cider, gravy, churches

Bula from Fiji! I am sitting in a comfy chair on Beqa Island, overlooking the calm waters of Beqa Lagoon. The birds are chirping, the wind is rustling through the coconut palms, and Tristan is luring a poor kitten to its doom. Small floating volcanic stones are bobbing up and down in the few gentle wavelets.

They tell me that the flight over took four hours, so I guess I must have slept for three. After all the flights to and from Europe in the last eighteen months, I was surprised that the flight to Fiji was only four hours. Perceptions change.

There are some small mammals that come out here at night, which the locals call mongoose but are about the size of a squirrel/ferret. They live in the bushes near the koi pond, I saw one during the day yesterday. I have spoken to the owner and he tells me that the mongoose were introduced in order to rid the island of snakes, and they have almost completed their mission. When asked what kind of snakes live on the island, he reassured me that there are no dangerous snakes, just tree snakes and carpet snakes. If the snakes aren’t a threat, why exterminate them?

I am on this trip with grownups, divers all, so the holiday is atypical in that we are not getting drunk every night. When we drink, we drink cocktails, and a maximum of two.

Tristan and I spent yesterday swimming. We both ended up red, myself more so (on the neck). I was not concerned, and this morning my nonchalance was proved justified: Tristan is massively burned and I am a bit more tanned. Thanks to Mum for my alleged Spanish genes.

Yesterday afternoon I had a massage. The lady came into my bure with the table, oil etc. I was not expecting her. The booking had been made by my roommate, Sirwin, but as he was away diving I kindly took one for the team. The massage was competent but it felt like she was running through a checklist. There was no love.

This morning I was woken by Tristan, who came to my bure to fetch me for breakfast. After breakfast I returned and went back to sleep. I was again woken by Tristan, who came to fetch me for lunch. The food is excellent, and the service comes with a broad smile. Hooray for holidays.

They have a single computer here, made of stone and twigs, which is connected to teh intarwebs via a microwave link to the mainland. I don’t think the link is very powerful as the trees in line-of-sight seem quite healthy and are not on fire. Use of the internet costs $2 flagfall and $1 per minute thereafter. I won’t be using it – this post is being typed on Tristan’s notebook, which I will plug in just to send the post, and a few emails. It turns out that I only miss the internet as a means of communication with friends and loved ones. So Rohani wins, although that was obvious from the start.

Don’t be expecting a lot of/any posts from me whilst here. I have swimming to do. In fact, I haven’t even taken any photos.

* Beqa is pronounced “benga”

** A special Fiji present for the first one to comment with reference to the title of this post. That probably means you, Chris

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