Friday, May 11, 2007


Not to start out complaining, but we are melting twenty four hours a day in the high humidity and intense sun found at eighteen degrees south. Glad to be here in the winter as summer must be unbearable. Having spent so much time freezing in New Zealand and finally acclimating to the temperate/sub-tropical climate it's a bit of a shock to enter the tropics again.

The capital city of Suva seems mostly unaffected by any tourism trade (perhaps due to the recent coup) and in the last few days we've only seen maybe 10 other tourists types of European decent. Obtaining a cruising permit to see the out lying islands was only made difficult in locating the correct builing. Once in side we were issued a 4 month permit and full access to the islands (excepting the Lau group) by very friendly and helpful government workers.

The food and shopping are an amazing paradoxical convergence of high quality and low prices. Kathy did some serious shopping today and bought a dress and top for the equivalent of $5 US Dollars (USD) or $2.50 ea and a nice pair of shoes for $5 USD. A good lunch or dinner of Indian food and a drink will set you back $2.5-$3 USD and the food is incredible. Prices and selection at the absolutely enormous farmers market are mind boggling and the produce, fruits, fish and handy crafts of great quality. A cab ride across town cost about $1.50 USD of which other wise would be a 20 minute walk. The Fijians are really friendly and helpful and any smile will be returned not only in kind, but most frequently with even a bigger smile. We are offer greeted in passing with the Fijian greeting of "Bula" or Hello! The down sides are few for the adventurous and flexible traveler.

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