Tuesday 18 October 2016
H and I have visited a fair number of countries together but we have never travelled to the South Pacific, we have plans to rectify this. Fiji, the much loved holiday destination for hundreds of thousands of Australians each year, is todays goal. Unfortunately only one of us will get there today.
With an early start, I’m super excited as we Uber to the airport for out 9:25 am Virgin flight to Nadi. Excitement soon turns to devastation when we are told that H does not have 6 months on his passport and can’t get on the plane today. Turns out that pretty much every country has the requirement there be at least 6 months left on a passport to allow entry. Howard’s passport is short by about 10 days. WTF! What is the point of having a valid passport if you can’t use it for the last 6 months. By the way, we knew this requirement but one of us had miscalculated the time remaining on H’s passport!
This is not news that we take well! In the end we agree that I fly as planned to Fiji and Howard will join me as soon as he can get a new passport. We bid a teary goodbye and I head off through immigration alone.
It’s a perfect flight and as I have booked exit row seats, a comfortable one as well. At Nadi airport processing is relatively quick considering the extensive renovations.
Junior, my driver is a nice young man, takes me to the supermarket in Nadi to stock up on a few provisions water, mixers for my duty free vodka, a bottle of wine (Australian) and a beer for the road – lord knows I need a drink after my trying morning. I also buy Junior a packet of cigarettes to sweeten the deal.
The Warwick Resort is on the Coral Coast of the main island of Viti Levu and much further from the airport than I had anticipated – my research had indicated 1 hour drive not 2. Thank goodness I didn’t book a standard bus transfer.
At The Warwick I am greeted with beating of drums and a resounding “BULA”. It’s a word that will be repeated again and again over the next 10 days.
Room 398 the Abel Tasman Suite is the best room in the resort. On the third floor, right at the end of the Suva Wing (adult only wing) overlooking the beach it is open room with a sitting area and small balcony with great views of both the gardens and coral lagoon.
As a guest in a suite I have access to the Club Lounge for afternoon tea and pre-dinner drinks each day. So after I unpack our luggage (H and I shared a bag so I have all his gear as well) I head to the Club for a drink and snack. I awkwardly sit by myself and check my messages – Howard has applied for his passport and hopes to have it by Thursday and fly to Fiji on Friday – fingers crossed.
Fortified with alcohol I explore the resort and end up drinking a lonely cocktail on Wahu Island, a small island joined to the resort by a narrow causeway. On the causeway I’m surprised to see a couple of poisonous sea snakes climbing the rocks. A little girl is crouched over, fascinated by the snake, with her mother hovering close by, while her father bravely stands back and boasts that the snake it totally safe and he will pick it up if she wants. Stupid man!
The resort must be close to full as I have been unable to book a table at my preferred restaurant so I head back to my room for room service (a chicken club sandwich) in front of the TV.