No pictures on this posting because...
For comparison purposes, we took 225 pictures in Sidney, mostly of the opera house. In Rabaul, Arleen took over 100 pictures before she went to breakfast. She got up at 6am (unbelievable!) took her pictures, downloaded them to the computer (in order to have room for the rest of the day's pictures) and only then went to breakfast with her camera.
Why you ask....Rabaul has a volcano. An active volcano. A very active volcano. It never stopped smoking and spewing rocks and ash and vapor and......thousands of feet into the air.
Arleen is a volcano nut and in all of our travels and her travels had never seen a volcano do its thing. That void in her life came to an end today. We went on an excursion that had other stops, but the only one that mattered was the old airport of Rabaul. It is now under 4-5 feet of ash of different sizes and colors. In 1994, Tuvurvur erupted along with Vulcan. Both volcanos destroyed the city of Rabaul. Since then Rabaul has been partially rebuilt, but the capital was moved to Kokopo, on the other side of the Vulcan volcano. From the airport you could hear the booming of the eruptions, see the boulders being tossed around like paper, hear them hit the ground like gun fire. If Arleen had her way, she would have spent the entire day there. (and she wished she had) After returning to the ship, she sat with her binoculars and camera until it was dark, some 250 pictures later.
Along with this, we had fun with the local kids who all wanted their pictures taken, just so they could look at them. Everyone is very friendly, waving at us everywhere we went,.
The only thing that could have made the day better would be if we saw some dolphins, since wildlife has been pretty scarce so far. Well, as the full moon rose in the east, the dolphins leaped out of the sea right beside the ship.
A very magical day.
And as you have probably seen already, we have put the pictures in separately.