Preparing for the next location…The remote island of Vanua Levu…

On the return drive from Clifton Beach, we stopped at our favorite spot where we always find horses, kangaroos, and wallabies.

Yesterday, we communicated back and forth with Mario, the property manager of the house on Vanua Levu the second largest island in the Fiji archipelago, which we’ll move into in less than one month. 

Vanua Levu is considered by some worldwide island enthusiasts to be one of the most desirable islands on which to live in the world. There are considerable historical facts we’ll share once we arrive.

For now, we’re thinking in terms of getting ourselves there and situated including what we’ll need to live comfortably with the realization we’ll be living on an island with a population of only 130,000 and in the town of Savusavu with a population under 5000.

A little black and white bird.

Although tourists have flooded this island over the last decade, it still consists of small towns with minimal amenities as compared to those available in Australia. We’re anticipating that the shopping will be comparable to that which we experienced in Diani Beach, Kenya with grocery stores containing a minimal selection of products.

Most tourists do little grocery shopping. If they have a kitchenette with a microwave and refrigerator, they may purchase such items as yogurt, sweet rolls, celery, milk, cookies, lunchmeats, bread, chips, and other snacks and beverages, none of which we purchase.

Of course, the stores in more remote locations keep products on hand that appeals to the masses. For us, it’s impossible to walk into a quick shop and purchase anything that works for our way of eating.

Is this some type of pontoon used to capture crocs?

However, if all an island has available is protein sources in the way of beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs and cheese, and green leafy vegetables, they are all we really need. There is nowhere in the world that we’d live that doesn’t have these items.

Anything beyond those basic items centers around our preferences for a few special items which include homemade baked goods (in moderation) utilizing the following list of low carb, grain-free, and sugar-free products, organic if available:

  • Coconut flour
  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Pure lemon and vanilla extracts
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Himalayan salt (we keep a supply in our luggage)
Clifton Beach proved to be a good spot to revisit.

After sending Mario this list yesterday, he replied that although coconut oil and vanilla is readily available, the remaining items may not be. After discussing this yesterday, we decided to purchase the remaining items while we’re still here and ship them to Savusavu.

This appears to be a wallaby, not a kangaroo.

With the high excess baggage fees for Fiji Air, it’s not possible to include them with our luggage, certainly not enough to last us for a total of four months on both islands in Fiji.

You may ask, “Why do we choose to live in such remote locations?” The answer for us is clear, “We love living in remote locations, close to the sea without the hustle and bustle of city life and yet have the option to travel to the city to enjoy the culture, all the while living a life as if we were locals.

Seven percent of the residents in Savusavu are ex-pats obviously choosing this location due to the fact that they love its beauty, climate, and availability of services and products that fits their needs. If they love it, most likely we will as well.

This wallaby family was curious as we walked along the bordering trail.

With our list ready on the grocery app on my phone, we’ll begin to purchase these items over the next several weeks of grocery shopping, accumulating our inventory as we go based on the availability of the items at the local grocery stores.

Tomorrow, we’ll stop at the post office to check on the cost of shipping the package based on our estimation of the weight of the items. We saved a cardboard box from a shipment of supplies we received from the US last week (containing jeans for Tom, tee shirts, shoes, and contact lenses for me) and we also have a roll of shipping tape. 

During our past visits, they ran off. This time, they watched us for a while and then ran off.

Mario explained that we’ll send the package to his post office box and once we arrive, we’ll be required to meet with the customs officer to go through the box to determine if we have any banned products.

In checking online for what can and can’t be imported to Fiji, we don’t expect any issues. Ideally, we’ll arrange for the package to arrive a few days after we do, allowing us time to set up the appointment with the customs officer. 

We recall the necessity of this same process on the island of Madeira, Portugal when our package arrived requiring a trip to Funchal to meet with and go through the items with a customs officer showing him our receipts for the items in the box, all of which were accepted without issue.

Even the horse by the fence made eye contact with us. Animals are not unlike people in that they revel in interaction.

Soon we’re off for the fitness center with a plan to return shortly afterward so Tom can watch the first preseason Minnesota Vikings football game using our HDMI cable to watch it from his laptop to the HD TV.

Although not a football fan, I’ll do some baking this afternoon which will give me an opportunity to begin to calculate the amounts of the above products we’ll need to purchase to send to Vanua Levu. 

Have an excellent day! We plan to.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, August 10, 2014:

Although it was a rainy evening we had a fabulous time on a gourmet dinner cruise on the Seine served with multiple bottles of wine, some of which Tom enjoyed and easy adaptation to my way of eating allowing me to have most of the offered items. It was a perfect night. Please click here for more photos, a video, and details.

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