Today is moving day, from the Volivoli on Viti Levu Island to the Paradise Taveuni on Taveuni Island. We have some time before checking out so we sit on the lounge chairs on our deck and watch the ocean and the birds. There is a small group of black and white birds flitting about catching breakfast, preening whilst sitting on a high tree branch and making passes at the other sex.
A resort like the Volivoli provides isolation from the rest of the island. We are in Fiji, but we are not really seeing any of Fiji. It is very easy to chill out here and not worry about the outside world.
Our ride to the airport arrives promptly at 10:00 and we are off on our 2 1/2 hour drive. When we drove this road the last time, there was water everywhere. The creeks were overflowing, there was water in the fields and flooding people’s houses. Today it is a much different view. A week has dried the ground, and the waters have subsided. Road crews are out repairing damaged pavement. A backhoe is working beside one of the bridges to restore its bank.
I notice the real Fiji. The woman washing clothes in the stream, bedding being aired out on bushes, fish being sold on the side of the road, houses that are weathering too fast to keep up with. Garbage in the ditches is not frequent until we get to the larger centres.
There are 3 or 4 big billboards along our way that have the saying “Condemn Racism & Religious Intolerance”. The sign does not indicate who is sponsoring them. Bravo for Fiji.
Our driver is extremely cautious and courteous. He puts on his hazard flashers when pulling up behind a very slow truck or a pedestrian crossing the road. He chatters away, supplying us with miscellaneous and random facts. There is a gold mine in Lautoka that employs about 800 people. He pointed out the headstone for the grave of the last cannibal, who died in the early 1900’s. This fellow apparently killed and ate about 90 people and lived to a ripe old age. (May have to fact check this tidbit.)
We arrive at the airport, do the airport and flying thing and now are mostly settled in at the Paradise. Tomorrow we start our dive routine all over again.