southwest pacific

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Southwest Pacific: The Lonely Sea and the Sky

Southwest Pacific: The Lonely Sea and the Sky

The day before our Pacific cruise a brief news item caught my attention: a volcano in Vanuatu was spewing ash and thousands of villagers were being evacuated amidst fears of a major explosion. Maybe our restful cruise to Vanuatu would be more dramatic than anticipated? The following day as we cast off from Auckland few other passengers...

Samoa: A stranger in paradise (2001)

Samoa: A stranger in paradise (2001)

As a tourist carrying stress into Samoa you notice things by their absence. Ordinary, boring stuff like clocks and timetables, cellphones and power-dressers in black, graffiti and rubbish, and haste and urgency. And surprisingly, New Zealand accents. In 2000 fewer than 7000 New Zealand tourists flew the 3 1/2 hours to Apia, Samoa's...

Suva, Fiji: Resolving contradictions?

Suva, Fiji: Resolving contradictions?

Give them credit, they were persistent. When the Reverend Thomas Baker, a Methodist minister, unintentionally insulted a chief on the Fijian island of Viti Levu in 1867, he and six of his Fijian followers were hacked to death and eaten. Baker has the dubious honour of being the only European Methodist to be dispatched in such a...

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