Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Moving into the un-known

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Today I wake and reality hits.  I am late!

The Kava and drinks from last night had relaxed me.
Now I had a headache and a room of too much stuff to madly pack. 
We head down to breakfast, and I make enough sandwiches for 2 days.
Juice and milk in flasks, and grab some fruit.

We barely make packing up in time, and I down a strong coffee.
Fortunately one of the staff has given me the low-down that the coach driver would not help us with our luggage, box and bags; 5 in total due to the stuff we have to give away later; but a mini-van in a different location is the go, and the driver will take us to the door of our accommodation. 

At more than double the price, we have to pay for a seat for the luggage, as I refuse to have it on the roof in case it flies off. 
I swing a deal and get $10FJ off. 
We have to wait nearly an hour, as the mini-van and bus terminal is also the Department of Motor Vehicles for drivers licences, so we sit on the bench and watch in amazement at the basic way they run a government business.

Eventually we have enough passengers, as the vans only will go once packed to overflowing with people.

The driver is playing chicken at top speed, and I have my feet on one bag on the back of the seat, and another arm on a huge rolling backpack that threatens to fall down on us both and squash us, but better than it flying off the roof, and I am glad I was firm with my request. 

We get to Deuba (pronounced Day-un-bar) and I am glad I had struck a deal on the phone. 
It is an old colonial pineapple-canning factory.
It has no other guests and is not on the beach, or near the town, and I am told the bar, restaurant and facilities are closed for renovation. 

I daresay it is closed due to lack of custom, which is a bit sad.
But the lady is just lovely, and the setting in the garden in pretty, and the room is so-so, and I like it.

 There is a cat, and some puppies, and that makes my son happy.

But it is no luxury. 
No TV, pool, room phone, wi-fi, spa bath; or balcony overlooking the beach; some louvre glass panels are missing and holes in the fly screen big enough to let stray animals in; the bathroom is a shocker; and there are ants marching up the wall - and it is no resort. 
But the sleeping area looks nice enough.  

In fact, we discover the sugar-ants march up the kitchen wall, through a hole into the bathroom, and straight through all of my vanity bag, and into a drainage hole in the toothbrush holder, and are having a feast – on our toothbrushes and toothpaste. 
Better than the 3-inch roach (no lie) I later find elsewhere!

I explain to my son that the budget kicks in now. 
He cries, and says he misses the action and fun of resort. 
But he also cries, as he feels sorry that the owners have no guests and they are ‘poor’.
Seriously, he hasn’t seen poor yet, and I do wonder how he is going to cope. 
But we sit and talk, and I realise he has such a heart to give, and to try to help others. 
I am really pleased we will be able to bless so many people, and the hassle we have endured to drag all this extra stuff will be worth it. 
I am proud of how he cares, and he talks of all the things he has chosen and who he will give them to when we find these less fortunate people.

We have to walk a good half hour to the town of Pacific Harbour – a man made effort to make a wealthy area, that has been a bit of a flop. 
I am fast learning when local people say 5 or 6 minutes, it can be much more which surprises me, as Fijians are not in any hurry.  
It is all ‘Fiji-time’ which really can get on your nerves if you are not in the right frame of mind. 
We pass how the real Fijians are living - poorly in this house by the side of the road.

My son spots a supermarket, and we are surprised at how little we spend to get food for the next two days. 
Armed with two bags of groceries for $10, we head home via a curry house we had spotted (we had checked the local upmarket and near empty eating houses, and were shocked the prices were more than the resort).

Dinner is a reasonable bargain and as it is nearly dark and starting to rain (our first rain in Fiji), so we get take-away for the remainder, and do a quick walk down the main road home. 
We have flashlights, but I am not walking home in the dark unless it is an emergency. 
We just make it as the sun sets.

I have learnt Viti Levu – the main island, is divided into 3 zones. 
Where we were previously was the dry zone – blue skies and sunny. 
We are now in the wet-dry zone with grey skies, and where we head to Suva in a couple of days is the wet zone.

It is windy and bucketing down outside – there is a stack of strange noises outside, heave truck road traffic, sheep out the back, barking ‘strayhounds’ (as my son calls them), the noise of Geckos outside, and I also heard a noise in the kitchenette, and discovered a tiny albino lizard running up the wall – glad all our food is in zip-lock bags.

We are also lathered in mosquito repellent, but I have been bitten in the arm-pits, causing me to have actions somewhat like a gorilla.

We watch one of our DVDs on the laptop, and I sit back and enjoy a drink, and a night in.

The curtains blow with the wind through the missing louvre glass, but I feel safe in our little haven.

I am pleased we have finally ventured to new areas of Fiji.  
Here are two pictures of the river near us taken in the daytime.

This is our 4th visit to this island, and it is time to get off the beaten track; away from resort living, and do some real exploring tomorrow – I hope?

1 comment:

  1. At least you didn't pay extra for the cockroach, hehe. I had a bad experience too with cockroaches just as large in the Phillipines, sleeping one night at a friend who was poor and he courteously lent me his room. Well, I got stacks of those critters zooming around in and out of my loose top, talk aboput shock treatment!


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