March 19, 2002
Bamboo Bures & Burnt Bums

caqelai.jpgThis week-end was yet another mini-vacation for Erika and I. Friday night we decided to go out on the town (again)...unfortunately illness is still plagueing me and I ended up getting sick before we left to go out. Deciding that vomiting away all of my dinner and then drinking was probably a bad idea, so sobriety was the key word of the evening. Went out and did some dancing before deciding to go home a little bit early in order to get adequate rest before Saturday morning. We were up and ready to go before 6 am because we had decided to go the luxury route and fly to another island for 4 days. ALthought this sounds amazingly extravagant, the flight was 86$ return, and a ferry was 50$ return...the ferry took over 5 hours, the plane 12 minutes. My dislike of planes, and in particular these death traps offered by Air Fiji cannot ever be adequately explained. The plane is only a 12-seater and immediately looks like the last time it flew was probably in the early 70s. The ENTIRE safety component of the plane is a small placard at the front that says "Please Fasten Seatbelts"...apparently that is adequate safety measures. Although this flight was not nearly as traumatic as my one to Suva from Nadi, it certainly took a few years off my life. We arrived in Levuka before 8 and took a bus into the old town, all ready to follow the master itenerary that I had set up. First stop was going to be Ruku Ruku, where black sand beaches and waterfalls awaited and then off to Leleuvia, an island with golden sand beaches. We stopped at the travel place to get final directions before we were to go to Ruku Ruku. However, at this stop we learned that Ruku Ruku was no longer accesible by bus and it didn't really matter because the owner of the establishment had been taken hostage during the coup two years ago and was most definetly no longer there. So what, we can go to Leleuvia right??? Sadly, prices had gone up TREMENDOUSLY since our Lonely Planet had been published and what was supposed to be a CHEAP getaway was now going to cost us another 60$ boat trip and 30$/night dormitory. What annoyed us more than anything else is when asking about when prices had gone up the man at the Travel Stop had kindly informed us that "The Fiji Dollar is only 44 US cents, so you shouldn't complain"...we not so kindly informed him that "We aren't american so really that information is useless". Being highly resourceful, we walked a few blocks and plopped down with the Lonely Planet guide to find an alternative. We decided that instead we would go to an island called Caqelai which was a cheaper option, the boat wasn't going to come until 3 pm, so we had plenty of time to explore Levuka. Levuka is the old capital of Fiji and was the first city to be colonized. Because of this the style of the city is very eclectic. One side of the street is very much fashioned like an Old Western Albertan town, with a General Store and everything. Behind that are huge churches that look like they've been flown in from Europe and accross the street is the ocean opening up. We went for a walk around the city climbed 199 steps to the top of a hill and lounged in the sun until our boat arrived. As soon as we got close enough to see the island we were fairly sure that this was the coolest place we have ever seen. The Island looked just like it was from a Nintendo game or Cartoon book...a perfect circle, relatively small with golden beach and then a whole bunch of palm trees. We arrived and were assigned a Bure, a small bamboo buliding made of various plant material. Our bed had a little mosquito net and we had no electricity just a Coleman lantern. Erika and I had to share a double bed (I'm so sorry Erin, I know I promised that I wouldn't cheat on you, but I know you've been sleeping with Tanya so I don't feel so bad), but there was more than enough room. I am telling everyone right now that this is the most romantic place in the entire world, if you are ever in love and can possibly afford to go here, you should! It was amazing...the entire island took only 15 minutes to walk around and you could watch the sunrise and set every day. Really cool, clear water and hammocks to lounge around in during the day. The snorkelling was awesome, we even saw a giant clam a la Fankboner (we as in Erika not me). Food was served for us everynight and they actually played music and sang for us while we ate. On Sunday we went into town to go to Church in the village. The service was in Fijian, but the singing was pretty unbelievable and I still can't figure out how they all knew what notes to sing. It was nothing like the montonous drone of everyone singing in the exact same pitch at church (except of course for my renegade mother adding her little harmonic flares while dad mumbles the bass line). The service was some what ruined at the end when the women in the village explained that the sermon this week had been about how it is a sin for women to dress like men and wear pants/shorts...hmmm maybe that's why men feel they can be so rude all the time. We drank Kava with the village...lots of it...which made us really sleepy and it was back to the island to sleep on the sand. After 2 days of such amazing luxury and the makings of a really great tan we headed back to Levuka. Erika opted to go on a Village Visit, but I didn't have the 25$ required to go and decided instead to hang out in town and write letters. We just arrived back this evening and I am exhausted from my difficult week-end...honestly sleeping on the beach really takes it out of you. The first roll of pictures is being developed so soon there will be photographic evidence of my existence (although some speculate that the photos have been doctored). In other related news, I got a job with the city (again) so I guess it is back to Edmonton for July and August...for all those who will mock me for going back to the city for the....2389049890234th time...BAH! Beggars can't be choosers! Other than that I have gotten all the letters that people worried were in Malaysia or floating around on a boat in the South looks like some were stamped at the Post Office automatically. Of course I haven't gotten my Mastercard which is the one piece of mail that I am desperate to receive!

Posted by Sierra at March 19, 2002 03:09 AM

Sierra... You know that this software supports paragraphs, right? I'm assuming that writing one massive paragraph is some sort of personal idiom, rather than technical ignorance...

Posted by: dr.gonzo on March 19, 2002 02:57 PM

simon fras girls playing u of ariz 22 23 24 u know any one on team ill say hi for u //softball/

Posted by: hhhhh on March 19, 2002 07:45 PM

Paragraphs are good thing!
Glad to hear you're going well (neglecting the fact that you are apparently still wretching frequently...)

I was surprised to see that a gazillion nautical miles of ocean was not enough to prevent the inevitable PEAK personals from being printed!

They're making a movie about Che: Banderas and Kidman...

I'll email soon...

Posted by: sauerkraut on March 19, 2002 09:02 PM

A movie about Che with is an atrocity of the most immense kind! Che is rolling in his grave knowing that someone is actually trying to make MONEY off his story! Oh yeah and everyone should lay off poor Sierra, you know she only has a limited time on the computer and besides she likes having everything in one giant makes it like she is talking instead of writing. If anyone wants to call Sierra I'm sure she would be more than receptive to getting some phone messages plus it is about 2$/min cheaper to call from Canada.

Posted by: Bonanza Jellybean on March 20, 2002 01:47 AM

I hate the NY Rangers...bah! They're never going to make the playoffs even though Bure's joined the Lindros line. What will I do without my Eric to cheer on come playoff time? I guess I'll just have to jump on the Shanahan bandwagon. I miss ya, sweet pea! Talk to ya soon.

Posted by: Bop on March 20, 2002 01:19 PM

Just so you know: SFU got a foot of snow in the past week.

And stream-of-conciousness writing doesn't need paragraphs, unless of course you suspect your audience is full of dunces. ;)

Take care, and remember tan lines aren't everything...later,
-stu at sfu

Posted by: stu on March 20, 2002 08:34 PM

Hey Sierra,

not to be outdone by Stuart!!! Your tan lines seem to be coming along nicely...

Thanks for the envy enhancing descriptions of everything. Any pretty bugs?

say hi to Erika!

Posted by: Kathy of Borden fame on March 21, 2002 09:40 AM
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