Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Road to the Beach House

17 October 2013

We left Suva this morning in the middle of tropical rain and crazy wild wind – I’m not sure if this is part of the tropical wave that’s hovering in the middle South Pacific, or what, but it was torrential, soggy, and wet.  Nearly horizontal rain, low clouds, huge puddles everywhere.  And cold, for this part of the world.

We bought our tickets on the Sunbeam bus line – there are a variety of bus companies, with some companies serving certain sections of the island, other companies specializing in express routes versus the local routes.  Sunbeam goes between Suva in the east to Lautoka in the northwest, and certain specified stops inbetween.

So we rode through misty drizzly landscapes of varying shades of green, looking like Chinese landscapes with barely visible mountains fading into the sky.  And improbably shaped mountains and hills at all kinds of weird angles towering over the small farms.  With unexpected pops of colour, from bright pink to aqua to fluorescent orange to chartreuse – Fijians seem to like bright colours for their houses.  

After about two hours, the bus stopped in the middle of nowhere.  Really, there was nothing but a little blue bus shelter.  “The Beachhouse,” the conductor called.  We grabbed our packs and beach bag, and climbed off the bus, thanking the driver, the conductor, the man who stepped out to put our luggage on the bench in the shelter.  “Vinaka” (thank you) “and good-bye!”

We gathered our stuff and wandered down the road? driveway? some kind of thoroughfare that started out paved and quickly turned into gravel.  It led down to the beach and a complex of bures, dorms, thatch-covered areas, and voila, here was the Beachhouse.  Or maybe The Beach House. 

Anyway, this is a lovely backpacker-type resort, with hostel dorms and small bures and more deluxe rooms than we stay in.  We’re in a small bure, a little bungalow.  It seems to be designed for a family, with a nice big bed for us, and two single beds in sort of nooks – so of course we each have one to spread out our clothes and such, although I think it also looks like a cozy little reading nook, a nice spot to snuggle up with a few pillows and a good read.  And maybe one of the resident kitties, who are very sweet.

Piéce de résistance – an outdoor bathroom!  Seriously!  The glass door from our bedroom opens into a normal bathroom that has a partial roof, and plants growing around the shower area.  It’s almost more like an atrium than a bathroom, except that there is indeed a sink, toilet, and shower in this private atrium.  Kind of crazy, and probably not for everyone, but I love it!

We went down to the beach after a bite of lunch, but the weather was still off and on rain interspersed with drizzle and sprinkling and spritzing.  If we get some sun, this will be an idyllic spot – anything that looks this good on a grey rainy day, with leaves turning upside down in the wind, is going to look even better in the sunshine.

Oh, this is one of those places with a limited menu for dinner – at about 3 to 3:30 PM we head to the café for afternoon tea (included in the price) and then let the staff know what we’d like for dinner.  Then we head to dinner about 7 PM, let the staff know we’re ready to eat, and they cook up our meal and serve us.  We encountered something similar on Anegada, I guess it’s so that they know how much of what to prepare, and food isn’t wasted.  Makes sense when you’re in an out-of-the-way kind of spot.


Other guests seem to be a large group of friends or family from possibly Australia (one man had his birthday tonight, and the people were wonderful and shared a slice of chocolate cake with us!); an American or Canadian family; several young couples or young groups who speak French and/or German; and no, we’re not the oldest people at this place.

It’s definitely off the beaten track, the way we like things.

It's a chilly evening, with all the rain and wind – this is the first spot we've found in Fiji that will give out blankets upon request!  We're all warm and dry in our little bure.

 And even if it rains all weekend, well, this is a very romantic little oasis where the rainforest meets the sea, along the Coral Coast – so we can relax and just enjoy our robin’s egg blue bure and our cozy reading nooks.  And, of course, the outdoor shower.



  1. Is that a picture of Richard actually showing his face at the blue bus stop? Very nice to see!