Day 26, Year 2: Exploring the South Coast of Viti Levu
Date: Sunday, May 20, 2007
Weather Today: Rainy Day on the South Coast
Location: Suva, Fiji

We finally had a real Suva rainy day. When it rains it pours, but it only rains for short periods. It stops and then it comes back again. We had made arrangements with Donna and Jerry on Scott Free II to go exploring today. We thought we had timed it just right to pick them up in our dinghy and head to shore between rains. But we missed the mark. Just as we got to Scott Free II, the rain came pouring down. We put up umbrellas and must have been quite a site motoring to the Yacht Club with four umbrellas flying in the wind. Of course the rain stopped as soon as we got to shore, and we then took a taxi to town to the bus station. We had decided to take a bus along the southern shore of this island, Viti Levu, to a place called Pacific Harbour. We picked that place only because it was about an hour from here and on our first bus excursion, we didn’t want to go too far in case we had trouble getting back.

It continued to rain off and on all day, but we enjoyed the bus ride and the scenery. The vegetation here is unbelievably lush. The soil is red and it makes a great contrast with the various shades of green. As you leave Suva, the next town is Lami. It is small compared to Suva, and is more like a suburb of the city. After that, there are no towns of any size, only small villages until you get to the small but busy little town of Navua. This town is on the Navua River is only about 40 kilometers from Suva. The bus rides takes an hour, however, as the road is narrow and goes up and down some hills. As we rode to the west, the lowlands were on our left and the highlands were on our right. Near Navua, we came into an area of cattle grazing and dairy farms. Then we got off the bus in Pacific Harbour. There was not much there, but we walked to what is called the Arts Village for lunch at the Oasis Restaurant. There were a few resorts in this town and a view of Beqa Island offshore. Beqa is the home of the Fijiian fire walkers, and we plan to go there as we leave Suva. Lunch was nothing to write home about, but we had a good time and enjoyed the day. The ride home seems much faster than the ride out and the bus driver even had a video playing for passengers to watch. Interesting.

We spent the rest of the afternoon back on Windbird doing trip planning and then went back to the Yacht Club for dinner with Ann and Lew of Serranity. They are leaving for the US tomorrow, so this was a farewell dinner for them. Colette and Jean-Pierre of Safina and Donna and Jerry of Scott Free II were also there. The restaurant at the Yacht Club is run by a Chinese family that has been here in Fiji for about 40 years. They previously had a take-out business, but they have made a great transition into the restaurant business. The food is moderately priced and very good. We enjoyed dinner and talked about the things cruisers talk about–how to clean your alternator, how to clean your refrigerator condensor coils, how to repair a dinghy, where to go to get your life raft repacked, and on and on. We also talked a little about cruising in Fiji. None of us has a definite plan yet, but we are getting there. More detail about that tomorrow.

070520 Day 26 Viti Levu, Fiji–South Coast