It is Thursday morning in Fiji. We arrived in Savusavu last Friday afternoon. The airport was likely the smallest one that we have ever been to. An interesting note….when we got our boarding passes for this flight, each of us had to actually stand on the scale with our daypacks to get weighed. Although we were assigned seats, once boarding began, we were reshuffled according to our weight and given new seats accordingly. Now that is some serious weight and balance exercise.
We were directed to a local Indian/Fijian cab driver who went by the name of Sirah even though his cabbie license has him listed as Devindra. Sirah has adopted us and is our “go to” guy in Fiji. His hair is as white as my Snowflake locks so it makes it easy for each of us to spot the other.
Sirah’s cab is an interesting white Toyota Corolla station wagon with the inside retrofitted with a red, brown and gold velour fabric seat covering ensconced in what reminds me of a grandmothers’ plastic seat cover to protect it from the debris of its passengers. It rattles along the dirt road to and from town and I keep waiting for parts to start shaking themselves loose.
Fiji is definitely more like a 2nd or 3rd world nation. We took a drive with Sirah around the island yesterday. People live in fairly primitive “huts” as Sirah called them. It’s hard to tell if they have electric or not. Usually when you can spot a wire it is obvious that there isn’t much power going to these homes. Because of this lower income economy, Fiji is quite affordable especially compared with somewhere like Hawaii. A beer at our favorite wifi spot is a $1.50 US during happy hour. You can get a decent burger for $4US.
The Fijians couldn’t be nicer. Everyone greets you with the local hello…Bula. Usually said Bu-LAA!! Enthusiastic waves are the norm as we drive around the island from the people waiting at bus stops to those hanging out in their yards. You spy the occasional goat, chicken and cow roaming the landscape. We even spied a bunch of piglets on our road into town.
The culture is a mix of local Fijians and Indians with the occasional Australian and New Zelander. Kangaroos and Kiwi’s respectively.
Hermit crabs are adorable and are everywhere on the beach. They come in a variety of sizes including an uber-mini size. They are also like toy cars are to boys and keep Ben occupied for hours. We have had a lot of fun catching them, racing them and just comparing their “houses”.
Snorkeling in the ocean is quite spectacular and even more so when you haven’t been delivered to a coral reef in a boat filled with other travelers. We went just off our beach and it was relaxing and brilliant and we will do it often. I was fortunate enough to see a manta-ray take off about 10 inches in front of me. We also met the owners of a local Dive operation and they have offered for us to come out snorkeling for free. WE are hoping to do that tomorrow.
Off to the Wifi café and a download. Love and hugs!