It was Saturday and there was no school today so we slept in until 8:45. Cooked poached eggs for breakfast. Once we were ready Karen and I walked to the bus stop at the front of the shops near the Hexagon International Hotel. Just as we were arriving a bus pulled up. We jumped aboard and bought our ticket to Nadi Town. Only 70 cents each! The bus was full with locals so I’m guessing we stood out. Karen managed to get a seat and I stood nearby. We passed through a couple of villages on the way. Up and over the river the bus went before it pulled up at the edge of the town . We were among about half the passengers who disembarked. We started to walk up the main street. Several shops had the I for Information Centre on them but it soon became obvious none of them were an official information centre. Rather, they were either tour operators or agents for tour operators. We had a general look as we walked along. A few spruikers for handicraft stores tried talking us into visiting their ‘genuine’ handicraft shops.
By that time we reached the end of the main street. A very large Hindu temple was at the road junction. We retraced our way back to a handicraft market, with many small stalls, which seemed to be under the auspices of the Nadi Council. Had a good look around and chatted to a few stallholders. Didn’t see anything that really appealed so moved across to the fruit and veggie market. It was a huge undercover market. The stallholders displayed many of their goods in quite a decorative fashion.
From there we made our way back towards the main street but along the way a lady attached herself to us saying she could show us a ‘genuine local handicraft’ stall. Being too polite we followed her around the corner and upstairs to the store. A couple of Fijian guys welcomed us to the shop. They asked would we like to take part in a welcome ceremony. We thanked them, explaining we had already done so at Namaka village and didn’t need to again. We made our way into the store proper and had a look around. Lots of wooden artefacts and jewellery similar to what we had already seen, but perhaps a slightly higher standard of finish. Some other Aussies and New Zealanders were just doing a deal on a few items. We made our ‘escape’ saying thanks but no thanks. From there we walked along the main street and over the bridge, taking a few photos of the river.
We continued our walk to the next village where we waited at the bus stop for the next bus to come along. We paid our 70c again and took a seat. This bus was busy but not as full as our first bus into Nadi. At the stop near our hotel we got off.
We visited the bakery and purchased a few things for lunch and went back to our room to eat. After lunch I had a nap while Karen took a swim. Apparently the front pool was in the sun and consequently a fraction warmer to swim in.
Chatted with some friends when they returned from their visit to an orchid garden, which they had enjoyed. For dinner we went with them for pizzas and dessert from Ana’s Pizza restaurant in the nearby shopping precinct.
Sadly overnight the dreaded stomach bug hit me and I ended up spending Sunday at the hotel dashing to the loo when needed. On the other hand Karen had an interesting time. So the rest of this post is her writing instead of me.
After eating a leisurely paced breakfast met most of the group (yes, some others weren’t well either!) in hotel lobby for the shuttle minibus run to Nawaka Church at 9:30.
We were there in plenty of time- church didn’t start until 11:00. We were seated together on wooden pews in rows to the left of the altar The altar was adorned with bright green material with a high position for the minister.
Rev Eseta took the sermon. Rev Chris did a short bible talk which included some magic. However the highlight of the service was clearly the enthusiastic singing by the choir and the children attending the service. The children were led by a member of the congregation and sang a song about the bible. After the service we walked past the village chief’s house and the meeting hall.
It was a shame that Mark and some of the others in our group had missed such a memorable time. Hopefully by next Sunday they would be well enough to experience similar in Suva.