|Flying over a river in Viti Levu, the main island in Fiji.|
Each time we’ve flown in a small plane, I’ve found myself feeling compelled to write. Using the “notes” app on my phone, my fingers fly over the tiny letters finding a tremendous diversion against the less than comfortable environment.
|Rainbow and coral reef below while flying over the many islands in Fiji.|
The seats are tiny, the airflow is non-existent and based on the 12 other passengers crammed into the plane, it’s easy to feel outrageously cramped. Not claustrophobic as I was in my old life, I surprise myself over the steady rate of my heart and my overall lack of fear.
|Lush green vegetation while flying over Fiji.|
In our old lives, I never imagined flying on a small plane. At this point after flying in even tinier planes in Africa, the passenger size has become irrelevant. The whirring props, the noise, the sensitivity to each jolt of turbulence, no longer seems to make my heart skip a beat.
|Another view of the river.|
The views below us were beyond description, but impossible to photograph, although I tried unsuccessfully a few times. The windows on small planes are often scratched and always bug-covered. Our camera can’t overcome those obstacles.
|Suva International Airport is relatively small. This is the length of the terminal for both|
The tremendous number of islands (over 330) in Fiji made the scenery below, breathtaking as we wondered while peering out the filmy windows, who live on those islands and what life may be like.
|A guest room in the house where I’ll use the chest of drawers for some of my clothes, most of which will remain in the suitcase.|
As I wrote, it dawned on me that we’ve lived on islands 12 of the past 15 months; Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai, Vanua Levu, and now Viti Levu. In 27 days we’ll be off on a two-week cruise to visit yet more islands ending in another island, New Zealand where we’ll live for almost three months. It continues on and on.
|Comfortable bed in the master bedroom with air conditioning if needed (we won’t use) with en suite bathroom.|
Perhaps our site could be aptly named Worldwide Island Waftage or Worldwide Cruise Waftage when our inclination is to waft to islands and the sea. Although horoscopes aren’t my thing, does the fact that I’m a Pisces, the water sign, have a bearing on my personal affinity for the sea? Tom is the Capricorn sign and shares the same passion. So much for horoscopes.
|Another guest room in our vacation rental where Tom is keeping his suitcase out of the way.|
Once we landed, after only a 35-minute flight, our bags were at baggage claim in no time at all. Upon flight check-in at the minuscule Savusavu Airport, we’d paid FJD $220, USD $103 for overweight baggage even after we personally stood on the scale along with our bags. Surely, had we each weighed more, we would have paid more.
|Sink in master bath. It works for us.|
Good thing Tom’s lost 22 pounds since our last cruise, following my way of eating with relative ease over these past six months, eating lots of fat, two meals a day, and a daily snack.
Now, having lost his appetite, as I did long ago from eating very low carb, he’s decided to cut out one meal, to lose another few pounds before we go on yet another cruise. At least at a lower weight, we pay a little less for ourselves and our baggage at some airports.
|There’s hanging space in this house. In a few weeks, we’ll wash our cruise clothing, hanging it outdoors and then in the closets to keep them as wrinkle-free as possible before the cruise.|
As soon as we loaded our luggage onto two “free” carts, we walked a short distance to the greeting area, and there stood Sandeep, our driver with a sign with our name. Within minutes we were on our way to the market in Suva, the capital and largest city in Fiji.
|A second bath which we won’t use for showering.|
As expected, Suva is different than Savusavu simply based on the fact that it’s a bigger city with a population of over 150,000, although not as modern as many other parts of the world. I’d have liked to take photos on the hour-long drive to Pacific Harbour but the heat inspired our driver to use the AC keeping the windows closed.
|This dining table is perfect for us. We’ll often sit side by side as shown in the two-place settings and watch a show or a movie during dinner on my laptop.|
Opening one window for a quick shot instantly heated the car to the point where I noticed Tom was uncomfortable although he didn’t complain. We’ll have plenty of time for photos as we venture out with the driver from time to time.
|The kitchen has most items we use although there’s no cookie sheet to make our low-carb cookies for an after-dinner treat. We’ll purchase one next time we’re out.|
The grocery shopping was difficult when we weren’t able to find half of the items on our list, many we’d occasionally found in Savusavu. Our driver knew the market we preferred but ended up taking us to another market as had been the case when we arrived in Savusavu. We always wonder if the drivers get some perks for bringing tourists to certain markets upon their arrival.
|Decorator shelves at the end of the kitchen. Oh, look, you can see me at the far end of the hallway in my sleep tee shirt taking the photo .|
As we always say, we maintain a “no complaining” policy, and with both of us exhausted from a fitful night’s sleep, we didn’t ask him to drive the long distance to the other more out-of-the-way market. We were grateful for the air conditioning and comfortable ride in the new SUV.
|This pristine kitchen however clean attracts ants. That’s life in Fiji!|
No streaky bacon, no garlic powder or salt, no sea salt, no tomatoes, no avocados, no cabbage, no lettuce, and the remaining items on our list requiring we shop again tomorrow hoping to find a few of these and other items.
Back on the road, we enjoyed the drive through the countryside, and before long we reached Pacific Harbour a cozy upscale mostly foreigner-owned and occupied neighborhood. Each house custom-built home on beautiful wooded spacious lots has its own personality. When we drove up to our new home, we were pleased with our choice even before opening the door.
|The living room. We each sit in a chair while we work and share the sofa at night when we watch a show on the TV after we hooked up our HDMI cord to the laptop. The furniture is made locally using coconut wood.|
Upon entering the property, we were further pleased. The mahogany walls and pristine floors create a warm and inviting feel along with newer leather furnishings, three bedrooms, two full baths including an en suite bath in the master bedroom, spacious kitchen (no dishwasher, old oven in good condition, larger fridge than we’ve had in past two homes) and the usual friendly ants who come to call daily.
For more details on the listing, please click here.
|It’s good to be able to watch world news while here although we’ve become quite comfortable without a TV.|
Luckily, we planned ahead and purchased ant chalk and spray. Although the house and kitchen were spotless on arrival, the ants were in the drawers, plates, and on the appliances and countertops. Before and after dinner we washed everything in hot soapy water. This morning they were back and we had no choice but to spray. It’s OK. We’re used to it.
The bed? Ah, the bed, pillows, and blankets are luxurious compared to the last futon bed on the springy mattress. It feels as if it’s a space foam bed and we both slept fairly well. The shower, heated with solar power is excellent with good water pressure and non-slip floors with built-in shelves for bath products.
|The mahogany floors and walls in this house are beautiful.|
As always when we have multiple bedrooms, we each take a room in which to leave our opened bag on the bed. While here, we’ll be washing all of our cruise clothing which has become wrinkled and musty in the bags these past six months.
The grounds and yard are lovely with a pool, covered laundry area, spacious wraparound veranda with a four-person table and chairs, and a barbecue which we won’t use since it needs a huge cleaning and tank of gas, not worth the bother during this short stay.
Each room has windows with screens! We couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to have all the windows open. This means a lot to both of us!
With no drip coffee pot, Tom made coffee this morning using the French press, making the best mug of coffee I’ve had in a long time. This will continue to be his morning task while I busy myself on the day’s post.
Today, we’re posting interior photos with exterior photos tomorrow. The following day we’ll post photos from our first outing as we visit a popular tourist venue, a trip to the market, and the local farmers market.
We’re grateful to have arrived safely and to find this location and property ideal for our needs over the next 28 days. We don’t plan to do a lot of sightseeing here although we’ll certainly get out each week, posting photos along the way.
It’s so comfortable in this new house, I’ll have a heck of a time getting Tom to go out but with many great restaurants and resorts nearby, we’ll definitely be heading out to dinner on several occasions.
Have a fabulous day! We sure will!
Photo from one year ago today, December 7, 2014:
|It was one year ago today, that the first of family began to arrive in the Big Island, Hawaii for the holiday season; son TJ, Sarah, Jayden, and Nik, who’s shared the first house we rented until the second house became available as the others arrived. Before their arrival, we drove the Red Road to take photos along the way. Please click here for details.|