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Published: June 24th 2017
The Grand Pacific Hotel
This year it is forty years since Fletcher ad I first visited Fiji. We went with a University and St Peter's Aths group to the Fiji National Championships and then spent some time at the Fijian Hotel. We took our three children who at that time were 7, 6 and 2 and really enjoyed the country and especially the people we met. This year the Oceania Championships are in Fiji and prior to that the Oceania Congress. We had been here since then and as late as last year for the Melanesian Championships and noticed the changes over time. But the people are still the friendliest in the world with Bula being the greeting from everyone in the street,So we happily returned to Suva.
We left Adelaide last Wednesday night and flew to Melbourne and thence overnight to Nadi. this is a horror flight as it is only four hpurs but the time shift is two so the opportunity to sleep is minimal. I managed nearly two hours. In Nadi we then transferred to the Domestic terminal and flew the 30 minute trip to Suva. We met Matt Mahon at Nadi so the three f us took a taxi from
Having a Fiji Bitter next to the pool
Nausori airport to the Grand Pacific Hotel. this is the showpiece hotel in Suva, an old colonial building that has been restored and added to after nearly 20 years of neglect. This is where the Congress is being held and we can enjoy the luxury until Monday when we go downmarket to the Suva Motor Inn for the rest of our stay for the Championships.
The great aspect of this trip is not so much the scenery but meeting up with people from all around the Pacific that we know and only catch up with at events like this.There are too many to list individually but they are from every island of the Pacific as well as friends from Australia and New Zealand.
The last three days have fallen into a pattern. Fletcher has gone to the Congress and Administration Seminar each day while I have spent some down time reading, using the free WiFi and completing the crossword puzzles and Sudokos in the local paper. I have also walked along the shoreline here but the weather has not been pleasant with cloudy skies and misty rain. On Friday morning it bucketed down so I have yet to
The view from our room
make it into the beautiful swimming pool they have here. I have enjoyed watching the men from the Fiji rugby team, who are also stating here , play volleybal in the pool each morning and afternoon .Their laughter and sense of fun is infectious and their torsos are pretty fine as well!! Yestrday they played Scotland which I watched live on TV and they won 27-22. A great victory. They received a standing ovation when they returned triumphant to the hotel.
The evenings have been the most fun. We have had a drink on the verandah with friends, such as Bill Bailey and David Wheeler while also enjoying the company of Bob Snow, Ina Marsters and Matt Mahon. One of the great aspects is that Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF, is here for the Congress. Seb is a great raconteur and enjoys being part of the fun. Last nifght ,as it was Saturday, there was a good band playing and he was up with us on the dance floor. For the first time for a while Fletcher and I actually jived, something he couldn't do for a while. Thank goodness for articial knees!! We have also enjoyed
Night photo of the hotel
some good food. On the first night we walked down to the Maya Dhaba, a great Indian place we had enjoyed last year. On Friday night the congress sinner was held in Paradiso's situated in the Suva Tennis Club building. That was also good (though the wine was Oxford Landing) but the price was right!! Last night we went to another Indian restaurant we had also been taken to last year, the Yellow Chilli. This is excellent and was certainly busy with mostly Indian clientele.
Today is the last day of the Congress and there are drinks and canapes back at Paradiso's for the closing of the meeting. So more conviviality awaits. the sky is a litle brighter today so I am hoping that I may get into the pool this afternoon.It is still warm but 25 degrees is almost cold here!!
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