Monday, October 21, 2013

Farewell to Fiji

21 October 2013

We left the Beach House on Sunday, finally a sunny day!  I was right, the place is gorgeous in the sunshine!  

We had a pretty nice ride back to Nadi - passed fields, views of the highlands, and even a cane field being burned.  We also met lots of trucks on the road hauling sugar cane.  This first photo is a cane field after the actual canes have been cut off.  Next photo is the fire, or at least as much of a burn as they could get going after all the rain of the past three days.  Kind of a strange event to try to photograph in passing, but the smoke got into the bus AC system and we certainly smelled the smoke for miles and miles.
There were odd pockets of evergreen trees - not at all what one would expect to see in Fiji, this should be full of all kinds of exotic flowering tropical trees.  But the central highlands are pretty cool at night, perfect for certain kinds of orchids, and evergreen trees.

Followed by a field of banana trees, of course.

It was Sunday, so we passed a number of people in their Sunday best.

Oh, funniest thing about this bus ride - the movie they were showing was "The Gods Must Be Crazy" - a wonderful little movie set in Botswana.  (If you haven't seen it, this is a must!)  Just a funny, quirky little movie.

We made it back to our friendly hotel/hostel, and were greeted by the staff, cats, and dog.  We have our usual room, and spent today (Monday) going through and filtering out items we haven't used/worn in a year; repairing broken items (like the placket holding a luggage wheel in place); refilling over-the-counter meds and picking up malaria meds (needed for the Solomon Islands); and most importantly, after some back and forth and lots of phone calls, getting our package of medications from Fed Ex.  Much more complicated than getting the package in Australia, plus we had to pay tax for "importing" these goods.  Ah well, we have our meds, in time for our flight tomorrow.
We fly out tomorrow morning, rather early (8 AM), for the Solomon Islands.  We've had a wonderful time in Fiji, and seen a variety of places, met a bunch of people, and seen everything from the largest city to one of the small small villages.  

And of course, my personal favorite, the fire dancing.  The regular dancing is great - the men show a lot of enthusiasm and strength and act all macho, the women shake and shimmy at amazing speeds while looking willowy and graceful at the same time - but there's something about the fire dancing that is just so elemental, so atavistic.  There's a wildness inherent in dancing with fire, challenging an element that is often dangerous and out of control - and in the dance, controlling that danger and turning it into a thing of beauty.

Our dancers next door have been practicing, and came up with some new routines.  The new quadruple fire dancers were impressive - and yes, there's one guy lying on the ground and twirling the fiery baton right over his face.

As I said, challenging.  Wild.  Elemental.  Beautiful. 



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