Trip Start Nov 13, 2007
102Trip End Oct 08, 2008
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Where I stayed
as the name of this entry suggests, believe it or not folks (how Dell does that sound?!) this is my 300th day away from home. this time 300 days ago i was sitting in the airport lounge wondering what intrepid adventures lay ahead of me. this time 200 days ago i was living the dream in kathmandu for a month and this time 100 days ago im still trying to remember what i was doing or where i was, though i think it was either in nepal or india on the second drago trip. the flipside of it being day 300 means that in no time at all im going to be coming home (roughly a months time if you can believe it - which is sooner than id hoped but a cruel necessity oweing to my ex-tenants decision to bail early on their year-long lease agreement)... so i hope everyones in a meeting up and belated-birthday celebrations frame of mind. its funny cos whilst ive had the most incredible intrepid adventures these last 300 days, theres still also some of me that immensely looking forward to coming home and seeing everyone again. though please noone mention the J word.....
ANYWAY life here in fiji is good. very chilled out and very relaxed and very quiet. and really nice after being on the road for such a time in NZ. have to say its at times almost too chilled and i do miss the company id inadvertently gotten used to staying in hostels - just random meetings and conversations and friendships. im the only person currently staying in tovutovu so its exceptionally quiet and any entertainment is purely of your own doing.
i left auckland on the monday after 5 glorious nights in paula and brian's house where i spent most of my time doing pretty much nothing which was GLORIOUS. dominoes pizza, age of empires 3, DVDs and washing machines. seems like a thing of the past!! the flight to fiji was incredibly short - only about 2hrs 30mins which was great and relatively turbulent-free. i stayed the night in raffles gateway which is just across the road from nadi airport and was really nice. they had some sort of weird pirate DVD in-house movie thing going on so i got to watch indiana jones 4 (utter rubbish, though i do have to admit that despite his age harrison ford still commands the old trilby hat and whip fairly well!!) and (finally i summoned the courage to watch) apocalypto. which in hindsight i wish id watched sooner after travelling to central america - it was awesome.
next day i caught my "flight" to taveuni. a journey which can only be described as the closest ive ever come to breaking down big-stylee in an airoplane. check was "about 1pm" and having weighed in my checked baggage i was then instructed to please stand on the weighing scales myself holding all carry-on luggage. my initiail laughter at what i assumed to be a joke soon turned to horror as i realised it was infact a reality and i hauled ass up onto the bag weighing machine (all excess weight was of course attributed to my exceptionally heavy hand-baggage!!). the subsequent flight can only be described as a Flight of Hell. the plane (for any plane nerds out there) was a DHC-6 Twin Otter = 18 seats = Indiana Jones style VERY VERY SMALL PLANE. and its VERY windy in these parts. and the flight was 1hr 30 mins long. i swear ive never been swayed or moved or shunted or TERRIFIED as much as i was in this paper aircraft which gaps where the stairs pulled up and no cockpit door. it was 90 minutes of sweat-drenched terror that only subsided when we shuddered to a stop on the runway here in tavueni. AND ive since discovered that the return journey by boat takes like a day and a half and is twice as expensive as flying so i have to make this same death-defying journey back to nadi again on saturday. ARGH!
anyways. things here on taveuni are as they were in caye caulker in belize = Go Slow. i have a lovely beach bure right next to the sea with a double bed, fan, 24 hour electricity (a luxury) and hot water (another luxury) as well as a little kitchenette so i can make my own breakfast and cups of tea. plus by calling ahead i negotiated a rate of $75 Fj a night (about E32) instead of the usual $105 which was good. theres a little restaurant here which seems to be the main social hang-out for all the extended family of alan the owner - every night the boys gather and drink kava and play pool. i indulged the first night (made my tongue go weird and furry) but most nights i just head to bed around half 9 and leave the Men be. :-)
ive been out diving twice which was been spectacular - amazing vis, so much sealife (sharks included), littel current (ive timed my visit well with the cycle of the moon!). yesterday kong (the divemaster) inbetween dives took me to see his village in qamea and to visit his mum carlo which was awesome, though id no camera so only memories to remember this trip. but it was very cool and reminded me of times in india.
in the afternoons ive taken to visiting audrey's coffee shop which is about 10 minutes down the road. shes a lovely american lady who lives here and runs a little coffee & cake haven with beautiful views over the bay. for $10 you can have coffee or cordial and slice of culinary heaven the form of chocolate cake (half a lb of choc per cake!), pear cake with a raspberry glaze or nic's favourite, the coconut slice with white choclate chunks. its heaven. oh and did i mention she brews her own kahlua so a drink & cake entitles you to (if you're lucky) 3 shots of tasty tasty kahlua which helps lulls the afternoons away.
today was awesome. one of the ladies who works here rota took me and her husband william (who drives the taxi) up to the mass in waikiri church which is quite famous. the congregation all sits on the floor and literally belts out hymn after hymn in ludicrously melodious 4-part harmony (that even the kids seem to know) as cool fijian breezes drift through the open-doored church. heaven. after that we took a nerd-fest visit to the 180 degree meridian line that runs through taveuni (though for time-convenience sake it bends around). had my picture taken in today, yesterday and half'n'half. yes you know i am a nerd! finally we headed to the something water slides which are basically a natural rainbow rapids (though alot sorer given that theyre made of stone and alot faster given that its rained alot recently) where you basically hurtle down naturally formed water slides into a pool of ice-cold riverwater. not for the faint-hearted. but nic the sometimes-chicken took it in her stride and went down not once, but twice!!
and so thats about it from me on my three-hundreth anniversary of travels. for those who were at the EP hope it was as awesome as initial mails suggest. SP thanks for that mail reminding me of what i was missing out on, hope this blog about the wonders of fiji is payback enough! hope youre all keeping well and happy and will be in touch again soon.
*hums "happy anniversary to meeeee" softly as she signs off.......*