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The Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, part 42

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The Grand Asia & Australia Voyage - Holland America Amsterdam, September 19-November 23, 2008

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Forty-two

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November 8 (Saturday, Day 53, Noumea, New Caledonia - Continued) -

The snorkeling was so good that it's overflowed into three posts!

Naturally, the photos are after the break . . .

We took the public bus back to the city and walked to the grocery store which was across the street from the ship. We bought post cards and Filbert bought two 6-packs of local beer (Number One and Manta) for about $1 per can.

Snookums was impressed with New Caledonia. It was a small island, but was cleaner and "wealthier" than the Caribbean islands. The bus system was nice and the buses even had working flat screen video screens in them. The grocery store was pretty normal and its prices weren't as high as expected considering everything is shipped in.

We took $50 out of the ATM (in French Pacific francs) and had $5 left at the end of the day and changed that back to US currency at the front desk. We were pretty happy about our New Caledonia money situation. It's always a guess as to how much foreign currency to take from the ATM since you don't want to be stuck with too much at the end of the day since you lose a little bit when changing it back to US currency due to the "handling fee".

We showered and went to lunch around 3 PM. While at lunch Snookums yelled, "It's a bird" and pointed to the water. She saw this large thing skim over the water (and then touch the water like a bird diving for a fish) 4 or 5 times before permanently disappearing into the water. Filbert saw it, too, and realized it was a ray of some kind that had jumped out of the water to either get away from a predator or to shake off fish that ride on its back. It was pretty neat and now we can see how a ray can jump out of the water, land on a little boat and kill someone with its tail!

We had a nice dinner and Alice and Yvan were there for the first time in 4 or 5 days so we all got caught up. Ron gave Alice a free glass of champagne with some strawberry sorbet in it and she loved it. Ron was all set to give Gary, Charlotte and Snookums Diet Cokes but no one wanted them. At the end of dinner we were told that we were going to lose an hour so we all hustled to our cabins to get to sleep.

Next: Headed for Fiji!