Monday, 14 October 2013

Dawn Princess – Venice to Sydney August 2013 – Post 14 (final)

Port Klang, Malaysia 30/9
Flags at the cruise terminal look like they're sagging in the heat.
Tugs leaving the ship after departure.

Port Klang has become one of the busiest container ports in the world.
Sydney 11/10

 After a call at Darwin on 5/10, this wonderful voyage ended at White Bay Cruise Terminal, Sydney on 11/10.

Last breakfast on the voyage.

Some friends aboard the ship.

Head waiter Nathan.
My waiters Caroline and Richard.

Caroline and I Ketut.
Barman and lounge waiter Sachin and Soccoro.
Bar waiter Sassy.
Keith and Geoff.
Leslie, Stefanie and Jules 

Mick and Graeme.
Phil and Jules.
Richard and Wendy.

Sheree in a thoughtful moment.

Deep philosophical discussions with Arnold, Mick and Graeme.

Dawn Princess – Venice to Sydney August 2013 – Post 13

Colombo 26/9

Another interesting port, Colombo looked quite beautiful in parts and I would enjoy more time here. I had a buffet lunch ashore at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel with shipboard friends, Stephanie and Graeme. It was a magnificent buffet with many beautiful Sri Lankan curry dishes as well as Thai dishes, a carvery, desserts (including a crepe station) and cheeses. The price – only AUD$18 per head. Even the imported wines were reasonably priced (by Australian pricing) for a five star hotel.
Before lunch we crammed into a tuk-tuk to take us to a shopping centre but the driver ran out of petrol on the way there and had to lead us on foot for the last several hundred metres. After he returned to the shopping centre to pick us up, he either ran out of petrol again or his machine was suffering from vapour-locks. Either way, we again had to walk the last part to our destination. We paid him the agreed amount anyway – he wasn’t having a good day.

The Colombo pilot launch approaching at sunrise.
The pilot boarding.
The harbour entrance.
Backing up to the berth.
Other shipping in Colombo harbour.

On the road in the tuk-tuk.
Tipping it up to drain the last drops of petrol into the engine.

Shipmates Stephanie and Graeme at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. We previously sailed together on an Asian cruise aboard Sun Princess in 2011.

The mutton curry, especially, was delicious.
Not how I’d choose to go to sea. Imagine being aboard this in very heavy weather!

Dawn Princess – Venice to Sydney August 2013 – Post 12

Mumbai 23/9

This was an interesting stop, though four hours ashore was enough for me. Having not been to India since 1985 (Calcutta aboard mv Baron Murray) I had almost forgotten just how grimy Indian cities are. Of course, the appalling poverty is unforgettable. I hired a taxi to drive me around and wait for me while I had an excellent lunch at Khyber, an upmarket Indian restaurant recommended to me by one of the Indian stewards on the ship. The restaurant was moderately expensive by Australian prices and therefore outrageously expensive by Indian prices but I’d rather pay over the odds in the hope of reducing my chances of getting a dose of “Delhi belly” – fortunately I didn’t.

Berthing at Mumbai.
The infrastructure here, while presumably functioning, seems so shabby.
A car carrier berthing behind us.
This aircraft carrier, the same design as the old HMAS Melbourne, is now a museum ship.
The incredibly chaotic Mumbai traffic.

An ambitiously named clothing shop.
A local resident.

A Mumbai ambulance.

One of the old colonial buildings still standing here.
The Taj Mahal Palace hotel.
The Gateway to India monument.
Lunch at the Khyber restaurant.

Dawn Princess – Venice to Sydney August 2013 – Post 11

Aqaba, Jordan 15/9

I went ashore here with Geoff and Keith, friends from a previous cruise. Geoff, who was an Australian diplomat for over 30 years, has vast experience of the Middle East, South East Asia and USA and was on board giving a series of lectures on regional and world affairs. There wasn’t a lot to see here but we hired a taxi to take us to a shopping centre and then to a couple of very good hotels where we had drinks and an excellent Arabic lunch.

The after tug, from my balcony.
View across Aqaba. In the distant far left is Elat, Israel.

Two friendly, English speaking locals.
Geoff and Keith.
Driving through one of the less salubrious parts of town.
Outside the shopping centre.
At the nut and spices shop. We bought some
 beautiful, fresh nuts.


Drinks in the lounge of the Kempinski Hotel.


Lunch at the Intercontinental Hotel.    

   43 deg C in the shade!           
Who would have thought a colour scheme of ochre, gun-metal blue, green and grey would look ghastly!
Sunset over the desert.

Early evening departure.

Salalah, Oman 20/9

I have no idea why the ship called here. It’s a strict Muslim country – no alcohol, being a Friday everything was shut and, despite the heat, it was even frowned upon to wear shorts ashore!
I stayed on-board and had a very relaxing day by the pool and bar.

Early morning arrival.
Arab dhows alongside.
This appears to be a large transhipment port for containers bound for the Persian Gulf and India.

Evening departure.