Trip Start Apr 07, 2007
Trip End Sep 20, 2007

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pacific Harbour, Deuba, FIJI 16th-22nd June 2007

Hit the road again 1st thing for lunch time flight to Nadi, Fiji with Pacific Air who are good. Movie time 'Catch and Release' (Ok 20-something buddy type thing w. Juliette Lewis). We are staying on the main Island Veti Levu (called Fiji as Capt. Cook misheard it) in a village called Deuba in Pacific Harbour (nearer the Suva side) in what we have discovered is the best hotel in the area 'The Pearl South Pacific' - well we knew it was nice but it was booked ages ago so we forgot - so that was a nice surprise. Only we flew in to Nadi airport which is a 3 hour drive away so we rented a 4 wheel drive yoke and found our way in the dark along the coral coast which I am guessing had amazing scenery but it loed like the west of lreland in the dark. We are 2 hours ahead of Sydney and as far away from Ireland as is possible as we are by the International date line.

So the hotel as I say is lovely on a south pacific beach and the Qaraniqio river overlooking Dakunikoro Mountains and Beqa and Yanuca islands. While walking to breakfast I was looking to see far apart 2 hammocks are and whacked my head smack into a pillar (for the 2nd time in a week - the other being into a tree in PD at the wedding reception while eniberiated) but my knee took the worst of the brunt, d'oh. So had to have day 1 at the pool, it's late 20's in temperature but not splitting the rocks which is good and there was a jazz session on all afternoon, so lunch was nice and relaxed (apart from there beng too many kids around), followed by a cocktails - I had a 'fijitini'. Oh and our mobile phones don't roam here so we are in communicado again.

It's funny by the time we'd got to the 5* hotel in Mumbai I really wanted to dress up and wear high heels but none of the clientele there dressed especially for dinner so I put the desire in me to down to wearing flip flops for 2 months and now, I have left most of my stuff in my sisters place (including a lovely pair of Chloe heels that I had posted to her house for the wedding), this a dress up place and do I have a nice dress or heels with me? No of course not. So far this what I know about Fiji - Bula means Hello (its Namaste in Hindi and Ney ho in Chinese which is also spoken here but English is the 1st language), Queen Eliz II is on their money and the exchange rate is 2 to 1 with the Fiji dollar and the euro.

So the coral coast is as I suspected lovely, we drove down 80 km and back to Sigotoka and the scenery is great, dinner in Sigotoka was less inspiring but then Fiji is not a good place to be a vegetarian at all, so you'll have that. It's a good place to hitch to so we ended up giving two brits a lift who had been travlling around New Zealand for the last 5 months which sounded good. There's are arts village and cultural centre nearby us along the lines of say what Bunratty castle is to Ireland, so tried dinner there another night and same mediocre deal. Vege food in hotel is all Italian and there's only so much of that you can take, it's weird how they have no Indian food. The local's seem lovely, they have a big Indian population too but we have mostly seen Fijians, who keep waving at us and callling Bula, even the cops (really).

Suva is the capital 51km the other direction - gave a local a lift this time and didn't get murdered (I just read 'In Cold Blood')- and it's a nice colonial style city with a lovely ramshackle park called Thurstom Park, so did the walking tour and saw The Pacific Hotel behind which Kingston Smith landed the 1st Hawaii - Fiji flight which took 34 hours and more lovely buildings of note etc. etc. (Also there's big Anz bank there if you are a foreigner - and need to do FX for the next leg of your trip - which is great). So we have mainly been sunning ourselves and chilling and driving around the island looking at scenery rather than doing any of the water activities here which are huge but water activities are just not my thing, I did swim in the lovely clear pacific though and it rocked! But there is plenty more to do on the main island like see Natadola beach, Sigatoka sand dunes and Sleeping mountain. It's got hotter as the week went on and there was even 1 day with no screaming kids at the pool, bliss. We saw there is one lovely hotel in Suva where refreshingly children are not welcome (obviously if I had my own rug rats they would never talk in public much less scream or even be seen for that matter ;) ). Ideally I think we should be island hopping though which we may do in the future as we'll be living nearby. But one of the best things about our hotel is the background music, it's brilliant - tropical funk by the pool, low key techno in the evening and ambient for brekker, so astonishing not to have to listen to muzac.

Movies this week 'Perfect Catch' (based on Hornby book Fever Pitch but Americanised daft and entertaiing) and an old favourite 'Baraka' and The Fantastic Four which is ok but daft. Flight back movie Miss Potter which was surprisingly good.

So nexy up 2 nights in Sydney to go then China for 10 days and then the trans mongolian express (where the blog may need to be postponed for a while as will be on a train til 20th Juky on and off) and also after Syd-Shanghai there'll be no more flying!!!!!!
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