Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 - NZ To SF - Day 46

Day 46: (28 June 2011):
- Wake up, clear.
- Take manta ray tour $30 w/ Danish & English couple. Long boat ride to south of Nativi. Channel. Deep water, stingers, see guide wince once. No rays, (no guarantee here, heard from other travellers there have been no sightings for a while) but some nice coral with very large schools of colourful fish.
- Dry off on beach, hammock. Rope for hammock grown over by tree.
- Wood ears growing on bench outside.
- Boat late, 3:30-4pm. Yellow boat much larger. Actual store & travel desk section.
- Nice views of islands & sunset behind islands. Beachcomber with lights on.
- bump into many known people. Chat, sit together, etc.
- Rough boat ride, some people fool sick.
- Arrive over 1hr late to Denarau.
- Say bye to British couple (another one). Get on Lautoka bus. Felt taken care of, as one of the organiser guys on bus to make sure all tourists get to their destinations. Repeatedly ask, seemed surprised I go to Veiseisei, not a resort close to there.
- Denarau marina very nice. Plaza, trendy restaurants & music. Pretty mush all tourists. British couple tell me "not missing much" about Nadi, heard this from many people. Apparently really only one food option. $14 hostel, but high sell pressure, especially for Bula pass. The Aus met at Gold Coast said they even blocked him from leaving as he was rushing to his shark dive after sleeping in. Ask him what he doing, plans, try sell breakfast.
- Only tourist left after airport & Raffles Hotel?
- Drive through Nadi? Modern-looking centre, but bars on windows (& inside stores) disturbing.
- Dropped off on turn-off to village. Very dark 15 min walk. Some cars. Stars & sound of waves.
- "Bula" from kids as enter village. They walk me to Fi. See a small shop on way.
- Very large bowl of rice & chicken curry waiting. Cat watch me eat. Bones go to dog. Clean bowl soon after. Dog seems to be food disposal in many countries.
- They watch Shortland Street.
- Pack. Try fix Fi's computer. Manage to do Avast scan in safe mode, but then errors during fixing, and login no longer works. Made computer worse! Gave some advice, she says due to warranty, free to bring her computer in. No Windows disk, so can't fix. Friend with laptop: no disk too!
- Drink kava & play same card game until nearly 3am. Kitties. Kids sleep in adjoining room, no real dividers between rooms. Adults smoke. I buy a round for $5. Mystry guy before drinking round says Mark, etc... then almost everyone slow claps 3x, some say "thanks, Mark!' Is he a chief? Say things like take my picture & show to my PM. Send his regards to my family as I leave. Tell me sit cross-legged, etc. More join ~1:30am. The one older person (woman) very friendly call me "my dear." Hug, etc. People seem to not mind sitting very close together or touching. Expecting it.
- Run out of kava at some point, but found more. Knock on door once in a while, people buy things & kava from Fi.
- Notice people coughing... will I get sick for sharing kava bowl?
- Very cold at night. Put on raincoat & use swim trunks to cover head. Should have used sleeping bag that night.

Photos available at: http://mandarinmanmarktravelbriefs.blogspot.com/