January 21, 2018
Here is where Alison, Nancy, Pete and I go our separate ways. Alison and Nancy are heading back to Guam, then on to Oahu for 3 days. We had fun and learned some about the island and it’s history; met very nice people and ate a lot of food! It’s sounding like Alison and Nancy may be back to Pohnpei with students to tour Nan Madol and other ruins in the area.
This was one of the hardest travel days (nights) of our trip. We arrived at the airport at 11:30 pm to fly out of Pohnpei at 2:05 am. There had been an attempt to download our boarding passes with no success, which was chalked up to the WiFi. We were wrong about the WiFi. When we arrived at the airport (tiny, with one runway) they hand wrote our passes at the check in counter. The flight from Pohnpei was an hour late, which gave us 1 hour to go through security, get boarding passes and make the next flight when we transited through Port Moresby, New Guinea to Brisbane, Australia. Thankfully Port Moresby has a small airport and we were fairly quick off the plane, so towards the front of the boarding pass line. In Brisbane we changed planes again to Cairns. We were in airports or flying until 4:30 pm. Can’t say enough nice things about Air Niugini, great safety record, friendly people, good food (actual meals in economy) and clean planes. They got us from Pohnpei to Brisbane.
From the airport there is shuttle service up the coast and we were thrilled to finally reach our apartment in Clifton Beach, about half an hour north of Cairns.
We will be here for 9 days. After settling in a bit, we hit the beach trail across the street (featured photo) and walked to the local restaurant Coco Mojo. They serve variations of street food from all over the world. The starter dip tray with bread was delicious. The dips included Baingan Barth a North Indian eggplant dip; Persian dip with feta, preserved lemon, garlic and pistachio; and Guacamole. All were very yummy with the eggplant our favorite. The restaurant has a vegetarian menu along with a lot of seafood dishes, so I’m very happy to have them so close by.
It’s so wonderful having an apartment, there is room to move, laundry facility, a bedroom, kitchen and balcony. Pete is especially excited about the cable TV to watch conference football games. Our garden view is serene and lovely, and the rates are reasonable for longer stays. We are plan on walking to the local shopping center tomorrow for groceries so we can eat in occasionally. Certainly don’t want to overdo the cooking, but it will save some money and be a refreshing change from eating out all the time.
This was the room we were most excited to about given we had about 2 to 3 hours sleep on planes during the night. We didn’t last long past 9 pm, especially after a couple glasses of wine.