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  • Writer's pictureClaire

26/02/24 Fiji

Overnight there was some really heavy rain and we could hear it battering the roof of the Bure. As it was dark last night when we arrived, there wasn't a great deal to see. So when we opened our door this morning we were treated to the most stunning view. Emerald green rain soaked grass glistened in the morning sunshine, and we could seefrom our Bure right to the ocean. The only thing in the way was a hammock hanging between a pair of palm trees on the grass Oh and a stupid light post. The ocean was dead flat and like a mill pond, not so much as a sniff of a wave or a breeze in sight. Perfection indeed! It resembles an infinity pool. Palm trees dotted the beach line and fronded beach huts provided shelter from the warm sun.

A massive coconut had dropped in the night and was still in the crater of its own making outside the door. On our way to breakfast, we gave it a shake and established it was full. We have a spoon in the Bure, and our aim is to break into it and drink the milk. We are hopeful that the spoon is up to the task we have set it, because we have no other coconut getting into tools with us.

Breakfast was a hot buffet affair, eggs, beans, chicken sausage, noodles and veg, fresh fruit. Also there was as much tea and coffee as we could get down our necks. Very tasty and freshly cooked. On Fiji time though, and waiting for any top ups took a little time. Who cares about that though? We were sat in the brilliant sunshine, waves gently lapping the shore, palm trees shading us, and surrounded by lush greenery and tropical flowers, I can think of worse ways to start the day. So waiting for some scrambled eggs was a small price to pay. I adore Fiji time.

Once we'd filled up on lovely food and topped up on tea and coffee, we returned to the Bure to get ready for some serious sun worshipping. There are little beach shelter huts dotted along the resorts private beach, each with loungers underneath them looking out over the ocean. There was one directly in front of the Bure, as I mentioned but they were sanding down the Bure in front of us and preparing it for a new coat of varnish. It seems to be a simple enough thing to do very quickly. They take the mozzie nets off the outside and attack it with electric sanders, inside and out. Obviously the sanding was causing a fair bit of dust, and an awful lot of noise. Due to that I selected loungers right at the end of the resorts beach, far away from all the people. Not that there were many around, but you don't want to take any chances can you??

We got settled in to our little piece of paradise and watched the tide go out. The beach is classed as being safe for swimming and at high tide its about waist deep, maybe a little deeper. There is a pretty steep shelf down from the beach which you'd need to be aware of if taking a dip. The sand isn't the picture postcard white you'd expect it to be, and is quite dark almost volcanic. It's pretty clean and there are the obligatory shells and broken coral bits. Nadi doesn't have any coral reef close to shore, but the water is pretty clear, warm and pleasant to paddle in.

Si went for one of his exploration walks, and returned an hour or so later. He'd walked the length of the beach and passed by a few more hotels, found a building site, and some restaurants. He sat for a while in the shade on his return before deciding to go and try one of the pools. There are two here, both substantial sizes, but the one is a lot shallower and set back a bit from the front so it's a massive sun trap. The other is raised up and catches the breeze. It's also surrounded big palm trees which provide a fair bit of shade during the hottest part of the day. I stayed exactly where I was, roasting, with my nose stuck in a book. A swim would have been refreshing, but there's always tomorrow for that isn't there?. Besides, a stiff breeze had picked up and was coming in from the ocean and I was being cooled down in a spectacular fashion. It would have been incredibly remiss of me not to take advantage of it, especially as it might not be there tomorrow and I'll have to have a swim to cool down. Life is tough, you don't understand!!

The pool was as expected and Si greatly enjoyed the cooling dip. When he returned to the shade of the beach hut we had a chat about the next leg of the trip, and decided what I need to book next. For a cheap hotel, the Club Fiji is very very good. It feels like you're in someone's home, everyone's mission is to ensure you have a great time. From the cleaners, pool boy, the reception and bar staff, to the gardener. Yes some things could do with a bit of tlc, but the grounds are beautifully maintained, the food is good, accommodation is exactly as described and it's very homely. The people are what make it special. There were, as you would expect, a lot of really bad reviews, but from what we can see of it so far, they were doing the place a disservice with their comments. For what we paid it's more than exceeded our expectations. It is the wet season so not Fiji's busiest season despite it being summer. The cyclone threat has now passed, and they are preparing for their busy season. The temperatures will drop a little, but it won't be anywhere as humid as it is currently which will obviously make it feel cooler.

By 1600 hrs we'd decided enough sunshine had been absorbed for the day and retired to the bar. The view is exactly the same as the breakfast view, so it wasn't a hardship by any stretch of the imagination. With the breeze blowing in our faces, we sat and watched the world go by.

Then something amooooooosing happened. Well we found it amooooooosing. We could see something floating in the tide and whatever it was being carried into shore. To start with we couldn't quite make out what it was, so I took a photo to zoom in. I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing, but there, in the zoomed in photo in front of us was a very puffed up and very dead cow mooooooooooving up closer to the hotel with the tide. Quite a few people had noticed it by now, I mean, it's hard not to notice a dead cow bobbing around on the waves. Even for people with really bad eyesight like me! The staff however appeared to be completely oblivious! Predictably the really bad jokes and puns started. It needs to moooooove along now was one of the better ones! Once they'd been exhausted we decided it was time to return to the Bure for a shower and change. As we went along the beach, the damn cow began to follow us. Not get up and walk follow us obviously, because it was very dead! The tide was pulling it in the direction of our end of the beach. It's a little unnerving being stalked by a dead cow. As we approached the Bure, we could see a member of staff on the beach on the phone and looking at the cow, so we assumed that he was on the phone to the dead cow removal people.

Behind our Bure there are some modern looking apartment blocks, just double storey but a complete contrast to our traditional accommodation. The whole resort is set in lovely green lawns and, just in front of the apartments, there was a bit of a feeding frenzy going on as the lawns had been freshly cut. There were tiny little green birds with bright red heads hopping around the grass. They seemed to be quite used to people as they didn't fly off when I approached them for the obligatory photo.

The air con had been on all day, but due to the heat and the gaps in the wood around the Bure, a lot of warm air had got in and the machine was having trouble cooling it. It wasn't unbearable but it certainly wasn't as cool as it had been when we left it this morning! The breeze was still strong and as soon as the temp dropped we opened all the shutters to let it cool through. The outside of the windows ate covered with mozzie nets so they couldn't get in through there. We plugged in our USB mozzie repellent, and since the hotel use the same little pads as we do, we assume they work!

Darkness fell after another very pretty sunset, and the damn mozzies upped their game. What purpose do they have anyway?? None whatsoever that's what, they exist for the sole purpose of irritating people who want to wear shorts and dresses in tropical climates. Once it gets dark outside, the lights, which are mainly solar powered come on to light the way. They also light paraffin lanterns made out of empty glass bottles with thick heavy duty wicks stuck in them. I love the idea of them, and when we get home I fully intend to make some ready for when we have a party, or even just because we're sat outside. Although I think they'd look great up the length of the drive. As long as a bloody great airplane doesn't try to land between them.

After our very lazy day and early beer we decided against going back out to the bar. There was entertainment ongoing, which we could just about hear, so we didn't need to go anyway.

Much Love


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