It was a very good day…The beauty of Fiji is astounding…

Ocean views never disappoint.

With Rasnesh scheduled to arrive at 1:00 pm, we were surprised when at 12:30 he called, saying he was already in the driveway.  We need to time our shopping to ensure we get to Helen’s, in ample time to pick up our meat after she returns from lunch and her daily trip to the bank. 

Usually, by 2:00 pm she’s back, flipping over the “closed” sign to “open” on the door of her tiny shop, Fiji Meats. We’ve learned our lesson in arriving too early for her return, having to go back home without meat, resulting in paying extra taxi fare for Ratnesh to later pick up our order to deliver to us, one of the nuances of not having one’s own transportation.

We asked him to wait a bit while we wrapped up a few things to get ready to head out the door to venture down the uneven path to the driveway on the steep hill where he waits. We’re never late.

Preferring not to leave him sitting there for a half hour, we packed up our shopping bags, putting on our shoes for the first time in eight days, the last time we’d gone out. 

With tropical storms almost daily and the desire to use the food we had on hand, we decided to shop Friday next week also, only two days before we depart. 

With most of the houses on the beach road overlooking the sea, most had long, steep driveways, none quite as steep as ours.

We’ll purchase two more roasted chickens for next Friday and Saturday nights, using any leftover salad ingredients or purchase new if necessary and then be on our way.  We’ve begun the process of winding down.  Yesterday, I folded all of my clothing in the cupboard which will take two minutes to place inside my solitary clothing suitcase.

Almost totally out of photos to share and with no particular points of interest we longed to see, we asked Rasnesh if he had time to drive along the beach in the opposite direction we’d traveled to the village each week. 

We’d asked him about that drive a few times in the past, but he dismissed it as “nothing new or interesting there” and we didn’t press.  Yesterday, I stated, “Let’s go to the left at the end of the steep driveway instead of to the right. We’d like to take some photos.” 

A bit surprised he smiled with a slight giggle, I’ve found endearing, not mocking us in any manner, but reveling in our desire to see scenery which we find exquisite and he may find repetitious and boring. After all, he’s lived in these breathtaking surroundings all of his life.

We weren’t disappointed. The drive along the beach was as enticing as any scenery we’d seen in these past three months. I continued to ask him to stop the car on no less than a dozen occasions, so I could get out to take photos. He readily stopped in a safe spot for me to exit while he and Tom engaged in idle chatter during my few minute absence. 

Although overcast, we were still thrilled to be out taking photos.

I couldn’t have been more thrilled, knowing I was taking ample photos to share over the next eight days until our departure.  Sure, we could have gone out and about, a lot more often. The bad weather, dark cloudy days, heat and humidity often left us with little interest in riding in the car.

Not wanting to press Rasnesh to use the AC made riding in the car sticky and uncomfortable on the most humid days, when the temperature was a moist 88F, 31C, with humidity hovering at 90% with no breeze. 

Its not something we’ve chosen to do when we don’t have to, although after these past three plus years, we’ve experienced it over and over again…the four hour drive (each way) from the airport in Belize City to Placencia in 90F, 32C with no AC, the many safari expeditions in both Kenya and South Africa on outrageously hot day and on and on, many times.

Long ago, we decided there’s no need to impress our readers with our resiliency in traveling on the roads in discomfort when we don’t have to do so. I have ants walking on my monitor as we speak and just swatted two off my left arm. We’re resilient enough. 

Again, today it’s a humid scorcher and my mug of warm coffee is preventing me from taking one more swig. The overhead and standing fans are operating at full speed. The occasional cool breeze wafting through the windows always inspires us to comment to one another as to how good it feels.

The beach along this area is mostly rocky.

When the long road ended at a resort we flipped around to head to the village for a trip to the pharmacy, the Vodafone store, the Farmers Market, the New World Market, finally ending at Fiji’s Meats located at the far end of the village, too far to walk. 

For the rest, we walk to each location along with all the other villagers who were busy with their own errands and shopping. Tom took off for the ATM while I visited the pharmacy. I’d had an idea to fill three prescriptions here when the pharmacist explained we didn’t need a local prescriptions and old US prescriptions or actual pill bottles would do.

My prescriptions from Minnesota were over three years old. He didn’t flinch, taking photos of each one with his phone. Asking how big a supply I preferred, hesitantly I suggested one year. He didn’t flinch.

In Australia, I was able to purchase six months of prescription meds and with what I had left on hand, with this new one year’s supply, it could possibly last for two more years. Since none of my meds are any type of controlled substances they can be readied filled. My three prescriptions are for the smallest possible doses for thyroid and hypertension (hereditary conditions).

The kindly pharmacist explained he’d order the smaller-than-usual doses and see what arrived within the week.  I may have to use my little blue pill cutter which has come in handy over these past years in the event he can’t get the small doses. Next Friday, they’ll be ready, giving him plenty of time to receive the order. Once we pick them up, we’ll happily share the prices.

The long steep driveways often lead to multiple properties.

Tom doesn’t take any prescription drugs since starting this way of eating. His mother Mary, who passed away at 98, didn’t either in her old age. He’s hoping for the same longevity and good health. My family’s medical history on my mother’s side is less forgiving with raging diabetes and heart disease.

Leaving the pharmacy, we walked across the road to Vodafone, made our usual data purchase of USD $69.61, FJD $150, (for 48 gigs) enough to get us through at least this next week. If we haven’t used it all by the time we leave, we’ll be able to use it during the 28 days on the next island. 

The Farmers Market was crowded on a Friday as we managed to work our way through the crowds to our favorite vendors. As we moved along, a lovely Fijian women, stopped me with a huge smile on her face.  Months ago, I’d asked her about avocados. At that time, she explained they weren’t in season. I was stunned she remembered that I’d asked!

We purchased two enormous avocados for USD $1.86, FJD $4 (for both) and now they’re resting on a pane of glass on the jalousie window in the kitchen while I’m hoping they’ll ripen in the next few days. 

I’m imaging a half of an avo filled with salmon salad made with chopped hard boiled eggs, diced celery, onions and our homemade dressing. That will be a refreshing treat for me while Tom has something else I’ll have prepared for him. 

As we approached the Farmers Market we couldn’t help but notice a band playing loud Fijian music. With the dense crowd hovering around the group we weren’t able to maneuver in position for a photo. Instead, I opted for a video when moments after we arrived the music ended and the group packed up their equipment. Not every moment is “safari luck” although, overall, it certainly feels as if it is!

Upon entering New World Market, looking forward to some AC while we shopped we were instantly aware their AC was out.  t was hotter in the market than it had been outdoors. 

There’s a wide variety of styles of homes in Fiji, no particular style standing out above the rest. Since most of these houses are built by foreigners, typically they reflect a certain aspect of the owner’s home country.

Luckily, we didn’t need much at the market as we wind down our time in Savusavu. Within ten minutes, I called Rasnesh to advise him we’d be ready to be picked up within five minutes, long enough to check out and pay for our few groceries.  Luckily, he was available, showing up outside exactly as we exited the store.

With the AC now on in his vehicle, the cooling effect was profound, especially for me sitting in the front seat while Tom happily languished in the backseat with nary a complaint. I always ride in the front seat on photo taking days, insisting he do so on other days.

We were off for the final stop, Fiji Meats. The “open” sign was posted on the door. Expressing multiple “bulas” between the three of us, she packed our hot chickens, mince beef and pork, chicken breasts along with two packages of sliced ham. 

She wasn’t able to get any streaky bacon this week so we opted for the sliced ham instead in order to make the last batch of Tom’s crust free breakfast quiche which is usually made using cooked streaky bacon.  I cook it and then freeze it in squares of three to ensure its fresh each morning.

When he uses the last of the three, he takes out another pack of three leaving it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Today, I’ll make enough to last through next Saturday, a total of seven pieces as well as one more batch of our favorite side dish, a tasty mushroom casserole to accompany any type of meat we may be having along with a salad, sliced cucumber and another hot veggie.

We hope all of our readers in the US had a fulfilling and filling Thanksgiving day! Wishing a great day to all of our worldwide readers!

Photo from one year ago today, November 28, 2014:

Skeleton of a humpback whale at the Whalers Village in Kaanapali Beach, Maui. For more photos, please click here.

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