Saturday, August 31, 2013

road trip to Suva

We got to Vuda Point on Monday, August 26 and immediately began decommissioning Southern Cross in preparation for storage on the hard. But I'll leave that for the next post. We decided to break up the decommissioning process with a road trip to Suva, Fiji's largest city. Its a 4-5 hour bus trip from Nadi, so we had booked a very economical room at the "South Seas Private Hotel." When we got there, the women behind the counter seemed surprised to hear we had a reservation, but eventually they led us to a sunny and clean, if somewhat threadbare room, the only one in the whole place with an ensuite bathroom. We enjoyed our stay in this hotel, and the location was very convenient to the attractions we were interested in seeing. First on our list was the Fiji Museum, only a few blocks away. It boasts a great collection of traditional sailing canoes, and a piece of the rudder from HMS Bounty, among other treasures. We spent a few hours here. From here, we walked along Victoria Parade towards downtown, passing Southern Cross Road. Farther along, we passed several Chinese fishing vessels, and wondered if these were some of the dreaded longliners who are currently decimating the world's oceans. Even in downtown Suva, the trees were covered with epiphytes. We had a delicious lunch at the Maya Dhaba restaurant, possibly the best Indian food we had tasted in Fiji. Afterwards, we made our way to the public market, the largest and most interesting market in Fiji. We made several trips back here during our stay. We had dinner at the Royal Suva Yacht Club, where we had hoped to rendezvous with our friends Ed and Fran on Aka, who had recently made passage from New Zealand. But we were unable to raise them on the club's VHF radio.

Our last stop in Suva was at the University of the South Pacific campus. I had applied for a job here a long time ago, and was curious to see what it looked like. It turned out to be a vibrant, beautiful campus. We met students from all over Oceania, and at a crafts fair, we even met a couple of women from Caribbean islands. We enjoyed our time in Suva, and will probably visit again next season.

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