Thursday, April 28, 2016

Shared Experiences Make Fast Friends

We were assigned to a dining table for evening meals at the beginning of our cruise. This is always a crap shoot. Sometimes you get compatible and interesting table mates, like the time we were seated with a pair of WWII vets. Sometimes you get people who try to coerce you into their interests, like the fellow who was obsessed with something called "pickle ball" and wouldn't rest until the DH met him on the sports deck for a game.

This time we were fortunate to be placed with Bruce and Judy from California. 

Between the four of us, we've solved the world's problems over dinner several times and often linger over our desert for the joy of continuing our pleasant conversations. So we decided to meet on Nuku Hiva, our last port of call, for a walk-about together.  

I was a little leery about this island because of its head-hunting past and not-so-distant incidence of possible cannibalism. (In 2011, a German tourist went missing and was later found dead under very mysterious circumstances.) But I was pleasantly surprised when we stepped off the tender. The islanders were friendly and the town of Taiohae clean and well-kept.

Still, we kept within sight of the Westerdam...

But this was mostly because it was so very hot and humid that walking too far in those conditions was difficult for me. My portable oxygen concentrator has to work overtime to provide the support I need when there's so much moisture in the air. But we managed to make it far enough down the beach to find a monument to French sailors who died in a battle in those waters in the early 1800's. They must have felt like they'd come to the end of the world. I know I feel a fresh appreciation for the monumental size of the Pacific and I have the benefit of a state of the art cruise ship under my feet instead of a 19th century tall ship.

The waterfront is dotted with numerous carvings. They're so primitive, they appear strangely modern. 

And since I started this post talking about dinner companions, I'll end it with a pic of one of the unique entrees I've enjoyed on the cruise. This is Nasi Goreng, an Indonesian dish. It's pork satay, spicy chicken and beef Sumatra on a bed of fried rice. It's garnished with scallions, red onion, cucumbers and a julienne omelet. The thing that looks like a fried pig's ear is actually a prawn cracker. Yum!

If you haven't already, let me invite you to sign up for my author newsletter. Once I get home, my newsletter readers will be receiving a number of recipes I've collected from the Cuisinary Arts Center on board. I'll also be sharing more pictures from our trip once I'm back on our home wifi. 

It takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R for photos to download here on the ship. 

Thanks for coming along with me on the voyage!

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