THE OLD MANOR HOUSE
As those of you who have done it will know, the thing about traveling west is that you keep going back in time until you reach the International Date line then, WHAM!, you go forward with a big bump! So, although we left at 23.00 on the Sunday night from LAX we didn't get to Nadi, Fiji until TUESDAY. This meant that we didn't get a 23rd July 2001 at all.
Culturally, this was our biggest comparator and made Mexico trips pale into insignificance. Lots of people go to Fiji and they stay at a resort and see little, if anything, of the real Fiji. So we were lucky, indeed, to get the opportunity to do so.
A great Fiji web site is here.
We were on the main island, Viti Levu, of the 333 that comprise the Fiji Islands, at a place called Pacific Harbour. The island population is made up of about 60% native Fijians and 40% originally of Indian descent. The two populations live pretty separately and, of course, there were the troubles of 2000 when the coup occurred. A place of extremes.
We were picked up from the airport by a taxi and taken the two and a half hours to our exchange home. Naively, none of us were prepared for primitive conditions there so it came as a shock seeing the Villages and children walking to school in bare feet. Our driver stopped en-route at a local market which was just as I imagine India to be, as indeed, are all the towns.
At last we arrived to be greeted by Sohbag, who tends the house externally, and later by his wife Bijma who is the housekeeper. They were such nice people and looked after us famously for the week we were there and even invited us to dinner at their home. This was so good it has a page all to itself, here. Thank you!
A superb trip was up river to a traditional Fiji village. The pictures are here.
After Fiji we flew to Sydney......