Sunday, August 07, 2005

Not dead yet

"Bring out your dead!"

"I think I'll go for a walk now."

"You're not fooling anyone."

Okay. It's a few days later, and I am feeling better. Still had a dizzy spell in the store today looking at furniture. There was a nice 5 piece set for around $600. Today is Monday.

So I paid $425 for a rental for a week, which isn't too unreasonable, but it's a lot of money still. It's nice to have a car, but I'm not putting it to good use, and now I have the added worry of what if it gets stolen or damaged. I parked the car at the temple and walked into town to internet today. The long way I mentioned earlier is definitely safer. I had buses and trucks whizzing by within a foot or two of my shoulder (as I walked well off the shoulder) and flinched almost every time.

I picked up my laundry at the Wailoaloa Beach Resort (which is not a resort and doesn't have a beach) and headed to Suva on Friday afternoon. I've since noticed that they didn't return my laundry back (a nylon bag that my camp chair came in) or a pair of shorts. That was critical because it was one of two pairs of shorts that had pockets. I think I'll have to buy a new pair today.

Anyway, I got a chicken sandwich from the hotel restaurant, which shockingly tasted good, and ate half of it with a sprite as I was driving from Nadi to Sigatoka. (I think I'll look for a map to post here.) The fries that came with it were homemade and fresh and greasy and good when they were warm. I managed to keep that down, although I didn't have the appetite to eat the rest of it.

I went exploring around Natadola -- the pictures with Jane at the beach last time I was in fiji was at Natadola. It was voted one of the 10 best beaches in the world one year. It's nice, but I don't know if it's that nice. Anyway, it's quite secluded, although there are always some locals from the village there trying to sell you beads or coconuts. There were also some Americans there. Apparently they'd taken a boat out and were surfing. It sure looks pretty. I have a few crummy pictures I'll try to post.

I bought a coconut and some beads. Maybe I'll even give Monica her birthday present. Tell Jenna & Cathy that, anyone who knows them.

On the other side of the river (where the beach isn't quite so nice, since it's still got a fringing reef) there's a lot of land being cleared and some muddy tracks, which of course I had to follow in the rental, that end in dead ends on an old sugar cane train track. I parked the car, crossed the track, and found a trail through the thicket to the beach. It's still a nice beach, white, with a lot of broken corals. I think it's going to become a really big resort, which is a shame because Natadola is a public, and fairly secluded beach, and once the resort goes in, we'll probably lose that. There's a small upscale resort there already, but it's off the beaten track, and the last mile is a bad dirt road, though it's been paved and a good bridge built since last year. They were working on it then, though.

[Camera battery died after transferring 3 pics. Try other battery, other strategy. Been here over an hour already! ]

Anyway. I met a lady fishing for Octopus, Terisi (Theresa), and got her picture. She was "frightened for [my] rental" so I went back. I'd like to head back to Natadola sometime. But I can't afford to stay in the resort there.

So, it was after 4 when I left Natadola, and I made only one other stop; at Sigatoka river mouth, looking for fiji's only purported beach break. I didn't find it, but I saw the dunes, which were huge -- 50 to 100 feet. I'll probably have to climb them to see the shore, and the place, club Masa, where the guidebooks says you can stay looked like a seedy store in a tin shed.

It was getting late, so I didn't stay to investigate (didn't have a surf board either, but maybe I'll buy one in Nadi for about $200 -- a shortboard, though I don't know if I can ride one. Maybe if I lose weight.) But a local flagged me down thinking I was a taxi. I stopped, figuring I could get some intel on the area.

Dude hops in and says "thank you, I was late for my practice" (He was carrying a soccer ball.) But it was a poofter. This time a Fijian, not an Indian. All you could tell was because of the voice and makeup and sissy gestures, etc. I had no way of knowing from the back when I stopped.

So I didn't feel like making too much conversation, dropped him off in town, got giggled at by local girls we passed. I can only hope the gay will defend my honor from the local girls.

Two more hours driving, and then it gets dark before I get to Pacific Harbor. Aiyee! Zero visibility, and then it starts raining. It's too traumatic to talk about, but if I had a gun, I wouldn't have been aiming at headlights, I'd be aiming at the people who refused to dim them. I won't make that drive at night again.


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