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Monday - 10 Jan 2005
Nadi , Viti Levu - Fiji

Produce Market in Downtown Nadi


The Market in Nadi was BY FAR the cleanest and most organized market we had seen anywhere in the world! Each vendor had their own delineated space where they neatly lined up all their produce. Even chilli peppers were laid side by side!

There was constant washing, wiping, cleaning, mopping, etc. There was clean tap water available and often used by vendor and buyer alike.

Bus on the Beach

Our favorite mode of transport from/to our backpacker accommodation was the local bus. It came 3 times a day and we got to know the drivers very well! For 60Fiji cents (40Cndn cents) we got a ride into town (where we could connect to other buses to go anywhere (in Fiji)) AND a trip along the Pacific Ocean beach! Although cloudy in this picture, we had warm sunny days as the clouds didn't take long to rain themselves out!

Orchid at the Sleeping Giant Orchid Park

Garden of the Sleeping Giant Orchid Park

There is a mountain called the Sleeping Giant which looks like a giant sleeping on his back. Raymond Burr started an orchid garden there over 30 years ago. It was out of season when we visited, but we still saw many exquisite varieties such as that at left.

And now for a prime example of Fijian hospitality. We were enjoying a mango juice in the lobby of the orchid park after walking around in the heat and humidity (after which we would catch the public bus back to town). An organized hotel tour was finishing up and the guide asked us if we had transportation back into town. When we said that we were waiting for the bus, he invited us on his tour and insisted that we finish it, rather than just grab a ride back! When did that ever happen to you!?!?

Rick (right with hat) with Fiji Banded Iguana

Kula Eco Park

Fiji has many endemic species which can be seen at this Eco Park - many are endangered. This Fiji Banded Iguana became Rick’s fast friend!

Janet at Kula Eco Park

The park also had many walkways and unique vegetation. The trees were often in interesting shapes due to alternate spells of flooding & dryness. Yes, that is a flower in Janet’s hair!

Malamala Island

Malamala Island

We took a day trip to this beautiful uninhabited island. It is very much like the one nearby on which they filmed the movie “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks - it really reminded us of the movie. We couldn't find Wilson though.

We had unlimited food and drink and saw amazing coral and fish while snorkelling. Rick spotted a reef shark!

Kava Time

Kava - BULA

This is Rick about to drink one of his 10 bowls of Kava. Kava is a local drink made ceremoniously from the Kava root (like ginseng) by placing in a cloth bag & squeezing into water.

The designated Chief then starts to share his drink with the other guests after calling “Kava Time”. When offerred a bowl, you clap while exclaiming "Bula", drink the whole bowl at once, and clap 3 times at the end while the others shout ‘motha’. It is not alcoholic but is supposed to make you feel very peaceful and happy. It also numbs your tongue as you drink it.

Rick felt nothing after 10 bowls and Janet felt very sleepy after four!

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