Monday morning about 7:45, after telling Jan and the girls’ good-bye (Benjamin had told us good-bye the evening before) we left CLTC with Patrick and a security guard. Due to rain the night before the road was a bit slippery where they are doing construction but we managed to slip and slide up the hill and on to Mt Hagen’s airport.
We checked our bags with AirNiugini and waited with Patrick until we knew about the time the flight was due in. Patrick told us good-bye with the promise that after he shopped in Mt Hagen he would come back by the airport and make sure we had gotten out. (Often flights are cancelled.)
We had a nice flight to Port Moresby (jet) and after making our way to the international terminal we were so early we had about a 3 hour wait before we could check our bags with Airlines PNG. This gave us time to eat our sandwiches we had packed and for Mary to check out the gift shops. Of course we made some last minute purchases before leaving PNG!!
Our flight to Cairns was uneventful and after getting in we were the last ones to go through customs….they checked us out carefully but did not confiscate anything! We picked up our rental car and made our way to Tree Top Lodge where the office was closed but a sign outside had our name and room number on it! We made our way into Cairns for some fish and chips before retiring for the night.
This morning we drove to town for breakfast before boarding a cruise boat to spend the day at the Great Barrier Reef. We both signed up for instruction in snorkeling (I know that might strike some of you as silly!) as we had not such a great experience in Hawaii a few years ago. This time with the help of Eric, our Aussie instructor, we had a wonderful experience! The coral was beautiful and the fish remarkable….color of the water was quite spectacular as well!!!
Throughout the day we talked with quite a few people, a lot from the states who were just beginning a 27 day tour of Australia and New Zealand. They were really enjoying themselves! I’m happy to report that we slathered the sunscreen and did NOT get burned to a crisp!
Tomorrow we fly to Auckland for one night, then Thursday morning on to Christchurch. We are excited about seeing New Zealand!!
We will include a couple of pictures from today!
Much love to all,
Mary and Jim