Fiji or Republic of Fiji officially is a South Pacific island. It is located approximately 2,000 north of New Zealand's North Island. It consists of 330 islands, not counting 500 islets, of which 110 are permanently inhabited. Its population is approximately 900,000.
Fiji is one of the better developed nations thanks to its abundant forest, minerals and fish resources. Fiji water is known to be actually imported from Fiji.
Between our New Zealand trip and Australia trip, we had a five-day gap. I struggled a bit among options, but we decided to take a relaxing time in Fiji.
After all, however, we managed to arrive at the parking lot of the resort. Then, we realized that we had to take a boat to go to the resort. There was no land connection. I felt confined. But, no other choice.
The greater concern was yet to be discovered. As soon as we arrived at the resort, the management issued a warning that a tropical storm is brewing in the north west direction of Fiji and is expected to develop into tropical cyclone. Fiji was hit with another cyclone only a week ago and some people died in the flood under a heavy rain.
The facility was good with nice ocean views and garden views. The restaurant served good foods and the staff was friendly. Fiji-friendly. Bula means Welcome in Fiji and we could hear "Bula" everywhere we went.
The following day, we drove out to check out the supermarket that we saw at the junction as turned from the main road into a small road to the resort. There was nothing much at the supermarket.
Then, the weather looked fine and we decided to drive to Suva, approximately 3 and 1/2 hours away. On the way, we could not see much of the ocean, only once in a while, until we reached the capital city of Suva. Suva has a big port that is able to dock cruise ships. Other than that, we could not find anything interesting.
On the way back, we made a comfort stop at Novotel located at Suva Lami Bay. It was raining and the islets in front of the hotel in the sea looked mysterious.
Also on the way back, we made anther photo stop and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. This resting area had a stretched wharf at Maui Bay and we walked all the way to the end. There was a lot of colorful tropical fish and even a small octopus. The water was turquoise green and we could see the barrier reef in a distance. Along with blue sky and white cloud, the scenery was perfect. We were glad that we made a stop and we found that Fiji after all could be a beautiful island.
But, that was about it. From then on, we could not do much. We planned to join a cultural tour, but all tours were getting cancelled due to the tropical cycloe Keni. Initially it was category 1 with the wind speed up to 90 km per hour but quickly developed into category 3 with the wind speed up to 140 km.
By the time Keni was passing close by Fiji, the resort facilities were boarded up and staff was sent home. All the guests were advised to stay inside the rooms. Sandbags and flash lights were distributed. And many people purchased their meals in advance.
Outside, the wind was strong and the water was rough. We were glad that we moved our room to the second floor.
Finally, Tropical Cyclone Keni passed by Fiji and the resort turned out to be just fine. My rent car remained intact and we thought we would be just fine. One remaining concern was the road condition to the airport, which could be closed because of flooding. It was also cleared.
But, the flight from Nadi to Auckland was delayed for four hours. With this delay, we would be missing the flight from Auckland to Sydney. So we ended up buying another ticket from Nadi to Sydney. We hope that the travel insurance will cover this unexpected cost.
Our trip to the supposed paradise island Fiji turned out to be a disaster story, but nonetheless, we made a trip to this South Pacific island and came out of it without much damage or loss. For that, I felt grateful. But, it is true that my previous desire to live in Fiji for a few months has been substantially diminished, if not completely abandoned. - Jeffrey