What a life affirming decision. Traveling 24 days on water, we decompressed from the west coast drive, winterize, pack, and run in order to prepare ourselves for the Australian east coast drive, summer, pack and run. We ventured from west coast USA to Sydney, Australia on a 1,800 passenger Holland America Line. See prior post for our stop overs.
Truthfully, we worried what it would be like with so many days at sea, but they were spent eating, (the biggest sport on any cruise liner) reading, working on projects, working on my tan, lots of new and interesting people to meet, each with a fascinating travel history. We even experienced time travel: the ship passed through the International Date Line by simply forgetting a Monday. We went to sleep on a Sunday and woke to a Tuesday! Just like that.
We were met in port with bands or cultural dances, with hawkers and many local tourism groups selling their services. We opted for tours once in a while, like the Atlantis submarine, which took people down to 130 feet for viewing coral, fishes and a shipwreck. More often than not, we took our trusty bike Fridays off the boat and just went riding. The goal was to be lost for a couple hours, see what may be naturally happening in the countryside. Our adventures took us to cricket games, a national lawn bowling tournament in Fiji, and lots and lots of beautiful seaside scenery. Then we would find our way back to the ship and ice cream bar. One of the many indulgences we enjoyed.
We were up early one morning, barely slept the night before. On deck there were so many people, cameras, smiles, and excited talk, we were coming into Sydney harbor. The headlands, the Opera House and the bridge have come into view. Loads of promises to meet for dinner when we arrive in their hometown Australia, hugs of welcome home and safe travels. We arrived!
We will be thinking about this part of our travels for a long time, it may become a cornerstone of our start and stop itineraries. Gosh, a new way to open up the world, the sweetness of it all.