but then it says the ban is for “permitted trading hours.” Trading – for an apartment hotel?? We don’t get it!
A cute name for a cute shop.
This guy was floating on the side of a building.
The city had a lot of early 19th century buildings like this.
The main drag. Wondabake had fabulous delicacies! We partook of several.
The pub with personality? Not so much. Inside were plastic chairs – it was nothing special.
This memorial was a little farther out than we were able to venture. It is in honor of the 645 men who went down on the HMAS Sydney II, the biggest Royal Australian Navy warship loss in WWII. The Dome of Souls is the canopy.
We liked these mannequins with lipstick being their only facial feature.
Of course!
A pretty gold and red building on the main shopping street.
Even though it is out of business, it is interesting that they served “handy foods.” Does that mean food you hold in your hands? And it is always weird when stores sell human food as well as bait – not a good combo.

Almost-sunset to a great day.

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Day 1,757 of Traveling the World | Broome, Australia | November 28, 2022

Broome, Australia, was named after an early governor, but we like its native name, Rubibi….way more fun to say! Broome is a tourist town in an area of Australia’s northwestern coast that is lightly sprinkled with port cities. It is in the Indian Ocean and less than 1,000 miles south of Indonesia.

Broome is known primarily for its history of pearling, and we found that we could buy a string of pearls for “just” $10,000 to $20,000, if we so desired (we did not). The largest homes were all built with pearling money. There are also places here where you can walk in the footprints of dinosaurs, although it was so hot that we didn’t walk that far. We did end up taking a hour-long trolley ride with narration of the town’s history, which lasted 40 minutes. They saved 20 minutes of fuel, we guess! Another local tourist activity is riding camels on the beach – $40 for 30 minutes or $71 for an hour. The sunset ride is particularly iconic.

We found the city to be very clean and pristine, nicely landscaped, with the Chinatown historical area beautifully preserved. As you will see below, there is a lot of pride in Sun Pictures, a movie theater operating since 1916. Incredibly, it still shows contemporary films seven nights per week. When we were there, the night’s offering was “Wakanda Forever.” Most impressive, though, are the giant, fluffy clouds, the red color of the soil, and the blue water with different shades of blue. An Australian passenger told us a great story. His daughter asked him why his white tennis shoes were red. He looked at her as if she were crazy, and said, “Well, a year ago I went for a walk in Broome!”

Early in the morning, we saw this speedboat making a “swoop” just off the port side of the ship.
The cloud formations are as big an actor in this part of world as the beautiful ocean colors…not to mention Broome’s iron-rich red soil.
Our tree! We took more photos of this tree than any other, anywhere. When we saw it from down the street, we honestly didn’t know why we could see lights in the daytime! When we drew closer, we realized the “lights” were Christmas balls. Since the sun was very bright, and there was a pretty enthusiastic wind, the balls were swaying, and the light hit them at different places such that they looked like they were twinkling.
An aboriginal monument smack in the middle of the town’s traffic circle!
What a great idea! This is in the Roebuck Bay Lookout in Broome. The first photo is of the lookout’s ceiling, with a pattern cut into it to allow the sun to enter. The result is the pretty effect on the floor (on the right), which almost looks like carpeting on the cement. Very clever.
Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral. Its bells are named Faith, Hope, and Charity!
Poinciana trees are everywhere in Australia – the bright orange blossoms are unmistakable.
This is a luxury “mansion” from the 1920s, built on money from pearling.
Women of Pearling Monument. The most sought-after women were pregnant aboriginal women. For some reason, they could hold their breaths longer than any others when diving for pearls.
This monument is titled “9 Zeros – 9 Stories.” It commemorates the March 3, 1942 Air Raid by the Japanese in their zero planes. Each figure has a biography engraved on it to show the diversity of lives lost.
A pretty view from the trolley!
Again – those clouds! That rich red soil! The many colors of blue in the ocean!
This is the trolley we rode. We had that back car entirely to ourselves – it was heaven.
“More mates wanted” – a funny way to say “Help Wanted.” We went in for coffee and looked to join their Wi-Fi network, but there was no “McDonald’s.” As you can see on the bottom of the sign, their Wi-Fi is named Macca!
We loved seeing an old-fashioned barber shop pole again. And of course, we delighted in “Flat Tops” and “Cut Throat Shaves.”
As it is in the Guinness Book of Records and a Heritage site, this is the most talked-about building in Broome! It still operates daily. See the next photo for more information.
Quite interesting, dating to 1916! Movies had barely started gaining in popularity.
It is hard to believe they operate seven nights a week, as the population here is only 14,000.
A fun historical memory.
More memories.
The old buildings of Chinatown still standing were all mostly built in this style.
Broome is the only place in the world we have visited that did NOT give pedestrians the right of way. As we waited to cross streets, nobody stopped for us as a courtesy – every car just sped past us.
We just like the word Rubbish, likely because the US more commonly uses Trash.
This was strange. The port provided free shuttles from the port to downtown, as it was a distance of six miles. We returned from town and had to sit here on the side of the road for a full 15 minutes – when the ship was right there – because the driver needed an “escort” who could flash her badge to security. The escort didn’t check us out, nor did anyone check her badge. We just sat and sat, she jumped on, and we drove across the jetty. Puzzling.
The clouds! It is all picture-perfect here.
Late afternoon sun over the jetty and port.

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Day 1,753 of Traveling the World | Darwin, Australia | November 24, 2022

Darwin, in Australia, is of course named after the English naturalist Charles. In September 1839, the HMS Beagle sailed into the harbor during its survey of the region. Consequently, the port was named Darwin. When the town grew in around the harbor, it was named Palmerston, but about 40 years later the name was changed to Darwin, and it stuck.

We visited here in 2019, and we noted an amazing fact at that time: Darwin is closer to five other world capitals than it is to Sydney, the capital of Australia! It is a city that had to be rebuilt after WWII. In February 1942, 242 Japanese planes attacked Darwin in two waves, the same fleet that bombed Pearl Harbor. But many more bombs were dropped in Darwin, killing 243 people and causing considerable damage. There were more than 100 air raids against Australia during the war, but the one on Darwin was the largest.

The most noticeable thing about the day (Thanksgiving – Happy Turkey Day, everyone!) was the heat – it was 94 degrees F, and as we entered stores with sweat rolling down our faces, and passed locals on the street, nobody was affected by the heat in the least. Everyone looked cool and dry, and we got some stares because our faces were red and sweaty. Another cruise passenger remarked, “It was like the heat just sucked everything out of us!” We agree. We walked to the downtown from the port, about a 25-minute walk, but (wisely) returned via Uber. The ocean water was lovely all around us, and is how we remembered it. The South Pacific continues to dazzle!

The port of Darwin, with its beautiful blue water in the Timor Sea.
We continue to be amazed by the color of the water and the oh-so-expressive cloud formations!
This mural sprouts a woman from a cupcake liner whose head then sprouts soft-serve ice cream hair!
A wide lawn fronts the waterfront for people to sunbathe and swim.
There are also kayaks for rent.
An overview of the harbor….do you see the green and yellow objects in the water in the very center of the photo? Go to the next photo….
it is this water park recreation area for children. There are lifeguards on duty, and mesh screens are in place to keep marine stingers from entering the area.
The pretty inlet to the harbor, with working docks on both sides.
We’re not sure what this store was selling, but a frowning infant and “Ginger Pink” intrigued us.
Sunset over the harbor.

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Day 1,751 of Traveling the World | Cairns, Australia | November 22, 2022

Everybody says the name of this city differently, but everyone enjoys it! It is pronounced CANS. Most people (that is, Americans) desperately want to keep the R in it, though. It is a rather large place, although in many areas it feels like a small fishing village. The downtown has quite an array of shops and restaurants, accented by a beautiful post office, library building, and cultural center. Most impressive is the work the city has done on the Esplanade along the ocean. Since there is no real beach, as extensive mud flats for migratory birds take the place of a beach, Cairns built a free public swimming pool and imported sand to build a beach alongside the pool! It is very nice, and many people were swimming and enjoying the water, as it is very hot here. The Southern Hemisphere is still in spring, though, so it will get hotter as we approach the beginning of summer, just before Christmas.

Cairns is the traditional jumping-off point for the Great Barrier Reef, and so marinas and boats are a big part of life here. We saw everything from small skiffs to tall ships, ready to sail into the reef. In fact we went out of this port in 2005 for a three-day tall ship cruise (the Solway Lass) through the reef. It was a spectacular way of seeing a small portion of the reef, while stopping at some amazing islands along the way.

We will be cruising through the Great Barrier Reef for a few days, on our way to Darwin, Australia. Our ship this time, Holland America’s Noordam, is many times larger than the Solway Lass and has about 2,000 passengers rather than 35. We won’t be stopping at any little islands, but cruising straight through to Darwin. So this will be a much different trip than last time.

A serene day in Cairns Harbor.
Standing proud – guarding the entrance to a store.
This beautiful Classical style building was used as the Cairns seat of government until 1998, when it was remodeled to incorporate the city library.
The city’s beloved Mud Flats, environmentally valuable for all the bird species that utilize them….
…like these! We aren’t birders, and so are unsure what type of birds these are, but they are beautiful.
The Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. Since the mud flats mean that Cairns doesn’t have much of a beach, the city built this large swimming pool and even hauled in sand to create a beach! You can see the Ferris wheel in the back, with large gondolas to hold people – $10 per adult, or $50 to have the gondola to yourself!
These fish sculptures are also fountains, with streams of water falling on the children below.
This sign board was adjacent to the pool – don’t forget those swim nappies!
We loved this vibrant flowering tree, but since we also aren’t horticulturists, we do not know what kind it is.
A pretty esplanade walkway, roughly following the ocean.
What a glorious banyan tree! There are even benches under its spreading branches.
We loved that the city turned this banyan tree into a treehouse for kids!
Yo. Fill that waffle cone to the tippy-top and enjoy!
Yep. Always. Every day.
What a great advertising sign!
Saw this in the local grocery store. An unusual name for deodorant, no?
Sunset over Cairns.

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Day 1,750 of Traveling the World | Alotau, Papua New Guinea | November 21, 2022

Alotau was quite a contrast from the Conflict Islands! It sits on the northern side of Milne Bay, which is the gateway to some of the most remote island communities on the planet. It was in this area that the Japanese had their first land defeat in WWII.

Alotau is a poor village, really, with dirt sidewalks and a few businesses. Most of the businesses were stores selling basic goods, such as groceries, clothing, and cell phone top-ups, as well as the ever-present “Beer Store.” Often, likely because nearly all customers were locals, one couldn’t really tell what most stores sold from the exterior. The most common signs were just “wholesale and retail.” There was no attempt at aesthetics.

Everything for sale in the markets and stores is just laid out for you to….seek and find. Most stores we entered, even quite small ones, had a security guard checking everyone as they left and several more guards spread throughout the store. Of course, as tourists from a cruise ship, they barely glanced at us. Cruise ships bring a lot of people – and money – to communities like these and it was clear the people were aware of it. People were very friendly, conscious of the clear difference between tourists and locals, waving from their vehicles, with children running up to us just to say hello, without expecting money.

Photos from the ship make the area look beautiful. The natural beauty of the ocean and landscape is the lure here. Snorkeling and diving are very popular sports in the area.

Early morning on the ship, our first glimpse of Alotau.
Also taken from the top deck, Alotau looks like it is nestled in the arms of the mountains.
The clouds are always beautiful and expressive in the South Pacific.
The water here was more of a deep blue.
Outside the ship were these locals, dressed in native costumes to greet us with instruments as we disembarked. Hours later, they were still there. WE were dripping with perspiration – these folks? Not a drop!
The local grocery store.
The lunch counter in the grocery store.