Like most tourists to Fiji, we are staying in a hotel complex, next to other hotels, and close to a marina that caters for us tourists. You could spend the whole holiday here, and never leave this environment, or you could do what we did one day, and jump on the ‘dollar bus’ and pop into Nadi, the nearest town to where our hotel complex was located.
We got on the ‘all stops to Nadi’ bus, which took us off the main road and through villages, farms, and fields of sugar cane. As we drove, we noticed the tin roofs of the houses were held down with large stones or heavy bricks to keep them in place. Fiji was hit by tropical cyclone Winston in 2016, which was the strongest to hit the area since records began. It devastated parts of the country, killing 22 people and leaving thousands homeless. These bricks and stones were a way of protecting houses against another cyclone, though how effective this is I can’t tell.
The bus stopped at the bus station in Nadi, which is next door to the vegetable market. I normally love wandering around markets like this, but there was something a little tired about this one – maybe Thursdays are not a good day to visit – or I was too hot from the bus ride!
Nadi is a real bustling mix of cultures and people. We drove past a large Catholic Church with an attached school, saw multiple shops with pre-Eid sales, and the largest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere.
We decided not to go in, but to find some lunch instead, stopping at The Curry House on Hospital Road. I was offered, and excepted, banana juice to drink. While not a great fan of bananas, this drink was refreshing and restorative in the sticky heat. I opted for a goat curry, and Karl a chicken one, both coming with rice, bread, poppadum, a potato side dish and minuscule salad. Great food and really cheap.
After lunch we took a further brief walk around, avoiding people trying to sell us things, but equally wanting to have a look at what was in the shops. It was an interesting trip, and I was glad we saw a tiny bit of the real Fiji.
Note…these posts from Fiji have been typed on my iOad with not very good internet connection. Apologies if a bit brief!