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2024 - January - Day 2 - Fiji

I slept well and for almost 11 hours which for me is unheard of. Hopefully that will mean much of the jet lag incurred so far will have been beaten. Melatonin is a wonderful aid for that and I highly recommend it for that purpose.


Today our plan was to basically do not a lot.


We started with breakfast. My booking had included the continental breakfast and I suppose technically that what we had. It was however poor pickings. There was some fruit that we didn’t recognise and a few bags of cereal. I had some wholemeal toast out of a toaster that browned and heated the bread as much as if I had sat on it for ten minutes. I decided to combine some corn flakes with strawberry yoghurt which at least made that more interesting. I had been expecting lavish plates of meats and cheeses and perhaps an odd boiled egg as well as some Fijian delicacies – but no.


Still, it was lovely sitting in the open-air restaurant overlooking the sea with a lovely breeze on our faces. The whole resort seemed very quiet with possibly more staff than guests.


One thing that had struck about many of the staff we have encountered is the number that had missing front teeth. Was it down to drugs or gang warfare on Fiji? I googled it to find out. It appears it is just down to countrywide poor dental hygiene. As we spoke about it the more, we noticed it. I did read though in parts of Cape Town some people are removing some front teeth for fashion purposes but I am convinced that trend has not reached here.


Whilst all the staff and everyone we meet are universally polite, few of them appear to be very good at their jobs. Excellence in Customer Service does not seem to be of importance to them. You can be in the middle of talking to them or they can be taking your order when they just start doing something else. I know I can be a bore but at least pretend that you recognise I am still here. It’s not bad enough to be rude rather just impertinent.


After sitting for a while back on our porch, we decided to walk along the bay which was described as one of the best around this area. Oh, dear if this is one of the best then heaven help the rest. It certainly was no Gorleston.


The tide was out and there was a pong coming from somewhere. The sea itself did not look enticing which why we hadn’t seen anyone swimming. The sand was more grey than golden. After walking for about 7 minutes, we came to the end of the bay and reached uncleared mangroves which blocked us from going any further. We turned around and went back to our Bure.


If that all sounds negative then actually it wasn’t as bad as perhaps, I have described. It is though different from the idyllic deserted South Pacific Island I had pictured from the movies. Indeed, from our porch we can just see on the horizon the island where they filmed Tom Hanks in Castaway. That certainly seemed prettier.


Back on the porch Karen got the fidgets as we hadn’t had a proper walk. This is always one of my fears on trips as it then like having a small child with me. I must keep her occupied and entertained quite irrespective of what I am doing or want to do. I can be happy reading or writing this or keeping up with the news, amusing most of the time. Karen though when she in the wrong frame of mind cannot amuse herself. I managed to get some semblance of relief for a while by giving her my phone to play a version of the Only Connect Wall game.


During that time, I worked out that we may be able to walk to the marina which we could see next to us. It involved walking back to the ‘main’ road and providing there was little traffic and walking along it for a few hundred yards. I explained this and the fact that there might not be much there but Karen was happy to try.


It was very hot and humid as we set out. The walk wasn’t the prettiest but it was so worth it. We came to a lovely little busy marina with a lovely little shop/café with seats and tables overlooking the water. We got Karen a coffee and myself a cold coke initially before then sharing a Toasted Sandwich and buying a bottle of Savvy B to take back to the Hotel.


It was very picturesque and made up for the disappointing morning walk. Karen felt all was right with the world again. We sat and wallowed in the sunshine still bemused by the fact that we were now over 10000 miles away from home. On top of that we learnt that the forecast for the weather at home was grim which was a bonus for us in a tropical paradise.


Back on our porch, Karen made another cuppa as suddenly we had a short sharp heavy shower of rain. Once that had cleared the weather was fine again.


Just before 7pm we walked back to the restaurant. There were quite a few people about as if there had been a big influx of new guests. Karen ordered the Chicken Caesar whilst I had the Chicken Carbonara. This time we considered both were just average. I noted that neither of the waiters possessed all their (or indeed anybody else’s) front teeth again.


I could see that one of the outdoor pavilions by the beach seemed to be lit up and full of people and I suggested we should wander past to see what was happening. There appeared to be a wedding reception or pre wedding dinner for a Hindu couple. When we got closer, we heard an announcement from inside asking all the special guests to go outside for the Fire Dancers. What timing on our part. We stood and watched. It did look quite impressive outside in the dark, apart from one dancer who kept either dropping his fire stick or accidentally dangerously throwing it into the watching crowd. One of the guys kept lighting flames on the palm of his hand and then high fiving people in the crowd.


Back in our room we opened the Savvy B and I found the latest series of Slow Horses to watch. We only got part way through it though before Karen fell asleep. As usual she denied she was asleep despite the snoring and me waving my hand in front of her face.


With that we retired from a day on the tropical island of Fiji doing nothing.

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