Published: October 15th 2006August 28th 2006
Levuka is every bit as charming and friendly and colonial as the guide books say. I love it here. I've spent my time here exploring the town and relaxing by the seawall. I've gotten used to the sounds from the Pafco tuna cannery, but I'm not used to its smells yet!
Yesterday afternoon, I sat down on one of the benches along the seawall to try to write in my journal, but the scenery was too distracting. The sun was hot, but the cool breeze keeps the heat off. On one side of me was the sea, the gentle waves breaking on the rocks below me. Further out, reefs are marked by turquoise waters and a line of waves breaking on them. On my other side was Beach Street, with friendly people calling out 'Bula!' on their way to Sunday afternoon services. As I sat by the water, I saw two long, silver fish arc out of the water then back in.
Earlier that morning, I had been chased up the 199 steps of Mission Hill by butterflies. As I climbed, I could hear the choirs from the scattering of churches below me.
Last night, after kava at
the hotel, I went to the Sunday night buffet at the Chinese restaurant. It was a combination of Chinese, Indian, and Fijian dishes. The restaurant is upstairs in one of the old buildings on Beach Street. I enjoyed my meal in the covered verandah overlooking the harbour, with a candle in a wine bottle to light my table.
I spent most of this morning reading in the shady gardens of the hotel, trying to avoid the sun as my face is getting redder every day. I watched birds sneaking into the dining room to scavenge the uncleared plates. Occasionally I would walk down Beach Street to make sure nothing exciting had happened. It never did.
The night I arrived here from Suva I ordered a Fiji Gold at the hotel bar. I really enjoyed it, even more than Fiji Bitter. I tried ordering it last night as it was on the menu, but they didn't have it. Tonight, it was on the menu at Whale's Tale, where I ate. But again, they didn't have it. I might try ordering it everywhere from now on, not just because I'd like to have it again, but because it's strangely
amusing that it's on all the menus but no one has it!
Whale's Tale was a charming place to eat. The kitchen is in a bure within the restaurant. There was Fijian music playing (with the cook singing along while he prepared my food), and the staff kept me company while I ate. Before going for dinner, I sat by the water and watched the light fade as the sun set behind the island. First the boys went for a swim, and then later some girls went swimming.
There are more photos below