Saturday, 7 September 2013
07.09.2013 - 07.09.2013
After four days and five nights we reach our first port. As the sun rose we saw the low lying island of Tongatapu which is the largest of the many islands in the Kingdom of Tonga and the home of the national capital of Nuku'alofa. Shortly after 0730 we were made fast and troupes of local dancers performed traditional dances of welcome.
After breakfast we joined the queue in the Atrium to exchange some Australian currency to the Tongan equivalent. AU$20 bought us TOP$31, we were not intending to spend a lot. In less than 10 minutes we were in the heart of town and had found the local pharmacy where we made a small purchase for an item that hadn't been packed. We wandered through the market and admired the many handicraft items. There is some doubt as to what can be brought back into Australia.
As the early clouds were dissipated, the temperature increased and we wandered back to the ship. The massive new concrete wharf was only recently completed and was another sign of the Chinese influence in the region. It was financed by the Chinese government and constructed by a Chinese company. Sadly, apart from the wharf the remainder of the 'town' has little eye appeal with most of the listed 'tourist' attractions being a good distance from the port.
Back aboard, almost time for lunch so we made our way to The Horizon Court where we filled in some time reading. After lunch we made our way back to the cabin and caught up with some Australian News on the TV. Read and dozed until it was time for dinner. Great meal as always.
After dinner we made our way to the Vista Lounge for the performance of a 'Who Done It' skit by the assistant cruise director and members of the entertainment staff. Very funny and a great way to spent 45 minutes.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony