Fiji 29/3/94 . Quick recap , enjoyable last evening in Auckland . Lou cooked
roast chicken because I had mentioned that I was missing it . I bought the Cab.
Sav. Montana . Went to a Nu Skin meeting with Tim , I think it is worth a go as
I can get in early (UK in a year) . Harrison came over , Tim and I watched
biking videos and listened to Pink Floyd (my last evening on Speights) , Neil
and Lou went out dancing (Steph stayed at home) . I phoned M&D , all is well and
some of my stolen property has been handed in in Perth . More jobs for Nick .
Oddly enough in the pm I bumped into two people I had met in Cherating ,
Malaysia in Queen Street Auckland . Today went off smoothly . I managed rto pack
my extras into my pack and Neil took me to the airport via Turbo Vehicles (so I
could get a MoTec brochure) . Tim , Lou , Sam and Phoebe were supposed to join
us at the bar , I waited 'til final call , but they still had not arrived , so I
never did thank them properly although I made it clear I was gratefull (paid for
a few things and bought the kids Easter present) . Had beers with Neil , a
typical ex~Ciren lot . Lots of fun . Thanks all . Flight as smooth as silk (to
steal a phrase from Thai Airlines) . Hot 29øC and humid in Nadi . Found a Hostel
, chatted to other travelers , two bottles of Fiji bitter and bed at 10.30 .
Nadi is poor but I think Fiji is going to be very enjoyable , but it is too
early to make any judgement accept it is a lot more like Malaysia than New
Zealand . A two hour flight and I feel like I am really traveling again : first
time since 11/12/93 .
30/3/94 Wednesday . Well here we are , sitting sipping tea in Sigatoka , 1/3 of
the bus trip down on my way to Suva . Very noisy street outside the hostel and I
have got to get myself re~aclimatised to this humidity . Definitely back in the
tropics . Less obvious signs that Fiji is a member of the commonwealth
(commonpoor more like ~Ed) than the adolesent Elizabeth R on the money are ; NZ
and Oz banks , street cleansing , drains , signposts and "they" speak English .
Nice , gentle Fijians and lots of Indians . Green countryside , palm trees of
course (I am going to miss palms back in Blighty , they have been everywhere I
have been so far as has LEFT handside of the road driving : another reason why
we do not belong in the EC) . I got to the bus station in Nadi 1 hour early ,
see photo of "the bus station by dawn" (Dawn , who the hell is Dawn ~Ed) , the
bus left at 7.20am . School children in clean uniforms and generally looks to
have good infastructure . Very James Bond ; underneath de Mango tree me honey .
Phone Q and tell him to send my blue denim number , the one I wore in Nasau ,
Felix . Copybook stuff on the way down the coast road ; palms , sand , blue
water and the waves breaking on the edge of the reef some 300 metres out . Suva
, the capital , I arrived at 11.30am and headed for the Royal Yacht Club (next
door to the prison) , I enquired about crewing on a yacht ,but the hurricane
season has only just finished and very few boats are about . I take a cab into
town and there follows the usual slight apprehension and decision making period
as you walk around like Brian the snail , getting hot , but luckily in Fiji ,
not bothered too much by towts . (Brian because of the backpack of course) .
Found a great backpackers , high seas , very colonial and 461 Ocean Boulevard
like . Big ceiling fans , white walls , green grass and more palm trees . Fiji
is no longer Commonwealth , but the place has that certain "empire" feeling ;
buildings , olympic swimming pool , royalty I think , soldiers and policemen in
skirts , gardens planted out in designs , all jolly good stuff . Wrote to Fammee
, Paul Nash and Martin Culverhouse . Did 15 odd lengths of the olympic pool (50p
to get in) , drank some of my duty free Gin . Met some poms who are taking a
freight / merchant ship to Taveuni , number three and smallest of the main
Fijian Islands . I am tempted to go too , it shoould be fun especialy as the
180ø internatiional date line goes right through it ! ~Brings a whole new
meaning to the phrase "see you tomorrow" . Unspoilt and off the tourist trail it
promises to be , but all night on the deck of a ship could be tricky . It does
give more opportunity to study that sky : I have not mentioned it before but the
southern hemispheres sky is great ; usually clear , lots of stars and the
Southern Cross , which even I can find . Good food in Fiji too , and drivers
stop to let you cross the road / zebra crossing , which is one of James'
Portsmouth yardstick calculations to measure decent folk . Singapore is in the
lead on this measurement so far , but I think their motive was not to let you
cross the road but to give you a better chance of seeing who was in the Mercedes
Benz stretch . The Poms I met are infact two Australians , Charlie and Sally ,
and an English guy , Nick .
31/3/94 Thursday . Up early . Breakfast of scrambled egg and ham at the Old Mill
Cottage Cafe , excellent . Got myself sorted with boat ticket and did some
laundry . Back to the pool , met up with Charlie , Sally and Nick . Excellent
Fijian fish lunch from the pool kiosk ! Packed up , bought loads of booze ,
pizza and supplies , got on the boat at 6.00pm . Oh dear , this is going to be a
long night . No facilities , just a loo . Dirty metal deck and loads of Fijians
going home for Easter . Felt like vietnamese boat people .
1/4/94 Good Friday and April fools day , well I certainly feel that I have been
a fool enduring this journey . 12 hours later , 8.30am , arrive at Savusavu on
the second biggest island of Vanua Levu ; taxi , 2 hours on a bus (no windows) ,
ferry for 1.5 hours , and finally taxi . Twenty hours later here I am in
paradise , Beverly Camping . This is just like you have dreamt about a desert
island paradise , a bit "Live and Let Die" and "Dr No" . See photo's it is the
ideal place . No electricity , just a gas stove , shower and loo . Very hippy
cummune , man . The tyde brings the Pacific / Koro sea up over the reef and to
within 5 metres of my one man tent . Exhausted and hungry , we cook up some
noodles , play cards and chat to the other three guests . If I had my hut from
Cherating this would be too perfect . Bill , the owner can arrange for meals to
be cooked for us for $3~$5 . Cannot swim out over the reef : this Island has a
shark God and there are loads of Tiger sharks . A honeymooning couple had a
short marriage when the husband was taken off Beverly's beach two years ago .
Maybe I won't go diving here . This is Not an April fool . John Purcells
2/4/94 David's Birthday . (also the anniversary of my taking a lunch break
during a twelve hour day at the golf course ~Ed) . Woke up at 8.30 am . Another
perfect day , the odd cloud to give a welcome sun break . 30øC and 90% humidity
. Swim , breakfast , swim , sunbathe , swim , read , swim etc. Bill , the Fijian
campsite owner is very interesting : stories like how his grandfather sold his
island of 85 acres to an American for $24K , the American promptly sold it on to
another $1.5 mill .
3/4/94 Easter Sunday . Bush walk with Bill and the others , real Mogle and Belu
stuff . More idylic nothingness . See photo's of jungle and views . Walked 20
mins to Prince Charles Beach , more of the same , beatiful . Peeled some
coconuts , drank and ate them , real bounty hunter stuff "they came in search of
paradise" etc . Charlie cooked a vegetable curry .
4/4/94 Bank holiday Monday . More of the same . The only problem being that Tom
, an annoying Canadian that I met a Suva swimming pool , whom we think is a
screamer (the joke is that he is after me !) . I am now reading Hocus Pocus by
Kurt Vonegut : quite good . Curry from the store owners wife . I have moved into
a bigger tent , still on my own , much better
5/4/94 Camilla's Birthday . Another paradise island morning (are you getting
bored yet readers ~Ed) . Bill takes all of "his guests" to Bouma for shops etc ,
then we hire a 4WD taxi to take us to Vuna , which is right at the other end
(south , Beverly Camping is on the Northern tip 10 mins from the airport) . I
bought some fabric at a shop which is actualy on the 180ø Meridian , prezies for
Mum and Rachael . Such nice people . The Indians are imaculately turned out and
the Fijians so friendly . No stray dogs or cats running around all over the show
, no smells from drains etc. There are Rugby pitches and Missionery Churches
also . Go to a deserted beach for snorkeling and visit "Susies Plantion" which
is now a resort . A real insight into the old days , it must have been fabulous
. Swim there also until we see a sea snake ! Black and white stripes and a very
small mouth . It can only bite you on the ; ear , nose or finger which is just
as well because it is so venemous that you die in 4 minutes . In the evening we
all go up to a nearby plantation to use their bar . These plantation places
would be the places to stay if you could spare the dosh .
6/4/94 Wednesday , fishing trip . No luck , "too windy" said the fisherman .
Enjoyable none the less . The American , Kerry caught a couple off the beach
with his own rod . I tried later and got stung by a jellyfish . Booked my flight
out of Taveuni on Tuesday morning with the Australians (Charlie and Sally) . Had
tea at Audrey's , an American who is supposed to make the best scones in the
south Pacific . Walked to the headland with the Americans (Kerry and Cassandra)
. In the evening Bill and his wife cooked us a BBQ for $5 / head . Pina Coladas
with fresh coconut milk which Bill and the girls made , combined with the local
overproof rum , lovely . Fact ; Taveuni has 10 metres of rain a year . good job
it is not the rainy season (Sept ~ March) . Wrote postcards to ; Camilla , Mike
Booth , Frank Excell , Tim & Lou Haller , and Freya (birthday on 16/4) .
7/4/94 Thursday . Went into town with Bill , Charlie , Sally , and Nick . Cashed
a travellers cheque and an NZ $20 note . To the waterslide , see photo's , great
fun . Sore place on my back though . Nick still being a tight git (stands back
from the bar eh ~ED) . We cooked a Tuna and noodle dish , had some beer and
stuff . Played cards . Sick as a dog during the night : sick in the sea and poos
in the Pacific . Nick and Rosie also . Infact the whole camp fell sick at some
point , but we never pinpointed it .
8/4/94 Did nothing except slowley trying to recuperate . Lay in hammock and
drank water . In evening felt well enough to have some Lovo (food cooked on hot
stones from an underground bonfire) , very good fish , chicken and vegetables .
Bed early .
9/4/94 Saturday . Feel much better . Ironic being ill after my telling my fellow
travellers that I had not had a stomach problem during my whole trip (excluding
constipation in Thailand ~Ed) . Went into town with Charlie , Sally , Rosie and
an Anglo / American called James (good chap of course) . Investigated going
diving , but expensive , shop closed , and there are just too many sharks here .
Went passed the bay where "the blue lagoon" was filmed . If you know the film
you'll know how perfect this place is . Cards and beer and stuff in evening . We
retired at 1am , which must be a record for us at Beverly's . It rained
yesterday pm and during the night . To date I have been woken at night on two
occassions by crabs IN my tent .
10/4/94 Sunday . Nick and Stacie leave at 1pm . Sunbathe , swim , read , swim
routine until 3pm when we all go to Audrey's for tea . Very pleasant , see
photo's . I walked back with Rosie and Stacie (she missed the plane . Wrote "ode
to James" at Audrey's) , by the time we got back Kerry had landed a 4lb Trevale
, a real silver missile . The cooks in the camp got together and made a raw fish
in lemon juice and onion dish from Mexico . The rest was BBQ'd , excellent . See
photo of fish . Watched the sky whilst Charlie tried to catch another fish : the
rod was stuck in the sand at his feet and he was standing some 10metres from the
waterline , WOOSH the rod was pulled out , across the sand , and into the sea .
Gone . It must have been a big one .
ODE TO JAMES
There once was a man named James,
Who liked to be tied up with chains.
In soft, supple leather in all kinds of weather,
His character this easily explains!
Stacie Karlowsky 10/04/94 (Taveuni)
Mexican dish = serviche
seganalinger = no worries etc
bula = hello
11/4/94 Last day in paradise and another Monday ! I did absolutely nothing on
this day : hardly read my book , only one swim all day . "Lazy bones sitting in
the sun , how you going to get your days work done" or better still "James was a
lazy coon , went to sleep in the afternoon , so tired was he , so tired was he"
. A very artistic day . Curry for supper from the store keepers wife . Beer and
bed at 9pm . Rain in the night and another crab in my tent . Camping , although
not my favourite past time , made the occassion throughout my stay at Beverly's
(Bill Madden , Beverly Camping Nabutukia Estate Matei Taveuni Fiji Islands tel#
880381) , very close to nature , very colonial , very close to IT , whatever IT
is . You'll have to come to Fiji and find out for yourself : forget Thailand and
most of Asia , you are too bloody late , the Pacific Islands are still
unbuggered , but I think you will have to hurry to get here before the excrement
hits the air conditioning . No pollution , stray dogs , or con artists . As soon
as mains electricity arrives you end up with the bad (what about cold beer ~Ed)
. Point made I hope : give the Southern Hemisphere a good look .
12/4/94 Tuesday . Up at 8.30 , say goodbyes , to the airport with ; Charlie ,
Sally , Kerry and Cassandra . Met up with Linda . A r‚al Biggles flight with
great views . Into Nadi for lunch . Double bill at the cinema in pm (4 hours of
air con. for F$2) . Killed time in bars waiting for our departure at 1am on
13/4/94 out of the southern hemisphere and over the International date line into
12/4/94 mark 2 (this is how Unc could make the office party in two countries
~Ed) . Lounged around at Raffles Hotel (not the same chain as the Singapore one)
, shower and to the Airport at 11am .
13/4/94 Wednesday . Here we are at the airport bar , sharing drinks because we
have (4 of us) all run out of Fijian $ . Good news , the Qantas 747 / 400 took
off on time .
12/4/94 Tuesday . Swapped my seat so that I could sit next to Charlie and Sally
. Had supper and I have just had a 6 hour sleep , yahoo what a result . This has
got to be a record for painless crossing of the Pacific . I only had time to go
to the loo and eat lunch and here we are in LA , God bless America .(and Fammee
if she is here to meet me) . Fiji was great . Fiji file now to close . The next
exciting enstalment will be haeded USA . END