Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Enjoying Christmas Island!

And we have.  Even though we have been "stuck" here because of the Independence week celebrations, it has been a great place to be stuck.
After the parade

Almost daily, we would dinghy into town to explore the villages, shop, and watch the Independence week festivities.  It has been a non-stop party in the village of London for sure.

My favorite part, the parade where all of the the school kids (pre-school through high school), plus the police, marched by the stadium and presented themselves to the town officials. 
Pre-schoolers marching - too funny!

All the schools had their individual uniforms which included shorts, sarongs, dresses, and the traditional dress of the Gilbertese people made of woven palms. 

You had to laugh at all the pre-school classes - it was like watching the teachers herd cats - colorful and adorable!

Hitching a ride
Hitchhiking is a great way to explore the island - you just stick out your thumb and cars stop.  We have got to know so much more about the island people as they drive us around, plus they are very curious about the boat people.  Are you from the yachts?  Ha!

We hitchhiked out to the village of Banana to check out the JMB (big box store) store, plus see the Captain Cook hotel.  Unfortunately, not much at the store that we needed and Captain Cook's bar was closed - rats!  But, it was a good adventure.

Sam, the Policeman, showing us his home
Sam, the Policeman, continues to be very helpful.  He even took us out to see his home and meet his extended family.  They live in traditional Kia Kia's, plus have a concrete block house.

Cooking is done outside over open fire grills under a thatched roof.  The whole family has to contribute or Sam says they have to move out.  Seems fair.

Sam's Kia Kia

Sam wanted us to sample some fresh coconut milk, so sent his brother-in-law climbing up the tree.  It was yummy, but would have been better with rum - hah.  Sam also wanted us to experience the Kia Kia - where they sleep and relax.  Very comfortable and a wonderful breeze off the ocean, but I would have missed my pillow!

Evergreen hanging at the internet cafe
Now, everyone is back at work and all of the government businesses are open.

We got fuel delivered Monday, which took most of the day.  Yesterday, we checked out of Christmas Island. $50 for anchorage fee and $50 for rat inspection (which never happened).  Very interesting.

Drinking a Budweiser?
Plus, we need to do a little more shopping.  Punja is the best store on the island, but it is a long dinghy ride away.  But, we scored 2 cases of Heinken (at $62 AU dollars - ouch), plus they gave us ride back to our dinghy.  Very nice people.

Can't find vegetables on the island, but we bought some fruit.  Oranges and pears - $2 each.  They better be good!  The locals wouldn't sell us any papayas, but they gave them to us for free.  We like that.  Helps make up for the 90 cents eggs!

Jim and Jill (s/v HooRoo)
We are going to miss our new friends - Jim and Jill on s/v HooRoo. They are heading north to Canada and left yesterday.  Thanks for sharing your internet and your fish balls recipe!

We are sailing south today.  Our destination - the Cook Islands.  We hope to make a quick stop at Manihiki - a 6 day trip.  Then on to Suwarrow.  We are hoping for a great sailing experience - cross your fingers!

And more pictures....
Moondance, HooRoo, and Evergreen

Beach by the Captain Cook Hotel

Christmas Island

Getting coconuts

Waiting for a ride

Beached at the Ikari House


The parade on Independence Day


Too cute

Catching up on the internet

Kangaroo crossing - too funny

Transporting a Kia Kia

Championship soccer match

Doug shopping at the mall!

Wrestling match - tough guys!

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