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  • Day5

    Landfall and an Itinerary Change

    January 31, 2020 in New Caledonia ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    It was an eventful day that started at breakfast with a significant announcement - Our itinerary had changed.

    Our upcoming stops at Mare and Lifou were cancelled due to health precautions..

    A day or two ago, there was an announcement for anyone showing flu like or "coronavirus like" symptoms, especially anyone who had recently visited mainland China to report immediately to the medical centre..

    This leads to only one conclusion. Someone has contracted coronavirus, and began their transformation into a vicious, flesh craving zombie, and is currently held securely in a holding cell, deep in the bowels of the ship in top secret.

    Lifou and Mare aren't comfortable with this, so we're denied access to these places. Disappointing, given these were the two NEW ports for Nat and I, not yet visited. On the flip side, in lieu, we'll head to two other ports; tomorrow to Port Vila, and Sunday to Mystery Island, both in Vanuatu. So at least that's a second country for Ryland and one new Port for Nat and I.

    Ryland loved his visit to trip to Isle of Pines (starting 9am by tender). He was incredibly well behaved really. It was a difficult task though... We had to bring two backpacks, towels, snorkels and fins, a pram and have two hands on a wriggly youngster.
    Straight off the bat, he was more than happy to dish out high fives to the locals, putting on a traditional/tribal dance display.

    It was a hike to our swimming beach.. The pram struggled with sand and routes underfoot. We were initially greeted with a gentle rain, which cleared soon into a mostly sunny, warm day. We set up on the beach under the shade of a palm.

    Ryland LOVED the beach, he was all smiles and making a constant dash for the waves. He's a very hardly, open, resilient little fellow that takes well to new things. He spent a lot of time happy in his pram on the beach watching the world go by. Today wasn't easy though juggling everything. Junior actually got very cold very quickly in the water so we couldn't swim together. We took it in turns snorkeling but didn't see much.. I was especially frustrated by my snorkel leaking terribly despite trying to adjust it.

    Travelling with a young one, it's doable but not all round desirable. It's hard work, but rewarding. It's limiting but you do get those diamond in the rough moments that are so precious and probably better than moments you'd have as a couple. The look on his face on the beach today was priceless.

    There was a huge queue to catch the tenders/ lifeboats back to the ship around 2.30. By the time we boarded Ryland was absolutely cactus.. a minute after setting off, he'd fallen asleep in my arms, limp as a dead carrot.

    By the time we were back on board, an overdue lunch gave junior a second wind to take him through to a dinner and sleep time around 6pm. We counted the cost of some rookie sunscreen errors.. Nat forgot her back (or to ask me to do it) and I forgot my shoulders.. both scorched. Ryland was just a little sun-kissed about the face and belly.

    We decided to lock in a spontaneous semi-sub ride and snorkel for tomorrow's new destination in Port Vila ($69.95pp/ u3 free). Dinner was a breeze tonight with Ryland passed out in the cot by 6. Looking forward to something new tomorrow!

    ** In absence of a video on Isle of Pines I've attached one from Mystery Island with very culturally similar content.
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