Take only photographs, leave only footprints
Trip Start May 27, 2009
18Trip End Nov 14, 2009
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Bula from Fiji
Well another week has passed and another country and before I arrive in another ( I am currentl;y In mid air on Air Pacific flight FJ411 bound for Auckland, New Zealand ) I thought I would prepare my latest entry.
This should be a short entry as basically I have done hee haw for the last few dtys- shock horror it was almost like being on holiday!
After a 10 hour flight from LA, which was actually Ok in that I managed to sleep quite a bit, I arrived in Fiji just after 5 in the morning, that is the morning of the 10th of July as somewhere over the Pacific Ocean I missed out completely on the 9th of July - maybe someone can let me know if I missed anything important
It then seemed to take an age for the baggage to unload and to clear customs & immigration. i was met as planned by the rep for the travel company I had used to book the accommodation and although I knew that I was responsible for paying for the transport from the airport, I thought at least she would present me with some options - like here is where you catch the public bus, shuttle bus - whatever. no matter one of the reps from another company said I could use one of their buses, good but she then disappeared and confusion reigned but all sorted in the end and I did get dropped off at the correct place. On the bus was an American lady, emily, who was alos on her first visit to Fiji - she was stayong for a month and was very excited, I think the trip had been a long time in the planning, and within an hour on the bus she had already taken about 30 photos. Emily if you are reading this I hope you are having a wonderful time.
My 7 nights on Fiji were spent at Beach Cocomo, which I had picked form the internet before I left home and it was exactly as described, in fact it was even better. there are only 2 bungalows and a small dormitory style building which could take upto 6 and all are located within a few yards of the ocean. The location is perfectand as I was the only guest this week I very much had individula attention -nothing was any trouble.It is run by a young Korean woman, Marie with the assistance of her boyfriend Isao and a young Fijian couple
For the first couple of days it actually rained - yes tropical rain and although the location was ideasl if you could just laze around on the beach all day, it was a bit out of the way if you had no transport and the weather wasn't good. My first venture further afield was by public bus into the town of Sigatoka, the nearest sizable"shopping" centre - it reminded me of samll towns on the Greek islands back in the late 70s. the public market had all sorts of weird and wonderful plants/vegetables and fruits for sale and there was the obligatory rip off when bargaining for souvenirs. We Northern Europenas are rubbish at it -you know the trader quotes a ridiculous high number - you try to go for half and end settling in the middle - but at the end you still know you have been well ripped off!. Howver the bus fare was only aboou 30p so all things square up in the end.
And then for my next transport adventure I hired a scooter for a few days and no I am not trying to beat that 82 year old who has used 100 types of transport in a year. that was fun - avoiding potholes, humps in the road, being chased by dogs, small children and avoiding wandering horses, cows and pigs - I think I was the only person on a scooter on the island, certainly the only European. marie told me that if I had stayed any longer they would have known who I was and started calling to me by name.
i have to say the people in the villages were very friendly and seemd content despite the fact that by our standards they are living in very poor conditions. Anyone who visits Fiji and is cocooned in their luxury resort will get the wrong impression of the country. Clearky money is pouring i form tourism and development grants but wher is it going - I feel a rant coming on but better not go into print as you never know who might read it!
The weather di pick up and I managed to do some snorkelling and suning myself. thebeach had all sorts of lovely pices of coral and shells and I did collect a few sort of inetendng to bring home but thought better of it. I think you need a permit to take some things out of Fijiand even then ther is no guarantee that they would be allowed into Australia or New Zealand, who are very sensitive about bio hazards. I took photos instead and left the real thing back at Beach Cocomo.
well for not doing much I have managed to witter on - yes i can hear some of you saying - " so what's new"!!!!!!!!!!! Winter woollies here I come