Monday, April 24, 2006

THAT'S the Airstrip????

April 04, 2006--lost a whole day due to the international date line

By 6:30 am we had collected our luggage. First order of business was to change into shorts and sandals, as even this early in the morning, it was hot!

We took taxis into Nadi for breakfast. We sat on the patio of a little cafe in town and people watched.

All the school kids were walking to school in their uniforms. They seemed to walk mostly in groups of 3--sometimes friends, but sometimes obviously siblings. The kids are so beautiful, but often shy and don't want their pictures taken. I noticed that the girls and boys didn't walk together, unless they were family. The girls mostly wore their hair in a long braid down their back.

After breakfast we went to a craft marketplace--necklaces, bracelets, sulus (the long skirts), carved masks. The vendors are very 'aggressive': 'Here, it will be good luck for you, I'll give you a good price'. Unfortunately, we have no room right now, we are overweight as it is...will have to stop here on the way home.

We went on to the Nadi Municipal Market--rows upon rows of tables and tarps laid out with fruits and veggies: bread fruit, cukes, tomatoes, lettuce, kava root, spices. They were some vendors sitting on the ground selling; there was construction going on the increase the size of the market. Some of the vendors had their wares stacked up in piles--made for neat pictures.

We caught cabs back to the airport for 10:30, so the vets could meet with the Agricultural Official to get licensed. That done, we checked in for our flight to Kadavu.

They weighed not only our checked luggage, but us and our carry-on as well. I guess with the small plane, they have to be very sure of the exact weight they are carrying. And a small plane it was! It had 19 passenger capacity. There were only 13 people on our flight, as a surf board was taking up 6 seats. There was very rough turbulence as we ascended. I was laughing hysterically at one point (I do that when I get stressed) saying I may have to take the boat on the way back. It is beautiful scenery though. I am looking down on it now, as I write. Coral reefs abound, turquoise water and a few fluffy clouds. 15 minutes to our scheduled landing--I only hope it is smooth.

EEEEEK! The scenery coming in to land is stunning...Green as far as the eye can see. But the landing strip--only as long as the island is wide at that point--which is not very! And, I have been told, it was only just this year paved--just gravel before...

Well, I didn't like it, but it was an ok landing. The airport is a 20ft by 20ft room--not much. Walk through and across the sand, and into the awaiting boats for our 30 minute ride--Now that is the way to travel. Beautiful sun, sea, and not 20 000 ft up!

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