Suva, Fiji updated 12-6
06 June 2019 | https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Ntombi
On Wednesday when we arrived, I chatted to the safety guard at the Royal Suva Yacht club. He told us where the bus stops are, how to use the taxi, safety at the market, etc. On Thursday morning whilst we were on foot to Health Quarantine office to make the fist payment, we followed a gentleman crossing a very busy street. Francina made a remark to the gentlemen that she did not observe the red traffic light because she was following him. He recognized us and volunteered to introduce us to all the locally owned shops. I bought a very colorful Shirt made in Fiji, distributed by one of the villagers where they manufacture these shirts. "Bula" is good day in Fijian, and that is written on the shirt. He took us to the market, showing the different grades of food, and he also took us to the youth craft market. We live on a yacht and does not have space for any of the crafts. we then went to the Health office to pay our duties. Tom is a chief in his village, and he managed to get the staff to serve us whilst it was officially their lunch hour. Normally you would need to pay extra for services delivered during lunch hour. Tom told us that the prices in Fiji go up when the Passenger tour ships arrive. He suggested that we avoid buying on the days that the ships are in the harbour. When we left these offices, we asked Tom to take us to a place where we can eat local food. The food was very very good, but a bit on the pricy side. We parted Tom when he arranged for a taxi to take us to the next office to get our cruising permit. He went home to his kids.
The Suva harbour is a bit dirty with all the ships in the different shipyards. We had a big diesel spill on one day. Some of the ships in the harbour are running generators right through the night whilst working on the boat. We had to move our anchorage due to the unbearable noise. There is also a lot of small boats traveling passed the yacht on their way to the various boats at anchor. During the day you will also see the locals fishing. On one occasion we saw two woman on something that looks like a big Wooden block drifting in the harbour, trying to catch fish. The guys on the small boats kept on towing them to shallow waters, but they kept on drifting back to the deep. It is amazing on what type of floatation device some people will bet their lives.
We normally walk to town and the market where we buy fresh produce. Almost everything costs $2, it is only the amount that varies. Once we have our backpack laden, we use the taxi to get back to the yacht club. We bought a bus card and are now traveling by bus instead of taxi. We explored the next suburb, called Lami and again used another bus to visit Lami bay. The shore bus that we used does not have any Windows. There are people living in shacks on the banks of the river, and there are people living in beautiful wooden houses. Some are very poor whilst it looks like others have more money. In the end, they are all very friendly, irrespective of their financial status. Do you measure wealth by the amount of money in the bank, or by the happiness that you convey. It is very hot and humid. It is overcast for most of the day, but only a few drops of rain every so often. It is stil 30 degrees inside the yacht at 9 at night.
To make use of the facilities at Royal Suva yacht club, you need to be a member. We took out membership, which costs fj$75 until the end of 2019. No fees to be paid for the hot showers, access to fresh water , diesel and petrol. Diesel cost fj$1.82 per liter.
We took our empty lpg bottle to Fiji gas for a refill on Monday. We arranged to collect on Wednesday, but it was not ready yet. Everything works on Fiji time. Maybe the delay is because we are using a 9kg bottle, where they are selling 12 kg bottles.
We took the bus to Laucala beach. We passed a number of motor spares shops, as well as a scrapyard or two. I need some parts and we made a note to take the same bus again for some shopping. We passed the International School where our friends teach. It was a very good outing to see a bit more of the island life in Suva's inland suburbs. We went back on the same bus, but got off at Nabua settlement. It turned out that we selected a day where the rain did not stop. We were walking kilometers from one shop to the next, without finding the needed spares. Eventually we got back on a bus in Samabula. Although it was raining and we got soaked, it was a pleasure walking in the rain.
We took a bus to Laucala Bay and the University of the South Pacific. USP has 14 campuses across 12 Pacific Island countries, with the main campus in Suva, Fiji. They welcome international students to enroll. There is apparently only one other University like this and it is the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. They serve 17 English speaking countries in the Caribbean.
When I woke up on Sunday, I felt that one of my k9 tooth were very sensitive. It is a tooth with a root canal treatment that was done last year in South Africa. I realized that it must mean that there is an abscess. I had some antibiotics on the yacht and started with the treatment right away. On Monday, I went to the first dentist who could only help me on Wednesday. I found a second dentist at Bright Smile Dentists and he was able to extract the tooth after they checked my blood pressure and sugar levels. I walked out of the practice with a tooth in my pocket, a Kiwi smile and $50 less in my wallet.