After three cool and cloudy days in LA it was good to be in the sun again, I think I am becoming addicted to sunshine.
The flight was absolutely fine, I was pretty exhausted by the time we took off having had little sleep the night before and it being 11:30 pm. But I stayed awake for dinner and watched one movie, then made the effort to sleep which I was able to do off and on during the flight. Breakfast was served about four am Fiji time, and I had a lovely chat with the man sitting next to me. He was 89 and lived in Seattle, he still travels a lot and was on a tour with a four day stay in Auckland followed by a four day stay in Fiji. There is hope for me yet... it is just great to see people still being adventurous at that age.
Musicians welcomed us at the airport. The airport was exceptionally clean and bright, pretty new I believe and everyone was really helpful. My taxi was not there, information chased it and then another driver said he was passing my hotel anyway and he had room so he took me. Arriving at the hotel I was greeted by Paula, Paul in English. He started calling me Liz straight away and that became Queen Liz later on in the day. He had been proudly showing me our Queen on Fiji coins. I had put a change of clothes in my carry on luggage because I knew an early arrival would mean my room wasn’t ready. So here I am sitting by the pool having coffee which cost 70p. Looking at the sea, a little tired but generally very ok.
Eventually I moved to the beach and even ventured into the sea which was beautifully warm. Paula came to find me as my room was now ready and took me upstairs to my ocean view room, which was just as I had expected. I settled in and then made my way downstairs for some lunch and a couple of beers. The hotel had a mixture of young backpackers and more mature clients both couples and singles. The staff were extremely friendly and it was all in all a very relaxing place to be. I spent the day on the beach and then showered and went down to dinner. I was early to bed and think I was asleep by nine. I woke a couple of times and then I was was wide awake at four.
By five thirty I was up and ready for a walk on the beach. It looked as though it stretched for miles, so I was hoping to get my daily exercise in that way. There was a group of young men running together on the beach they overtook me and soon disappeared into the distance. I had walked about half a kilometre when I can came to a water way which was emptying into the sea. The sand was quite dark in colour, volcanic, and the water murky so I couldn’t gauge the depth and where was best place to try and cross. I was wearing long leggings and didn’t want to get them all wet because I am a sissy like that. I could see the runners were on their way back so I thought I will just wait and see where they cross. Ha ha. They all jumped! So I walked back and continued in the opposite direction. I eventually came to a little pier with a private property sign on it. So turned again. So my daily walk became walking this three times which was 4.3 kilometres, mainly on the waters edge so dipping into the warm sea from time to time.
Breakfast when I got in and then onto the beach. I thought I would try a hammock for the morning, just blissful. Gently swaying in the breeze. Reading a little and just being. A very restful day. I joined a young woman who was travelling and an older Scottish woman, who lives in Auckland for dinner as there was a dancing display on that evening outside. I hadn’t booked a table. I hadn’t even occurred to me that I needed to. The Waiter suggested I joined the two ladies at this table. The dancing display was fun and their finale being fire dancing. The three of us had a pleasant evening and got to know a little about each other.
I had by now decided that I wasn’t going to rush around on the island, it was so idyllic where I was I enjoying my morning walks and although I had been away for seven weeks by now I think I had only had two beach days so I was just going to enjoy this as it was. People were dashing off to other islands and or going into Nadi shopping. It was very much a short stay place with people arriving and departing all the time.
Day three and the morning was beautiful, but then the rain started it was really heavy, we were still sitting outside under cover of course, chatting and having lunch. There were five of us ladies by now three from the U.K. one from NZ and one from USA and four of us were all travelling for quite a significant time. More entertainment in the evening, but the rain was still heavy and so it had to be brought inside. It was described as an evening of folk music. Therewere three musicians playing guitars and singing. It was ok but they were not always in tune, and that applied to instruments and voice, which was quite amusing. We were invited to try the Kava which is a local brew, and there is a ceremony which goes around the drinking of it. Yuk is all I can say. It was like drinking mud and it made your tongue numb, but didn’t do much else for me. The entertainment was really background so I felt a little sorry for them as they didn’t get much applause. But they didn’t really earn it. Practice was definitely what they needed speaking as the mother of two musicians
The last day came and the rain was set in for the day, so a group of us sat undercover outside right by the beach and swapped life stories and experiences, drinking beer and just had such a wonderful day. I made a new friend who is going on to Melbourne so I will be meeting up with her when I am there. One of the interesting topics was the menopause, we all agreed it made us a little mad, when I look back on that time I don’t know how I survived in tact at all!
The little pier which I described at the end of my walk on the beach was used as an airport for a tiny little sea plane I had seen flying in and out of the bay. I had managed to get a half decent photograph of it on one of my walks. On this last day myself and Gilda were both desparately trying to get a photograph of it in flight because it passed us a couple of times. We must have looked completely mad running out to the beach everytime we thought we heard it’s engines. Anyway I managed a series of him going past but please excuse the foreground picture of the rubbish bin.
The other fun was with the minor birds who were so noisy and cheeky trying to pick up any food they could. The often few straight into the dining room as it was wide open and once day there were three of them fighting over the food left on a plate which had not yet been removed. One of them was quite vicious to what was obviously a younger and smaller bird. He had to wait he turn in the pecking order.
Then it was over, of course four days is nothing, but I throughly enjoyed myself and am feeling very relaxed and really looking forward to the next stop.