Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In New Zealand - Safe and Sound

The New Zealand adventure begins.  More later.  Just letting you know we have arrived safely.

All is well with the 2 Sail R's

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Fiji

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone From Fiji!

We are a day ahead here in Fiji, but we will be eating turkey too with cruising friends at the marina restaurant.   Our boat is in the trench and 99% ready for us to leave on Sunday for New Zealand.  For those of you curious about the trench, here are some photos:

Keel being nested in the ground, supported by tires.

For all the photos, go to our Vuda Trench Album on Picasa.

We have so much for which to be thankful.  Our first year of cruising has been an adventure which has been filled with new experiences, wonderful people, beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife, and some terrifying moments which we came through safe and sound.  Both Garyn and Abby have married and we now have two additional family members Jessica and Neal.  All seems to be well on the home front.  We miss you all, but will be thinking of you today and tomorrow.

We  just returned from a five day road trip around Viti Levu.  We trudged up sand dunes,

hiked through Mahogony Forests,

visited an ecopark where we made new friends,

 trudged up the hill to Tavuni Fort, cannibal stronghold, and were thankful to be here now not 100 years ago when indigenous people were not eating turkey for their feast,
Killing StonesUgh!
 found three geocaches and three travel bugs off the beaten track,

Russ finds the cache

Lagoon View
 rubbed elbows with locals in bustling downtown Suva in the local markets,

 caught a show at the local theater ...Going the Distance with Drew Barrymore...hilarious romantic comedy, shopping in beautiful new malls

four wheeled on the King's Highway, (Fiji is a part of the British Commonwealth, but is currently suspended because of it martial law)

Questionable Bridge. We waited to see if some other car made it across before our attempt.

Traditional Bure
going through many local villages,

observing sugar cane production, and finally returning to Vuda Point Marina.

We'll catch up with everyone again once we start touring in New Zealand.

All is Well on Worrall Wind and with 2 Sail R's, soon to be the 2 Land Travel R's

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Exploring Fiji - Happy Diwali

Fiji - A salad bowl of cultures - Happy Diwali!

While we are prepping the boat for the hurricane hole
Mr. Pineapple helping us bag the sails
we are enjoying the surrounding villages,

School girls - Shoulders and Knees covered
amenities of First Landing Resort,
Our local swimming hole

 and exploration of the culture here in Fiji.

Fijian Dance

Indian Spices and Lentils
Alternative to Holy Cows?
Fiji, population of 860,000,  is probably the most interesting of all places we have visited so far and primarily because of its unique mix of cultures and races.  It's not exactly a melting pot, but more of a blended salad bowl of cultures.  Each culture maintains a very distinct identity, yet there is also some blending, mostly around holidays and in neighborhoods.  Political blending is still an issue, hence the coup a couple of years ago when the Indo-Fijians won the elections, and the Indigenous-Fijians who dominate the military didn't like the results.  Currently the democracy has been suspended and is under martial law until 2014.

There are the Indigenous Fijians (predominantly of Melanisan origin), Indo-Fijians (primarily from India, originally brought to Fiji as indentured servants during British rule), Chinese-Fijians, and Other-Fijians (European, NZ, Australia).

Religion plays a dominant role in the lives of the Fijians, and the people are very conservative in their dress.  Knees and shoulders are almost always covered.  For a warm climate, this can be pretty uncomfortable.  At least it is for us Americans who are comfortable in tank tops and shorts, and for sailors who are naked or almost naked in their swim suits most of the time.

The majority of the people on Fiji (52%) are Christian with the largest denomination Methodists capturing 38% of the Christians.  Hinduism accounts for 38%,

Colorful Hindu Temple in Nadi - Cannot enter if you have beef in your belly
 and Islam is 8%. 

Islamic prayer rugs with compass for pointing east
By my calculations, that leaves about 2% as undeclared or non-religious.

The Indo-Fijians just celebrated Diwali, (a celebration of light during the darkest days of winter - a northern hemisphere celebration that doesn't really apply in the Southern hemisphere, but what the heck).  It's a complex story of finding lost love and marks the beginning of the Hindu new year.  Every Fijian enjoys Diwali not just the Hindus.  The Indo-Fijians wear beautiful saris and robes all week long, the stores are bustling selling fireworks, strings of colorful lights and pottery candles with an off-centered wick.  Families busy themselves making sweets to share on Diwali evening with visitors.

We arranged with our marina taxi driver Muhammed, a Muslim, to drive us around on the Friday evening of Diwali to see all of the lights and fireworks.  Unbeknownst to us (Russ and me, Susie and David on Sidewinder), Muhammed made arrangements with some of his Hindu friends, the Prasad family, to go to their home, meet them and celebrate Diwali with them.  Muhammed picked us up at 7:30 p.m. just at dusk and we drove towards the city of Nadi.

Before reaching Nadi, Muhammed took us on a dirt road that looked as if it should have only been attempted with a four wheel drive.  We drove about 1/2 a mile up and down a few hills and arrived at a modest little house on a hillside.  The family met us at the door introducing themselves and shaking our hands.  The family consisted of parents (most likely in their fifties) a son and his wife and two small children under three, and a teenage daughter just finishing high school.  We also met a grandfather who didn't speak much English.

We were invited to sit down in their living room where they had constructed a Diwali shrine

to celebrate the holiday, and we were served "sweets" and a hot sweet milk.

We visited and learned that the daughter was starting Form 7, which corresponds with second semester senior year in America.

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She hoped to go New Zealand and study culinary art when she was finished.  The Saturday following the Diwali celebration, the family prays to the cows which are considered holy and the "mothers" as they produce milk.
Lucky Holy Cows

During our visit, we also learned that this particular family also likes to celebrate Christmas because it's fun.  They don't have Santa, but they do cut down and decorate a pine tree and exchange gifts.

While we were visiting on the inside,

 the older father, grandfather, and Muhammed were on the front porch sitting cross-legged, drinking kava (Fijian social ritual).  Russ and I had yet to try Kava and were invited to do so.  I think one must acquire a taste for it because it's very earthy tasting (dirty water).

Roz's First and Last Kava
Russ and Muhammed
Kava root is a gift visitors bring to the chief of a village for acceptance and protection in the village while staying.  The chief invites the visitor to partake in a Kava ceremony if accepted.  In days of old, the women would chew the root and pulverize it with their saliva then spit it into a bowl and it was mixed with water.  The liquid has some topical anesthetic properties (numbs the lips and mouth) and if enough is consumed as some depressing/lethargy characteristics.  It's not an alcohol, but more like a mild drug.  Today, those who wish to partake in Kava usually buy a powder or grind up the root with something other than their women's jaws.

We said our goodbyes and thank yous.  It was a wonderful experience.  We were so appreciative of Muhammed's thoughtfulness in arranging this visit.  Afterwards, he took us into Nadi to see the city lights and that of the Hindu temple.

As a thank you to Muhammed and our Hindu hosts, we printed off a set of photographs and sent some toys for the children. 
Prasad Family celebrating Diwali
 Upon reflection, we realized what a remarkable cultural experience we as Americans had had to be taken to a Hindu Home by a Muslim to share Diwali, and to participate in the Fijian ritual of drinking Kava.  

Our taxi cab driver has invited us to his home next week to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrafice.   I think Muhammed's family plans to sacrafice a bull.  Quite a contrast to the saving and praying to the holy cow.  Yes,  Fiji is an interesting mix of cultures.