2007 08 29 – Big Trip – Day 120 – Nadi to Suva

Tanoa Plaza Hotel, Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji

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Fiji Museum, Suva, Fiji

We are on Fiji’s “mainland” island called Viti Levu having arrived yesterday from the resort. We were sad to leave Tokoriki island, it was really peaceful and fun to stay in one place for 6 days doing nothing.

We left in the morning with the same catamaran cruise ship that brought us in. The return trip was longer, as we stopped at several other islands to pick up passengers. In Nadi, we checked into a hotel we had reserved (Mercure), and did not leave the room for several hours due to the oppressive heat and humidity outside. Only in the evening did it finally cool down a bit. We took the stroller out with the three kids attached and walked along the main road. This is a few km north of downtown so there was not too much to see. The kids were a big hit with all the locals we passed by. They just love kids and babies, and when they see a large amount they flip out. Tell them that Shir and Orr are “drua” (twins) and they go crazy. Many times they show their affection by petting or even kissing one of the kids. Sometimes when Ron sits on the stroller and they can’t see he is taller than he girls, they think we have triplets!

We had an OK dinner and returned to the hotel room for an air conditioned night which proved a bit too chilly for some of us.

Today I picked up a rental car from the airport and we drove from Nadi to Suva, about 180km that took us from the west coast to the east coast of this island. We drove along the southern Queens Road which roughly hugs the coast. The road is single lane in each direction, but there was not too much traffic.

The big challenge for me was adapting to driving on the “wrong” side of the road. Fiji, as a former British colony, drives on the left side of the road. After 3 hours on the road, I think I have improved my natural tendency to stick too far to the left side of the road, a dangerous habit which can get the car’s left wheels trapped on soft shoulders.

Suva is Fiji’s capital and largest city, 50% of 800,000 people live here. We got here in the afternoon and after checking to the hotel walked around the streets for a bit. Very busy and bustling, people just getting out of work and going home or to the market. Lots of polluting cars in the street, and the streets are not very clean. I told Paola that it reminds me of Allenby street and Yaffo in the early 80’s, but she thinks it was never that dilapidated in Israel.

We had dinner in an Indian restaurant, and the waitresses played with the kids until the food came. For me nice and spicy, for Paola and the kids mild. I love this food. The kids seemed to like the Naan (like pita bread) and chicken. They also liked to drink the mango lassi (yogurt).

Tomorrow we leave Suva to Ovalau island, which is home of Levuka, Fiji’s original capital. We can either take a ferry or fly, and we haven’t decided yet. We’ll see in the morning.

Good night,

-Hemi

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