|A bouquet of these scented flowers awaited our arrival.|
It feels good to be settled in, unpacked, and becoming familiar with our surroundings. After posting today, we’ll be heading to the Arts Village, a local arts and crafts area with a variety of shops including a farmers market and grocery store.
Right now, we need to fill in our grocery shopping when we weren’t able to find a number of important, although basic, food items necessary for our way of eating. Hopefully today, we’ll be able to pick up what we need.
|Table and chairs on the veranda.|
We’ve arranged with the driver to pick us up today at noon. Again, we checked out car rentals in Pacific Harbor hoping to rent a car for a few days. At USD $80, FJD $171 a day, it’s just not worth it when the cost of the driver is less overall.
We booked with the same tour company (by email) for today’s outing and Saturday night’s transport to a popular local restaurant. We’ll be back on Sunday with photos and details of our first dining out experience since the day of our travel anniversary on October 31st. Both of us are excited to be dining out after such a long haul.
|The veranda winds around the entire house.|
Generally, dining out in Savusavu was tricky with few food options that worked for me. Here in Pacific Harbour, there are many resorts that welcome “outsiders” to dine in their restaurants whereby in Savusavu, the resorts were all-inclusive and less amenable to outsiders.
We’ve always found resorts more able to accommodate my way of eating than local restaurants when they often have guests staying at their facility and must accommodate the religious and health preferences of many cultures.
|These doors lead to the master bedroom, but with no screens, it’s unlikely we’ll use them.|
As a result of this availability in Pacific Harbour, we’re thrilled to be able to dine out at least once a week if not more. By purchasing two roasted chickens each week we’ll only have to make the sides dishes to accompany them, resulting in making only four complete meals a week. Less cooking. Less ants. Life in the tropics.
In some countries and vacation homes with pools, we’ve noticed the pools aren’t regularly cleaned and may not have adequate filter systems. Dumping a dose of chlorine and sifting out a few leaves doesn’t indicate a thorough pool cleaning.
|Side view of the house. The landscaping is lovely with many nice shrubs and flowering plants.|
Having grown up in California with a pool and me designated as the “pool guy” I remember only too well the work required. Sure, that was many years ago and equipment has greatly improved. Still, pool maintenance requires a pool service or homeowner dedicated to conscientious attention to detail.
As a result of some pools not properly being cleaned regularly, we’ve avoided using them. Can you imagine the bacteria that lurk in stagnant pool water? When we arrived here the pool looked a little murky, mostly due to leaves and bugs floating on the service.
|Rearview of the house with the pool hidden behind the bushes. No fences are required to enclose pools in Fiji.|
We wrote to Susan, the attentive owner asking as to the pool maintenance. Within five minutes of my inquiry, a pool guy appeared spending several hours tending to the pool, leaving it impeccable.
A short time later she replied assuring us that regular pool maintenance comes by a few times a week. I apologized for “jumping the gun” explaining the pool frustration in some prior vacation homes.
|Front view of the house.|
Today, the lawn maintenance person is here and the smell of fresh-cut grass is wafting through our senses, actually a pleasant smell. It amazing and actually quite wonderful that none of this work is up to us. We need only to make the bed, clean up after cooking and eating and do our laundry.
The washing machine is outdoors as shown in this photo with clotheslines and plenty of clothespins to handle however much we may have. After living in Savusavu I finally accepted the fact of how unimportant it is to do laundry daily when laundry was handled twice a week presenting no issues for us. We certainly have enough clothing to last three or four days.
|View of the pool and patio from the veranda.|
In this house, there are enough bath towels and kitchen towels (including our own we carry with us) that we can make it several days without doing laundry. The hardest part is keeping the dish towels away from the house after use during food prep.
The ants love the kitchen towels I use to wipe food off of my hands or clean up spills while cooking when attempting to keep the use of paper towels at a minimum for both ecological and financial reasons.
|This roofed area is where the washer and clotheslines are located, perfect for drying clothes on rainy days.|
As I sit here now in a relatively comfy leather chair, the overhead and two-floor fans cooling us while we enjoy the French press coffee Tom has meticulously made again today, we have the TV on in the background to Nat Geo Wild, with one interesting wildlife series after another.
How enjoyable this is while I work frequently lifting my head to check out the story! I guess we’ve missed having a TV these past three months. When we return late in the day from our outing, we’ll turn on BBC world news, keeping us well abreast of what’s transpiring in the US and throughout the world.
|Another view of the pristine cleaned pool.|
It’s important for us to see which countries may be unsuitable for future visits at this time while it’s saddening to see what’s transpiring throughout the world. We don’t watch any other programming when we have plenty of our own shows and movies to watch in the evenings.
Tom was able to watch Sunday’s disappointing Minnesota Vikings game on the TV instead of the laptop using the HDMI cable. Last night we watched two shows using the HDMI before heading to bed, The Blacklist (season 3) and Scandal (season 4). I use an app on my phone to track the last episodes we’ve watched for every series we’ve seen referring to it nightly to ensure we watch episodes in the correct order. Lots of record-keeping in this life.
|A suitable deck area allows for sunning near the pool.|
After logging many expenses and upcoming destinations into our Excel document with many worksheets, we’re entirely up-to-date. Now caught up, we need only to log expenses as they occur over this next month or, any other bookings we may make while here.
Yesterday, we paid the balance for three months’ rent in New Zealand. In the next several weeks, we’ll pay the balance for the first stay in Bali. We’ve already paid the balance for our upcoming cruise in 28 days.
|Two comfortable chaise lounges await our use providing both sunny and shady areas.|
At this point, we’re paid for rent, car, and cruises through April 15, 2016, including the upcoming flight and one-night hotel, stay in Sydney on January 4th, the cost of the cruise on January 5, 2016, the three-month rental car in New Zealand, the three month’s rent for the alpaca farm in New Zealand.
All we left to pay during this time period (between now and April 15th) is for one more night’s hotel in Sydney, another cruise on April 16th from Sydney, and the rent for Bali. It’s comforting to know we’ve paid so much in advance although, at times, we cringe at the prospect of deposits paid for rentals well into the future.
Tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos from today’s outing which we’re both excitedly anticipating. Please check back for more. Happy day!
Photo from one year ago, December 8, 2014:
|Our first whale sighting in Big Island, Hawaii, spotted by our grandson Jayden. Good eye, Jayden. And Nik spotted the first sea turtles. Guess “safari luck” is hereditary. We were having a fabulous time with the first of our family to arrive. For more details, please click here.|