I have made it to Nadi. I am pretty sure that this is Nadi, but it really is hard to tell, given that it is most definitely night time. The flight across the Pacific from Sydney was relatively uneventful. The boarding of the 747 consisted of :-
Would all business class passengers, and passengers with children under 10 like to begin boarding
Would all other passengers like to board the plane.
Obviously this is not how this sort of thing normally happens. What tends to ensure is a massive fight as people try to firstly get onto the plane, and then those at the front of the plane stop those at the back getting on. This is what happened.
The meal service was a bit interesting, with the options being fish or chicken. The chicken was actually a chicken and sweet chilli stir fry, but I can assure everyone that this was not hot in either sense of the word. It was warm in temperature, and did not tang my taste buds at all. AirPacific seems to ply alcohol like Qantas plies Coffee. They were even giving out cans of beer, and kept going around the cabin with bottles of wine. Us poor people who do not drink Alcohol were left a little short changed.
Back in Sydney I changed some money, getting about $420 Fiji dollars for $350 Australian dollars. I have yet to find out if this is a good deal or not.
Getting to Nadi airport was not too bad. Imigration was fairly quick. Surprisingly I heard my name called in the crowd by one of the other passengers. It was a woman who I had worked with at Pacific Power, and whose daughter had been one of the subjects of mum’s Doctoral thesis. And I had mentioned her to a couple of people in the last couple of weeks – so actually seeing her again, IN FIJI was surprising.
Collecting my bag seemed to take an eternity, but was probably only 15 minutes or so. There were bags on the carousel, but it appeared that they were unable to put more bags on until people had removed their bags. And people needed to clear immigration to get their bags. And that was the holdup.
Finding the shuttle to the hotel was a bit hard, and I waited for about 10 minutes on a minivan before the hotel decided to send me and three others by a Taxi. Not sure why that happened. Just the mysteries of the universe I guess. The taxi seemed to have had far better days, but given that it was a Toyota I am guessing that it will last a lot longer before needing replacing.
The journey to the hotel was uneventful. It seemed like a bit more than five minutes but not much more. The countryside reminds me of the road about 30 minutes outside Bangkok.
The hotel is not what I would call five star. I only needed something for one night, and it was cheap and offered a shuttle from the airport. My room is fine, but has no guidebook of the services of the hotel or the local area. The shower recess does not really have concealed pluming, and there are not enough power points. Right now I have unplugged the TV so I can have the laptop connected on the desk. I would have placed the Laptop on the beside table, but the alarm clock is firmly attached to the table. I am guessing that they don’t want anyone stealing it.
But the hotel suits my purposes. Tomorrow I fly to Suva and then stay at the more up market Holiday Inn.
October 8, 2007
I didn’t sleep particularly well last night, so I am a bit tired right now. I organized a wakeup call for 6:00, on the advice of the hotel. They gave me to the wakeup call early, at 5:45, and then the Bus to the airport came just before 7am. Not bad for a 8am flight. Arrived at the airport about 7 minutes later, and walked straight to checkin. Too easy. Then grabbed some breakfast.
Unfortunately soon an announcement came saying the flight would be delayed. And delayed again. This time they told us to go to the cafeteria to get whatever we wanted for food and drink. Then they came and said the plane would be leaving in 20 minutes or so. They forgot to say it was leaving Suva then. We eventually boarded about 10:30 or so.
But not before being asked to go back to the checkin counter with our hand luggage and stand on the scales! They wrote our weights on our boarding passes and then allowed us to board without passes. The plane had been changed to a Twin Otter which was much smaller than they plane we were going to fly on. I must say it is interesting to see safety cards with the different exits highlighted by the callsign of the plane!
We were allowed to sit anywhere, and I chose a seat up the front next to a window and with a view of the cockpit. I will upload my photos later, but it was sort of cool. The flight was uneventful, and so was getting into downtown SUVA. The hotel looks really nice