Day 92, Year 2: Musket Cove Marina to Denarau Marina
Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Weather: Partly Sunny Day Despite Weather Reports for Rain
Latitude: S 17 degrees 45.569 minutes
Longitude: E 177 degrees 22.806 minutes
Location: Denarau Island, Viti Levu, Fiji

I feel like we have come full circle. We arrived in Suva,Fiji, almost two and a half months ago, sailed south to Kadavu Island, sailed east to the Lau Group, sailed back west to Vanua Levu, then back to the north side of Viti Levu, on west and north to the Yasawas, south to the Mamanucas, and now back to Viti Levu. Steve has been with us only two and a half weeks, but I think he has sailed half the miles with us. Our time together since he arrived in Savusavu has been absolutely magical. The
weather has cooperated every step of the way, and we have had some incredible experiences. It has been a wonderful time for Mark to spend this time with his brother in such a beautiful part of the world. Once again, life is good.

Today we left Musket Cove and motored the twelve plus miles to the mainland to Denarau. Actually Denarau is an island, but it is very connected to the mainland by a little bridge. Denarua is home to the Sheraton, the Hilton, and about five other 5-star resorts. It looks much more like Florida than Fiji. We anchored out and took the dingy in to the marina. We visited the brand new shopping center next to the marina, and then walked out to the main road headed into Nadi. We could have paid $10
for a taxi, but we wanted to pay 50 cents for a bus, so we hiked. We met an Indo-Fijian woman at the bus stop, and she explained to us how to get to our destination just north of Nadi. I wanted to go to a town called Namaka to the Fiji Visitor Bureau. I thought they could help us figure out the best way to see everything we want to see in the highlands tomorrow. The woman we me at the bus stop was incredible. She hailed a taxi that charged us the same as a bus, went into Nadi with us, walked
with us to the bus stop, and got on the bus headed to Namara with us. She got off with us at our destination and walked us right to the building housing the Visitor’s Bureau. She didn’t want any money, she just wanted to make sure we got to the right place. She assured us that she was fine walking to her final destination. Once again, we were all amazed by the kindness and sense of hospitality that Fijians have for their visitors. We found the Visitor’s Bureau, and a man named Pate met us at
the front desk, listened to what we would like to do tomorrow, and made some calls and found just the right tour guide for us. The driver will pick us up at 9 AM and we will start our trek. After making these arrangments, we then took the bus back to Nadi.

Our “tourist” destination in Nadi for today was the Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple. This is a Hindu temple built in 1994. The wood carvings of Hindu deities were brought here from India. The artists who painted the colorful temple were also from India. This is a Murugan temple and the people who attend worship Lord Murugan, the worship of nature. This particular diety is the guardian of seasonal rains. The temple is unbelievably intricate and colorfully painted, and the ceiling frescos are
beautiful. This temple is only a walk across the street from Nadi’s busy main drag, and it was a very interesting stop. After our temple visit, we walked back through town and visited the Nadi Crafts Market. We then went to Jack’s of Fiji. This is an upscale kind of shop housing everything from Fijian wood crafts to sulas. After our shopping, we made a phone call to a taxi driver named Uma. Robin on Endangered Species called us on the radio this morning and asked to us pick up an alternator
they had left in Lautoka. They had asked Uma drive to Lautoka to pick it up after the repairs. We made arrangements to rendezvoused with Uma at the end our day in Nadi to pick up the alternator and have him drive us back to Denarau.
Uma was very helpful and will come to pick us up at the end of the day tomorrow to take us to dinner and to then take Steve to the airport and us back to Denarau. We will pay for the service, but really not much considering that he will wait for us while we eat dinner. Buses are fine during the day, but at night it is very reassuring to know that you have a Fijian driver that can get you where you need to do on time. A taxi to the airport from here costs $22, so getting Uma’s services for the
whole evening for $45 is good deal. He will wait while we eat dinner and then he will make sure Steve is at the airport on time.

We all look forward to the trip tomorrow. The highlands are beautiful, and we will get to visit the most picturesque village in Fiji. Tomorrow’s adventures sound most interesting to me.

070725 Day 92 Viti Levu, Fiji–Arrival in Nadi