Hilton Fiji - Pool
Around the World,  Fiji

From Auckland to Fiji

The flight from Auckland to Fiji also departs extremely punctually. As a German user of aeroplanes and trains, you have to get used to that! And because I talked about the strange seating in the front of the cabin in the last post, I can continue with this topic here: In the Boeing 787 there is 1-1-1 seating, and again all seats are not directly facing the direction of flight, but slightly turned towards the aisle.

The advantage is certainly that on paper this creates more privacy and probably also brings more seats into the cabin. The serious disadvantage for a window watcher like me, however, is that I get a stiff neck after a few seconds of “looking out of the window” – if there is a window nearby at all: on 7A and 7K there isn’t even one!

Nevertheless, we arrive back on time in Nadi – which is pronounced “Nandi”, by the way – without the heavy rumbling from last night. And our luggage is already waiting for us, having been checked through directly from San Francisco. Now if only the pre-ordered driver is waiting for us …

In fact, he’s already coming to meet us, barks out a cheerful “BULA”, stows our luggage in the car and off we go to the hotel. We stop briefly at a supermarket on the way to buy some sweets and water. And anyone who thinks that everything is extremely cheap in the South Pacific “among the savages” is sorely mistaken! The difference to the USA is clear, but cheap is very different!

During our last visit to this island, one of the things that impressed us the most was that we encountered smiling and cheerful locals everywhere, who consistently gave us the impression that it’s not just tourists who are greeted in a friendly manner because they hope to gain an advantage. No. People also greet each other, laugh together and are always ready to help. Fortunately, this behaviour has not changed in the last five years.

We are warmly welcomed, our luggage and ourselves are driven to the door of our room and the upgrade we are given turns out to be really great: the “room” is actually a spacious suite with two balconies, a perfectly equipped kitchen, a large living room, a huge bathroom and a bedroom almost twice the size. There’s even a washing machine and tumble dryer in the bathroom. Wow!

As the day is only fourteen hours old, we get changed straight after stowing our luggage and head to the adults-only pool. It’s a good 30°C and the humidity is very high. That’s why we stay in the pool for almost an hour, I treat myself to a hops cold drink and Liza to a virgin colada.

It’s only when we decide to walk to Port Denerau at around half past seven that my Liza fades out and prefers to take it easy first. The remaining three of us set off as agreed and reach the vibrant heart of Denerau Island, the harbour, after a good half an hour.

Almost every seat in the many bars and restaurants there is taken, and we decide to first look around for opportunities to explore the surrounding islands by boat. Unfortunately, only the South Sea Cruises and the Captain Cook are still open. However, neither of them still has the tour programme that we enjoyed so much five years ago. Back then they showed us some of the culture of the islanders, took us to the island of Monuriki where “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks was filmed, took a lot of time and so on.

Today there are mainly trips to popular party locations or island resorts. Well, we’ll find something we like. Doesn’t have to be tonight.

Just as we are negotiating with the tour operators in the port building, a short but very heavy rain shower falls outside. It’s over again after ten minutes. But it was enough to empty almost all of the outdoor tables in the bars. And so we have a free choice in Cardo’s Steakhouse, where a large sign invites us to enjoy steak and seafood.

We had excellent and, above all, meals at reasonable prices there a few times on our last visit, and it’s the same today. The platter with six wonderful oysters, whether in the Killpatrick, Nature or Battered version, is available for 15 Fiji Dollars, which is just around 7 Euros! Brilliant! We’ll definitely be back here again!

As we leave the harbour area, we are approached unobtrusively but firmly by the taxi drivers, one of whom, “Nappo”, takes us to the door of our hotel for 8 Fiji dollars. You can’t really complain about that!

Liza is already sound asleep when I stumble into the room and after a very short time I feel no different – our first night on the South Sea island!


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