Posted by: Vallere | February 2, 2011

Oh, Fiji!

We arrived in Fiji at 5:30am local time and, after the disappointment of not finding the kids’ lovies, dragged our things into the terminal. We were met straight away by three Fijan men playing instruments and singing. What a welcome! We quickly discovered that Fijans are the nicest people in the world. Everywhere you turned was another person saying “Bula! Bula!” (Hello! Hello!) They funneled us into the family line, helped push our carts, and even helped The Doc take our bags to the storage locker so that we didn’t have to drag everything with us to the resort we were going to stay at.

While all of this was going on, the sun rose over the ocean in one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen.

After storing the bags, The Doc exchanged some more money and went to the info desk to call our resort. We had booked the room (a little bungalow on the beach) online a few days before we left and had paid for them to pick us up from the airport. We hadn’t seen anyone there from Anchorage Resort, and a quick phone call explained why…they hadn’t received our reservations!!!

However, in friendly Fiji fashion, we were told to come on to the resort, and they’d work it all out. We found a cab outside – Mr. Kumar, who was of Indian heritage, but had lived in Fiji all his life – and he took us on a gorgeous ride through the Fijan countryside to our resort. Along the way we saw gorgeous mountains, beautiful coconut palms everywhere, and flowers I can’t even begin to guess the name of.

We arrived at the resort, and The Doc went up to speak with the manager about our room. For some reason, the payment had gone through on our end, but they had not received it into their account. They promised to make things right, and sent us to a room that we could stay in until things got sorted out. So we drove down the hill and Mr. Kumar helped us unload. The Doc got a promise from him that he’d be back to pick us up at 6am sharp on Wednesday, and we all flopped onto the bed in a heap.

Ceirdwyn was still running a very high fever and had thrown up a time or two by now, so I ran a bath with the intent of letting her cool down in the water a bit, but she was having none of it. So I just stripped her naked. The Doc was trying to figure out how the air conditioner worked, with no success, so he called back down to the office and they said they’d send someone right up.

We wandered out onto the balcony, with our view of a crystal clear sea and innumerable palm trees, and breathed in the floral scented air

…and then our first moment to relax in over a week was interrupted by Ian’s announcement that Zollie had locked us outside. It was true…The Doc, Ian, Ceirdwyn (butt naked…remember?) and I were indeed locked out of the room on our second story balcony, with a grinning Zollie staring at us through the sliding glass door. We tried for a few minutes to get him to unlock the door, but it quickly became obvious that, try as he might, he wasn’t going to be able to since the lock had come loose and was spinning freely.

We tried to call down to the one person we saw walking below us, but they didn’t speak English and just waved at us and kept walking. By now, poor Zollie was devastated. I think he thought he had locked us out there FOREVER and he had curled up in a chair and was sobbing quietly.  But then, our salvation walked through the door…the repair man! He was obviously a little thrown when he saw the four of us out on the balcony, waving at him frantically, and a small boy crying in a chair, but he quickly sized up the situation, rescued us from the balcony, and then fixed our AC. Want to know how? Well, apparently in this part of the world they are VERY eco-conscious, and try to save energy as much as possible. One way they do this is to turn off the electricity to rooms when you aren’t in them. How do they know? Because in order to turn ON the electricity, you have to slide a little card attached to your room key into a slot by the door. Card in – electricity on. Card out – electricity off.

So the moral of the story is…isn’t really not that hard to make a complete fool of yourself in Fiji. But, being the nicest people in the world, they just nod and smile and ask if there is anything else they can do for you today.

The rest of our layover was fabulous. We quickly got moved into the correct room. We were just a 50 meter or so walk from the pool (which was Oceanside) and the restaurant (which was poolside). The food was fantastic. The boys noshed on fish and chips (and I did, too…and must say that the fish and chips I had in Fiji make the stuff I had in London taste like something you plucked from a rubbish bin). The Doc and I dined on garlic prawns over rice, lamb curry, and a Fijan soup called Kokoda which is AMAZING. I seriously  plan to learn to make that while I’m here.  It makes me drool just thinking about it!

View from our bungalow porch.

View from the resturant.

We spent a bit of time in the pool, and even more in the bed, adjusting to the time zone change, and trying to get the kids to recoop – by now, Zollie was also febrile and both he and Ceirdwyn had nasty coughs and gross runny noses. The highlight of our stay in Fiji for the boys was having a very nice young man climb a coconut tree and retrieve a fresh, green coconut for them, which he then peeled for us. We plunged in a straw and got our first taste of fresh coconut milk. Then we cracked that baby open and ate the flesh, which, if you’ve never had fresh coconut before, is NOTHING like the shredded, dry, gross stuff you buy at the store to put in pies. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat that mess again! Fresh coconut is soft and slippery and sweet.

Ceirdwyn had people falling all over themselves to love on her!

 

Sleepy, sick girl, rocked to sleep by Elenna in a hammock...

These geckos were EVERYWHERE at night!

Our time in Fiji was way too short. We hope to stop back there for a week or two on our way home next year. True to his word, Mr. Kumar was outside our door at 20 till 6 on Wednesday morning. We got to the airport with plenty of time, checked our bags, and had time to grab some breakfast before our flight left for Auckland. New Zealand, here we come! (to be continued)

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Responses

  1. Noah said how cool all the pics were he was so supper excited to see you guys. Did you ever find the lovies??????? Fiji sounds fantastic!!!! Love the pics!!!!!!!!

  2. Fiji looks just like Costa Rica! Gorgeous. 🙂 can’t wait to hear more 🙂

  3. I’m so glad Fiji was as beautiful and welcoming as you hoped it would be!!! I’d like to one day see that sunset and smell those flowers. I second a longer stay on your way back! Too bad the babes were ill. I really hope they are better yet!! I know we still have a lingering of the nasties, but it is the end.

    Picture comments:
    It looks like Ceirdwyn is in the camera bag (picture at the table)!
    Who is Elenna? (rocking her to sleep)

    • Elenna was a really sweet woman who was selling jewelry at a table near the pool. I walked over to look at her things and she saw that Ceirdwyn was sick and said “That baby just needs to rock in the hammock…” and she took her and laid her in the hammock chair and rocked her and Ceirdwyn was out in about 30 seconds! All of the people in Fiji were just so sweet and nice!


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