South Pacific exit

February 03, 2019 

Sunday 3rd February 

Sitting on flight FJ411 from Fiji to Auckland, New Zealand. 

I worked out this morning that we have slept in 11 different beds in hotels in the month since we left Portishead. Plus one overnight train and two nights in the air. We now move to motorhome mode so we will at least have the same bed for 18 days or so even if that bed is constantly in motion. !

Yesterday was a morning by, and in, the pool and the sea at Radisson Blu. We checked out at 11, left our luggage with the concierge, retained our pool towels and carried on in the extremely strong sun. 

Really enjoyed this resort and do highly recommend it. Very clean, large and great location. 

Moving on was a short taxi ride back to the airport and checking in to the Gateway Hotel next door. This is a very colonial place and more basic, a lot more, but clean with a good pool. It used to be called Raffles hotel apparently and there is existing signage about this. Therefore when Michelle had her goodbye cocktail later she has got her wish and had a Singapore Sling in the Raffles hotel. Albeit not in Singapore..! 

A final swim and slide in the pool would be our last in Fiji. 

Dinner was pretty good in the hotel and somewhat cheaper than Radisson. Rather irritatingly the wifi was poor and the colonial mentality was evident. Only one handset could be used at a time and for an hour each only. FJ$15 (£5) for 24hours otherwise. Grrrrr… Especially as we were only there for 12 hours, most of which was sleeping. Difficult to arrange our onward connections etc online. To be honest our expectations were quite high regarding WiFi etc as we have up to now found high quality connections free, just about everywhere. We do have our own mobile wifi setup however this requires us buying a SIM card in the country we are visiting. Due to our short stay in Fiji we had not done so. Can’t complain but it’s still a bit frustrating. 

Our exit from this island was our first flight with Fiji Airways. A substantial and professional outfit. Strangely though we were told that our flippers (sorry…fins) could not be carried on our cabin baggage. The first time in our 7/8 flights. Really had to sqeeeeze them into our two suitcases on wheels. AND for some reason we were given seats apart. Same row but a family apart. Why? We checked-in early online? They couldn’t answer that but my cynical mind suggests they are ‘encouraging’ passengers to pay extra for seats together.. mean. 3 hour flight is okay but long haul would be yuk. was Fiji.? Great. The folk are really friendly and everyone says ‘bula’ at any time of day or just passing in the street. BIG smiles and most helpful. There are also lots of staff everywhere-hotel, airport, shops, restaurants. The minimum wage policy at home has gone so far that companies cannot afford to employ enough staff. It is refreshing in many of the countries we have visited to see so many people employed. Are they unhappy about having less pay than us Brits? Doesn’t look like it. They seem much happier with life. Politics eh..!

And the sea…so warm, hot even, (day and night) is a real luxury that will be hard to beat. 

As we say bye to Fiji we look forward to New Zealand and a motorhome experience. We also await being joined by Trina who is headed to Gatwick to fly out to meet us in Auckland. 

Looking to enjoy our next great adventure. 

Saw a mongoose going to the airport today. No. The mongoose was not going to the airport, we were. Gawd. ! 

Did you know…The plural of mongoose is mongooses. Occasionally mongeese …

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