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Saturday, November 01, 2003

After we left the resort below, we headed a bit further west to Sigatoka, where Pacific Green had one of their infamous sales .. they call them "annual" but it seems they had one just 6 months ago. Anyways, they make great looking furniture out of palmwood (which is great after Fiji had that sad history of being exploited for her beautiful tropical hardwoods) ... the material is great and the design very nice.

We were immediately trailed by our salesman 'Luke', which at first I found a bit disturbing, but he was not pushy at all, had some nice advice (or just read the numbers on the price tags for us) and supplied us with fresh coconut juice.

We felt safe since we were not really looking for anything in particular .. maybe some small book cases, or taking an informative look at some dining sets for maybe a purchase in a year or so .. but then we saw this bed:

Now, a bed is something that we actually should get new .. the one I brought to Fiji is quite old and has always been cheap (but comfy) .. the price on the price tag was also very fair ... but it was a whole set with stuff we were not interested in ... and so, just for fun, we asked how much it would be without these items, just the bed and 2 nightstands ... we did not even ask for any further discount .. and i also mentioned that we are not really in the market for a bed ... then our sales guy left ... and I thought he may have had lost interest in us ... but then he found us again .. and surprised us with a new price tag which was too good to be true .. after reconfirming .. and some decision making over free hot dogs (i bet they would sell even more if they'd offered free beer) we did the paperwork, and now we are awaiting a great new funky stylish designer bed :)

Kachatta !!!

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We just returned from a 1-night-trip to Crusoe's Retreat, a very nice, small and hidden resort only 70 km/ 45miles from Suva.

We took off around 11 AM and headed towards the coral coast area. After 1 hour we reached a sign pointing to a 4km dirt road, leading us to the resort. This part of the trip is quite exciting as it goes up and down quite steep, and in many cases I had to shift down all the way into 1st gear, but we made it .. and just before you reach the resort, you are rewarded with a fantastic view from the hill over the shoreline.

We were checked in by a pretty bitchy receptionist lady, but then our bure was very nice, we had booked 'seaside' which is very close to the beach and the pool, the 'seaview' bures seem nice too, but involve a lot of staircase walking.

We settled in, the bures are nice and fairly modern, very clean, not very fancy, but nothing to complain. Big fridge, someone should have told me! After that we were hungry and checked out lunch. The lunch menu is very non-thrilling, basics like fish-n-chips, grilled cheese sandwich, tuna or feta salad, burgers (fish or chicken or beef), daily curry, beef stew. We both had the burger .. and this and its fries were very greasy.

Then some walking around, very nice property, garden well kept (as I found later, some little pigs were running around freely) beach is ok, they offer lots of free water based activities. I enjoyed the foot-shaped pool a lot, nice temperature.

Later we got ready for happy hour (Drinks 7.50 F$, which is ok, especially after I told the bar man that I watch them carefully, and in response he put double shots of gin and tequila in my "Red Sea" cocktail .. whoa!) and then dinner ... Ritsu had some chicken paste while I had the 'fillet mignon' ... and it was ok ... nothing to write home about, not bad either ... what worried us a bit was that the menu saying 'saturday' was laminated, which means this is what they have every saturday, and selection was not super big, prices were ok . the lunch burgers were 12F$ each, dinner was 49F$ for the 2 of us excluding drinks.

Entertainment after dinner was a polynesian dance show, 4 girls shaking their hips, very nice, much nicer than traditional fijian meke (song and dance) .. and then some guy played with some fire sticks .. :) We enjoyed it a lot, but were nicely tired, so we retired.

Next morning's breakfast was ok too, eggs made to order, fruit and all kinds of stuff ... We packed up and checked out ...

We liked the location and the place, but we were not very excited about the food and pretty disappointed by the staff. Most of the ladies had a strong attitude problem, worst of all the girl at the reception. Most of them were trotting along in snail's speed, my request of having mustard for my burger took way too long. There were 2 ladies though who were very nice, Ana, who even introduced herself to us with a broad smile, and another one, whose name I forgot.

We plan on coming back, but we will bring lots of food and drink ourself, and just enjoy the lush garden setting and the pool.

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Thursday, October 30, 2003

Another nice vista: This time I was up an Edingburogh Rd, which leads to Princess Rd, and there is a nice spot to see the Walu Bay area, which is a big industrial complex close to the harbor area. The city center would be on the left now .. and Lami is on the right side ... click on the pic to get a big version and click here for the QuickTime VR file

Has not rained in quite a while ...

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And this is what happens when once in a blue moon I fall asleep on the couch ...

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Monday, October 27, 2003

Something I wanted to do for a long time: scanning and posting some maps of Suva. While the Fiji Government has a website with some maps, nothing is really in detail, and I have yet to find some maps for areas around Suva (if someone has access to sattelite pics, that would be neat, please email me:). So .. I scanned part of that official map which is available (sometimes, most of the time sold out) and you can get some idea. Click below to see it bigger. If you want to know where specific things are, email me. I will not put any pointers to people's houses on this map.

Ok .. what do we see here ... first map is a close up of the 'downtown' area, second shows a bit more how Suva is a peninsula. Locate Suva Central and move a bit south where it says "Domain", that is the general area where we live in. That road along the water is "Victoria Parade" and is quite nice to drive along at sunsets. The 3rd map pulls even more back, showing that edge of Fiji where Suva is located. You can also see where the airport is (Nausori), which is about a 1 hour cab-ride away.

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So, what is going on with the cats??? They never fail to amaze me .. especially the interaction among the two .. and with us. Nietzsche (the more recent addition, was very feral, now very friendly, still has no clue how to really clean himself, in addition to that he may have taken on a new, territorial habbit known as 'spraying', basically peeing around to mark is territory) keeps imitating Misha, he wants to sit where she sits, he follows her around, I believe this is how he wants to get more attention. Sure enough that turns into some hissing and whacking from time to time. Last night for the first time he not only came up to the bedroom ... but he also slept in our bed when we woke up (while Misha was sleeping under the bed on Ritsu's yoga mat) ... we had to show him that he is not clean enough to sleep in bed .. and so he slept on a towel nearby ... while Misha came back to bed ... till she decided to wake me up around 4 by gently biting my foot again ...

Very cute that the 4 of us sleep so close together ...

For the chef's out there .. last night for dinner we had some nice pakapaka (i bet any fresh fish will do) which I salted, peppered and put some lime juice on, a slice of cheese, then I wrapped that in bok choy leaves (I bet fresh spinach would do the trick too) then wrapped it in several layers of filo (which have been brushed with warm butter and sprinkled with parmesan) and then bake it for 27 minutes at 200 C .. came out very nicely .. serve with some greens of your choice ... I could have used some salad...

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