Garden of the Sleeping Giant, Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple-Nadi and Coral Coast, Korotogo, FIJI

We got our rental car and headed for the late Raymond Burr’s private orchid paradise, Garden of the Sleeping Giant. We took an early turn onto Sabeto Rd but it went into the Sabeto Valley. Real native Fiji. The garden was immense.



A few pictures of the flowers and grounds.











The women hug the trees to protect them. This is taught to school children all over Fiji when they visit the garden or park.


Painting in the bathroom.


Just fabulous. We left there and headed for points south and our place later. We stopped a Burger King for a chicken sandwich. We the got further south in Nadi and stopped at the temple. It  is a Dravidian style of architecture that was direct from India when the indentured sugar cane workers required a Hindu place of worship. It was incredible. We were not allowed to take pictures inside. Here are a few from the outside.








We left there and headed for Bedarra Beach Inn. The road was good and I was driving on the left.


Great day with great local great land tomorrow. Peace out. Namaste Tres. 

Navini Island


I snorkeled at Special Reef.




Sandy Cay.






Honeymoon Island.






I also went to a school on Malolo Island and it was a genuine experience on a large Fijian island.







We went to a Fijian celebratory dinner and danced with our Fijian hosts. It was great.


Mariella and I watched two sea turtles just near our shoreline an hour before we left. Navini Island was heaven. We took a bumpy 30 minute boat ride back to the mainland for the next and final leg of our Fijian adventure. Peace out. Namaste Tres

Navini Island, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

Mariella and I left the Paul Gauguin and headed with an organized taxi to a marina at Vuda Point. We took the 30 minute ride to Navini Island.




The island is simple, elegant and comfortable paradise.





The staff is so nice and the serene island environment just lends to taking it easy. Our bure is fabulous and right on the beach. I took a snorkel in low tide and quickly realized that I would need to wait until more water came in before going later that afternoon after some island “rest”. Mariella took a tidal pool walk and saw amazing things including white speckled eel.



Photo credits for above three pictures: Mariella Smith

I did snorkel later that afternoon and was not disappointed. Titan trigger fish with his assistants was posing for me. No real fear of me.





Lovely dinner with some very nice Aussies. Guess who we talked about. There are about 20 or so guests on the island with no day trippers. Great sleep with a lot of wind and cool. Navini offers a complimentary morning activity and I went on a snorkel trip away from Navini and will share this pictures.








Mariella went snorkeling with her late in the afternoon.




Yes sharks.


More later. Peace out. Namaste Tres

Lautoka, Fiji

We entered Lautoka Harbor in the afternoon.


I was able to walk into Lautoka and look around.





It was with a sense of sadness we would finally leave the boat tomorrow morning at 7:45 for a motor boat ride to Navini Island for 5 nights in the Mamanuca Islands but with a sense of wonder what would be next. The Paul Gauguin exceeded our expectations especially in the service and food departments along with all creature comforts.


We travelled 4168 nautical miles or over 4800 good old fashioned miles in 17 days. I will continue to update as wifi continues. Peace out. Namaste Tres

Oyster Island, Blue Hole and Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu 

Mariella and I went on a shore excursion where we left the port of Luganville and went down a fine American built road to a beach at Oyster Island. Vanuatu had a more laid back vibe that was kind of reassuring. Coconut plantations.


The beach was beautiful.


There was a WW II plane artifact 15 foot from the shore.




It was a beautiful place with kayaks and bikes for rent.


NO BETELNUT ON VANUATU. We then went a fresh water spring called Natervale Blue Hole. It was fabulous and so refreshing.



I saw the hole and vegetation from the water.



These guys and other fish too.


We went back to the ship and had a great lunch. We then walked town for an hour or so. The prime minister of Vanuatu had died and this was a holiday.


Luganville was very slow but some enterprising women had their handicrafts center open for business for American dollars.

Could have had a curled pig tusk like Luther Billis from Tales of the South Pacific but didn’t. May regret that later. Luganville was beautiful.




We will have about 48 hours at sea and arrive in Lautoka in Fiji. We leave the boat at 8 am on June 24 for Navini Island. Peace out. Namaste Tres

A day at sea…

I had some images I wanted to upload. Pulau Menjangan.


Thursday Island.


Varirata National Park.



Samurai Island. May have been the best day of trip.












Oh, the coral…











It was a great day in the water. My swimming partners at Ginger Beach in the Solomons.



Peace out. Namaste Tres

Honiari and Ginger Bay Resort, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

We arrived at 8 am or so to the pier and would be able to leave the boat again without a tender. Sweet. Mariella and I ate breakfast and walked from the port to the main drag of Honiari independently.This statue was for the Solomon Islanders during WW II. 


It was a busy port and the Main Street was busy. We walked down the the crafts market and saw some great art, crafts and carvings. 


The carvings are phenomenal. 


We bought two necklaces and a t-shirt. We walked to the nicest hotel in downtown. It was great with a waterfront view.



 We headed back to the ship for lunch and join our shore excursions. I went to Ginger beach and Mariella did an in town tour. The ride out was long and as always interesting. 




The graffiti was wild. 


There were all kinds of places. 




The beach was nice and the hosts sweet. 

The snorkeling was non existent and disappointing. Everyone seemed to make the best of it. Sea day and on to Vanuatu. Peace out Namaste Tres