23rd November - 14th December 2019

Reunion was our next port of call. What a lovely place, balmy weather. Very small town, cheap food and drink and very friendly people. Sadly it was one of the ports we saw a body removed from the ship. Our cabin is above the refrigerated area and as we are never first off we saw the ambulance arrive. It seems on a cruise like this they lose on average one person a week!! I guess it is a nice way to go. They crew are well organised and have specially trained people to sit with the family and see that they get whatever they need etc.

Mauritius another lovely Island. We took a bus to the harbour side and walked around town. It was quite expensive and a bit touristy I guess we were in the wrong part of town. 

Between Mauritius and Freemantle our longest leg. Ross and I purchased the drinks package for this leg, so were pleasantly pie eyed most days. Champagne for breakfast and cocktails for the rest of the day. Wine with lunch and dinner a predinner drink with Lois and Bill Gaylor, wine with dinner and then an after dinner whiskey  nice relaxed day. Some onboard happenings, a fashion show, Lois took part.

We did have Reza Muhammad on board from Mauritius to Freemantle and we saw all his lectures and cooking demonstration. He is hilarious without meaning to be, forgetting to watch the time, forgetting to turn his slideshow forward and best of all going well over time. In his cooking demonstration for Pickled chicken he forgot the pickles!! They were made and added after the facts which made no difference at all.

He told us about his fathers restaurant The Star of India the first in London and how everyone use to come there, the Beetles, Frank Sinatra etc. He kept forgetting he had a slide show as he danced around the stage. Then we had to watch all the slides fast to catch up. 

He is a very nice man and I have spoken to him a couple of times around the ship.

There was lots of eating to be done. The girls and I went to afternoon tea. I was very good, as afternoon tea was every day but I only went the once.

Some friends we made. Ray and Glenn from West Australia, who were great fun. Silvio was from the ship but came on the safari with us and became a friend

At Freemantle we said good bye to half our table as some lived in WA and some were flying home to England to be with family for Christmas. The ship was changing and we were nearing home. In fact we landed on Australian soil and met up with some friends from Melbourne who were in WA for an athletics meet.

We did have a wander around Fremantle and Perth reacquainting ourselves as we lived in Perth for a couple of years in the 80's

It is strange to be back in Australia. We are using our phones and contacting family. Everything is exciting because we are home. The ship is bedecked with Christmas decorations and looks very festive. Our new table mates are just on until Melbourne so are dashing around to all the shows. We on the other hand are taking our time, as we think about packing and the end of our trip.

At Albany we meet up for lunch with our great friends from Perth who have left the city for farm life when they retired. They live on the road between Albany and Esperance slightly closer to Albany. After a super pub lunch, which we have missed we visit the War museum. The Australian troops left from Albany to fight in the 2nd War. The museum is brilliant. Each person is given a soldier to follow through the museum, The different areas are activated by the soldiers card and we follow our soldiers through out the war. Some sadly die but others live though to old age

From Albany it was overnight to Esperance with its white sand beaches and perfect weather. I posted my Christmas cards and went to a quilt exhibition. I had a great time chatting to the quilters one of whom lives in Esperance for 6 months and then for 6 months works on a 1.4 million acre farm. It is 40 kms to the gate, meeting the Postman is a 6 beer job 2 for the way there, 3 for the postie and 2 for the way back. The post delivers all the fruit and vegetables that are needed.

We did not dock at Esperance but took a tender to the shore, a different experience.

Last stop Adelaide the city of churches. We did not see many we had a bit of a walk around RundleMall and then met an old friend for a very boozy lunch and a great chat.

Final Packing for this trip. Off we get at Melbourne. Very sad to be leaving the ship we had such a good time met some lovely people, saw amazing things and learnt a bit.

When we arrived in Melbourne it was with tears in our eyes to meet the whole family who had all come to welcome us home. Just as well as we had 5 suitcases 2 boxes and 4 shopping bags to carry all our stuff, each family member found themselves carrying something. we all went to Ross's cousins Howard and Judy who live across from the terminal where we ate a fabulous morning tea.

We are Home our adventure is finished. I am sad but will be glad to stay in one place for a while ..... I did not know COVID was coming!!!

This is all my own work, any mistakes are mine please let me know if you think I should change anything or if I have added a photo of you that you would like removed. My apologise if I offend anyone. Please send me a message using the box above and I will action immediately.

Writer: Clare - Retired Traveler

Editor : Ross Lyon

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