Barking Pigeons

Trip Start Nov 02, 2003
Trip End Mar 01, 2005

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Flag of Fiji  ,
Saturday, November 8, 2003

After a couple of days on the coral coast trying to get over the jetlag, we've now headed over to Suva, the capital of the island. We stayed in a place called the Beachouse where we had a little hut in a tropical garden just a hundred yards from the beach (and slightly further from the toilet). The beach was gorgeous, with waves crashing into a coral reef a little way off shore and coconut palms hanging over the white coral sand.

We should be in bed at this time.

This is what jet-lag does to you

Sadly though it decided to be cloudy and rainy most of the time we were there - so we're not quite the bronzed travellers we should be yet.

Yesterday we got the bus over to Suva, about a 3 hour ride which we ended up sharing with hoards of very wet and bedraggled looking schoolchildren. Some of the scenery was beautiful though, with lush junglee vegetation on one side and coral beaches on the other. The population here is an interesting mix of indigenous Fijians and Indian immigrants who came over in the 19th century to work on the sugar plantations. This makes for very interesting food options - we munched on vegetable bahjis and curry rotis for lunch yesterday, then had mutton sausages and grilled fish for tea. The national dish however appears to be fish and chips!

Yumm, cold fish and chips

We're now staying in a place called the raintree lodge which is about a 30 minute bus drive out of Suva in the jungle. It has really lived up to the first bit of its name so far, but is still a really nice setting, with lots of tropical flowers, a couple of lakes covered in lily pads and a great variety of birds. We've not seen any of the parrots yet, but wre woken up by barking pigeons this morning. They are pigeons. They also bark like a dog. Apparently this is not considered odd.

The market here also echoes the great mix of cultures. There are stalls selling Yaqona root (aka Cava or Grog, the ubiquitous medicinal tasting drink they claim to enjoy) and sweets made with Cassava wrapped in banana skins alongside stalls selling indian spices. There are fish and chips fast food stalls alongside those selling Rotis and Bhajis, bombay mix and lurid coloured sweets.

There's also a great range of exotic food to be had, and crazy looking seafood from huge Octopus to bundles of still writhing crabs. Last but not least, there's the fantastic exotic flowers, just like the ones growing by our room in the Raintree!

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