Part 1…Road trip…Tour of Suva, the capital city…

Breathtaking shades of pink.

With it planned for over a week, we’re looking forward to getting out to see some of the sites in Suva on Wednesday morning as well as take a trip to a pharmacy and market for a few remaining items on our list.

Unfortunately, on Tuesday night, I barely slept all night, tossing and turning, reading intermittently, and spending hours wide awake just laying there most of the night. I wasn’t necessarily in a state of worry.

As we’d seen at the huge farmers market in Cairns, Australia, beautiful bouquets of locally grown flowers are offered for sale.

I had most of Wednesday’s post completed so there’d be no issue uploading before our 11:00 am driver appeared in his air-conditioned vehicle on a very hot and humid day. I was feeling fine. There was no reason not to be sleeping at least for six hours, my usual skimpy night’s allotment.

Never a good sleeper, fitful most nights, and always an early bird, if I’d get a full six-hours,  even in a few segments, I’d feel fine. But, yesterday morning, dragging myself out of bed, I knew I was in trouble. Most likely I hadn’t slept three hours off and on. 

Individual flowers for those who prefer to make their own arrangements.

The thought of sightseeing, shopping, and taking photos all day didn’t seem possible in my exhausted state.  Had we been staying in, it would have been easy to pamper myself resting for a few hours here and there, although I can’t nap during the day, never have. 

Making certain everything we’d need for dinner when we returned home took every last bit of energy I could muster;  making the salad, slicing the cucumber, and preparing the vegetables wiped me out further. With roasted chicken planned as the entrée, by the time we left, dinner was under control. 

No photo can do justice to illustrate the massive size of this market.

We could have dined out, but I knew by the time we returned home, my comfy long tee-shirt would be my single article of clothing on a hot day while Tom languished in his swimsuit with no shirt, his usual warm day outfit.

Ready to go at 11:00 am, Alfaan arrived with the newer SUV, another driver with Alamanda Tours. The round trip fare for the day was FJD $100, USD $46.70 plus we gave Alfa a generous trip for his fabulous help, even pushing the cart of the New World Market and helping carry the groceries into the house. 

Lettuce is easily found at this market at FJD $1, USD $.47 per bunch.

By the end of the day, I was determined to notify the tour company that we wanted Alfaan as our permanent driver going forward which I did by email upon returning home. This morning I received a confirmation that they’d arrange for him to handle all of our trips.

As it turned out, during the long drive each way, sitting in the front seat, in my exhausted state, I interviewed Alfaan for details on his lifestyle as a local Indo-Fijian and will share his story in a few days. He was eager to answer my questions while I was enthralled by his interesting responses.

This Women’s Centre has clothing, handbags, and jewelry for women only.

Had I felt better, we surely would have visited more sites. I just didn’t have the energy to do much walking although, in all, we walked a fair amount. We did what I could and by 2:30 pm, I’d was done-in and ready to wrap up the day.

We’d made it to the pharmacy to purchase contact lens solution to ensure I have enough for the upcoming cruise and my second bottle of fingernail polish in order to do my own pedicures. 

Handmade ribbon bouquets for the holiday season and other celebrations.

Through these past three-plus years, I’ve managed to get by with one bottle of red fast dry polish.  Now, it’s thick and unusable and going into the trash. I purchased a regular polish (no fast dry here) in a pinkish color which most likely will get me through the next three years. 

We also purchased 3% hydrogen peroxide which we use regularly when brushing our teeth and for mouth rinsing after we’ve done the daily coconut oil teeth pulling we’ve described in earlier posts. (Please write if you’d like more info).

Handwoven bags made onsite at the Women’s Centre.

At the end of the day, we headed to the Cost-U-Less store which is comparable to a lesser version of Sam’s Club or Costco. We walked out empty-handed when they had few items on our list and only huge sizes of most food products, not suitable for our remaining 18 days in Fiji.

Alfaan drove us the short distance to the New World Market, similar to the same-named market in Savusavu and although we couldn’t find a number of items, we wrapped it up and headed home. Aside from eggs, cream and produce, we won’t need to grocery shop again other than purchasing the chickens each week.

The locals hope to earn a reasonable day’s wage working in the market. But, most tourists don’t purchase produce when they’re staying in hotels and resorts, other than fruit. Mostly, the customers were Fijians.

Finally, back home, I was grateful I’d prepped everything for dinner other than toss the salad, cook the veggies and reheat a chicken.  We’d purchased many veggies at the huge farmer’s market in Savu, known as the Suva Municipal Market, as shown in these photos, one of the biggest we’ve seen to date. 

I washed everything putting it away, relieved when done, anxiously to plop into my comfy chair with a fan blowing on me. It must have been 90F, 32 C inside the house when we entered. When it hadn’t cooled off by the time I lumbered off to bed at 9:30 as late as I possibly could, we turned on the wall AC for the first time. I needed to sleep.

Not unlike the rest of the world, Fijians have cell phones and are often found talking loudly in public.

Today, I’m feeling much better although I awoke dozens of times during the night when the air-con cycled through various stages. Unless it’s as hot tonight as it was last night, most likely we won’t use it again. Hot or noisy, which is preferable?

Tonight, we’re meeting honeymoon couple, Samantha and Danny, for dinner at the Water’s Edge restaurant at 6 pm. We’re looking forward to a casual dinner out with this lovely couple who Susan, the owner of both houses, encouraged us all to get together.

Although I asked the vendor the name of this item, I was unable to understand his response. Looking online, I couldn’t find it. Any ideas?

I’m now in the process of laundering all of Tom’s cruise clothing which on this beautiful sunny day will readily dry carefully hung on hangers on the clothesline. Yesterday, we purchased a roll of plastic bags. 

The day before we depart to fly to Sydney we’ll carefully wrap each cruise item in an individual bag for wrinkle-free clothing when we unpack on the cruise. This has proven to be the perfect solution for wrinkle-free clothes upon unpacking.

Fruit of unknown variety. They looked like pears but upon closer inspection, we weren’t certain.

We’ll be back tomorrow and over the next several days with more photos from the trip to Suva and later share details of tonight’s dinner at another new dining establishment.

Today’s another scorcher. Soon, we’ll head out to the pool for a refreshing swim. Enjoy the day!

  Photo from one year ago today, December 17, 2014:

Our family members found a level spot easier for getting in and out of the Kapoho tide pools. With no post on this date one year ago, here is the link from the prior day’s visit to the tide pool and why we stayed behind rather than walk over the uneven terrain of massive lava rocks. 

Comments and responses Part 1…Road trip…Tour of Suva, the capital city…

  1. Michelle Burger

    The vegetables in the market looked beautiful as did the flowers! The lettuce looked so fresh and green and those tomatoes were such a bright red and large. Thank you for the pictures and I look forward to hearing more about the local lifestyle!

  2. Jessica

    Michelle, thanks for commenting! Yes, the produce from the farmers market was as fresh tasting and delicious as it looked. Visiting farmers markets is always a highlight of our travels, knowing the produce it locally grown and free of pesticides. There are a number of bugs to clean off when washing it all but I've long gotten over touching bugs and worms. Tomorrow, we'll post a new life in Fiji story we hope you'll find interesting.

    Have a fabulous holiday season and thanks for stopping by!

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

  3. Jessica

    Thanks, Amit!
    Its always great to learn about new foods. We appreciate you posting comments!
    Notice we've written about you on today's post on January 9, 2016.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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