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Published: March 3rd 2018
We finally arrive in Fiji, literally on the other side of the world. It’s been an epic journey; a 6000 mile, 12 hour overnight flight across 20 time zones (not to mention the international date line and the equator). With Fiji Air, packed like sardines, with one round of the drinks trolley and a meagre choice of films. It’s safe to say we’re a little weary and we still have to collect our luggage and hire car and drive to the hotel.
I may have struggled to get my head round the time zone changes but we are now definitely on island time. We have to wake the guy at the car rental office up to get served. Then get an upgrade because he can’t locate our allocated car.
The old man has booked a hotel on the opposite side of the island which means a 74 mile drive round Fiji’s only paved road. Much of the road hugs the Pacific coast so it’s a scenic drive. He says that to reach our hotel (Wellesley Resort), we must drive down a gravel driveway. He fails to mention that the driveway is 3 miles long.
We reach out final
destination, a huddle of bungalows in a clearing in the rainforest next to the beach. It’s beautiful but utterly remote. We try our first Fijian beer and take a walk along the beach while we wait for our room to be prepared. The sand is covered with hundreds of small shells. They’re hermit crabs. It’s a strange sensation when you walk along the beach and it starts moving all around you. We’re told that in the afternoon the beach is alive in a different way, as the boys from the local village come to practise rugby.
Our room is a small villa decorated in traditional Fijian style. It is beautiful and has its own patio with a pool. But after a token dip, we need to take a nap. We are definitely too old for overnight flights.
When we wake up it’s raining. We’re in a rain forest in rainy season so not altogether unsurprising. But I’m pleased I took Lonely Planet’s advice to stock up on insect repellent, as we are not alone sitting on the patio enjoying the coolness of the afternoon shower.
Suitably refreshed, we have dinner (freshly caught mahi mahi) on a verandah
watching sunset over the South Pacific, framed by a large colour changing neon fish. Welcome to paradise Fiji style.
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