May 08, 2002
7 Days in Paradise

I have spent the last 7 days maxing and relaxing on a self-perscribed holiday (wait...isn't that what I'm on already?). On Thursday morning I left Suva and took the bus up the North-East side of Fiji to Raki Raki. Fiji has two main "highways" that circle the entire Island of Viti Levu. The first highway is Queen's Road that runs counter-clockwise from Raki Raki (1 o'clock on the map) to Suva (5 o'clock on a map), then there is King's Road which goes from Suva to Raki Raki in the couterclockwise direction. King's Road has been under construction lately and due to the massive rainfall is complete CRAP! The road has been closed periodically to all traffic because the buses, vans, cars and trucks were all getting stuck in these gigantic mud swamps. The roads were closed on Wednesday, but I decided to risk it and take the bus anyways...definetly an adventure. In took about 5 hours to go around 150 km and there were some points along the route that I was fairly sure that I would die. The bridges are exactly the size of the bus and made out of wood, I've resorted to closing my eyese when passing in order to ease the angst. I finally arrived in Raki Raki and phoned the Island to get a boat transfer over, all worked well and I got to the Island at around 5:00 pm.

Kon Tiki is a little place that we had stayed at near the end of February during the height of my food poisoning. I had spent the majority of that trip sleeping or vomiting, so I decided to give it another chance. The resort is run by a 78 year old Kiwi who is amazingly active for his age. I was led to my room, which was a little inconvenient to say the least. The dormitory is set up on one floor of what looks like a fairly normal house. There is a kitchen, living room, bathroom and then two bedrooms- 1 with a double bed and 1 with two sets of bunk beds. I, of course, was left the bed in the corner of the living room which meant exactly NO privacy. It could have been much worse, but the 2 other couples sharing the house were quite quiet and kind, so all in all worked out well.
The first night I was at the resort I met the Patron Saint of Backpackers, a man named Ian. While finishing my daily dinner of noodles and crackers a big Santa Clause like figure came bursting into the dorm and yells- "Hey you Backpacker Bastards, I've got the coldest beer this side of Nadi....come over and have some". Normally I would have been a little more weary of going to a stranger's home, but one of my Professors here at school had told me all about his crazy buddy Ian who I should go meet. I asked the man if he was indeed Dr. Morley's friend and because he was I decided to join him. This guy was great, he invited half the resort over and we spent the night drinking beer and kava and trading stories. Upstairs he had huge boxes of books that he regularly traded with travellers, so I was even able to pick up a few more novels.

The next 6 days were spent on the beach tanning and reading. I managed to finish 7 novels and turn the color of a pinkish tinted cappucino. Most of the time I had the beach all to myself, seeing NOBODY until I returned to the resort in the evening. Snorkelling was amazing, although I did manage to lose my snorkel (I know this was stupid, but it wasn't like I did it on purpose, I was swimming back and the snorkel portion detached from the mask). Got some good underwater photos that I will be excited to show you when I am back home next month.
The overall week was quite uneventful considering I did basically nothing...on Monday some English guys came and stayed in the dorm and we played scrabble and I listened to Western music for the first time in a long while. The best part about the whole deal is that it only cost me around 120$ for the week. The reason it was so cheap was me sticking to a strict, but revolting diet. In 7 days I ate: 2 cans of beans, 2 cans of spaghetti, 5 packs of Minute noodles, 1 loaf of bread, 1 pack of crackers, 1 tin of tuna, 1 pack of Muesli, some powdered milk, 6 eggplants and Keith's Kool-Aid. I'm looking forward to moving into my new house this evening that is packed with all sorts of wonderful kitchen appliances that I can use to make yummy scrummy food.

My last tale is one that happened only 15 minutes ago. Erika and I (who have missed each other tremendously spending our first week apart) are in Suva doing some shopping and dropping off letters. We decided to go to the handicraft store which can be VERY STRESSFUL due to all the haggling. I was trying to buy a necklace for myself and we finally found one we is the events that transpired:
Erika- That one is pretty nice, you should get it
Sierra- I do like much is it?
Merchant- It's 25$
Merchant- How much you spend?
Sierra- 15$
Merchant- I will give it to you for 23$
Sierra- No, 15$
Merchant- Okay, okay special price for you 21$
Sierra- No, 15$
Merchant- Fine 20$ for you pretty girls
Erika- No she will buy it for 15$
Sierra- Alright lets go...
Merchant- Wait 25$ and I give you earrings....
(Sierra and Erika walk to the next stall....1 minute passes)
Merchant- Ladies ladies, come back 15$

We are exceedingly proud that we managed to get it for 15$ and plan on continuing to do all our shopping together where we can tag team into cheaper prices.

Tonight I am off to see Spiderman (I wanted to see a Bollywood, but lost out). Erika and I have just realized that we get to see Star Wars a full day before the rest of you because of the time change...this makes us very very happy. As a little warning, if I haven't responded

Posted by Sierra at May 08, 2002 07:37 PM


Posted by: Hep Cat on May 9, 2002 06:36 PM
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