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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: -17.52, -149.56
The Championships started on Monday but not until 3pm. Fletcher and I went for a walk along the waterfront and to the market in the morning. The harbour is interesting with many different boats of all shapes and sizes. It was different to see the roller shutters up and the shops offering their wares. The big focus here is on Tahitian pearls. These are cultivated black pearls, very beautiful but also expensive. The market had a variety of tourist wares, fruits and vegetables as well as fresh fish.
The Athletics has been fun but busy. On Monday I had to take the warm-up for the Pole Vault by myself as the rest of the team were finishing a Long Jump. This involved looking after 7 athletes, finding their foot position, catching poles, all the while trying to juggle their run-ups with a Javelin and a High Jump event happening in the same place at the same time. We survived but only just. Once the event got underway it was easy. I then helped at a Long Jump and Triple jump. The local officials are great but most only speak French. Most of our Australian officials do not speak or
understand French so I am finding my very limited French a great help. At least I can translate the heights and distances. I am dredging the vocabulary up from the depths of memory!!
Today was another busy day. We had spent a quiet morning relaxing in our room. The hotel is in the main city area and has a Service station next door which is constantly busy. The station also has an excellent minimarket from which we (and most of our colleagues) have bought supplies. The last couple of mornings I have gone there and bought yoghurt, orange juice and patisseries for breakfast which have cost only about $2 or 3 and been tastier than the overpriced breakfast in the hotel. We have also maintained a supply of tonic water and local beer. Our hotel room is very comfortable but there are some quirks. At night there is minimal lighting in the corridors and last night 13 officials got stuck in the lift which dropped two floors and it took about half an hour to get them out! As there is only the lifts to the upper floors and the doors are the jaws of death, this is not exactly safe!!
the program started at 2-30pm and I was on the track from then until 7-20pm. I participated in 3 Long Jumps and 2 High Jumps. Fortunately the weather was overcast and quite cool with just a sprinkle of rain. It was fun conversing in my very limited French and helping the athletes do as well as they could. After the competition finished we returned to the hotel. From the bus taking us home we spotted a restaurant just around the corner that has been shut for the last couple of nights so decided to go back there for dinner. We have been quite frugal the last couple of days having dinner at Les Roulottes at the waterfront last night( yes, I spelt them wrongly in the last blog) and having a $2 ham baguette shared between us for lunch for the last 2 days, so we could splash out a bit tonight.
This proved to be an excellent choice. It was French cuisine but not expensive.There was a complimentary mis en bouche of couscous, then we shared an entree of the local fish marinated and done Kokonda style. Then I had brochettes de boeuf while Fletcher had Maigret of canard. We
had a NZ chardonnay and a French red which accompanied the excellent cheese platter for afters. Delicious and filling. I think we shall return.
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