Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Fri 5 Jun 2015 22:57
Our First At-Venture Ashore in Fiji
New friends now calling Beez home
Considering we only pulled onto the ‘Q’ dock at half past ten, we were settled happily in our berth by midday. The view from Beez to the left has the shower block. The view to the right of the Copra Shed Yacht Club. Not feeling sleepy or hungry we thought we would venture ‘down the road’ to buy an internet Dongle. Looking back at Bear as he catches me up.
In the shallows in front of Beez we were delighted to see a Regional Meeting of Bodger Bottoms. A little further along a family of tiny fish were using the Bodgers as prickly protection. We counted no less than fifteen different fish from tiny pipes, bright blue with green tails, electric blue, black with dangly wings, mottled, sergeant majors and so many more. Snorkelling when we do it is going to be a smorgasbord of colour and life.
Across the road and we were on the High Street. So similar to our first outing into town in Trinidad, a similar balance of locals and Asian with the odd appearance of a European or tourist, everyone smiled and said “Bula” or “Bula Bula”. A large clothing shop called D. Solanki and Sons Ltd – The Ultimate Choice for Fashion had just my first target in the window, in we went. Half an hour later, having most of the servers looking after us, many compliments from local shoppers and Chetna Solanki on the till we emerged with outfits for both of us.
My handsome skipper and my Fijian First Mate
We paid 21.95 for Bears sulu. 29.95 for his shirt. My sulu and long top were 39.00. Total 90.90 or in Sterling the whole lot came to the princely sum of twenty eight pounds and sixty five pence. Could I buy the material for that in the UK ??? very doubtful indeed. The kindly staff took Bear’s outfit “out the back to the factory” and gave both items a good iron.
Next stop was the Dongle shop on the other side of the road. So cold the interior was pouring out blasts of cold air on the faces of customers stood at the various serving windows. A very nice mono-browed young man loaded our card with thirty pounds worth or two months and twelve gigabytes and handed us to the cahier. Again the reminder of Trinidad as she smiled showing a serious lump of gold in between her front teeth. Looking around we could see several other young ladies with similar tooth adornment, several ear rings at each point of the compass and flowers in their hair. All so reminiscent of Trinidadian fashion. The ‘T’ word was repeated as we set foot in a DVD shop, three films and a TV season for ten pounds. Oh this is going to be a frequent emporium during our stay, I feel some bargaining coming on. Oh dear.......
Back across the road to have a look in the supermarket, there is another almost opposite the marina, but as we were at the other end of the High Street this one was worth a bimble about. At the far side was a steep wooden ramp, at the bottom was the alcohol kiosk, too far away to the top shelf to nozz the prices, but things like Jack Daniels, several rums and gins were on show. A steady stream of beer buyers came and went but no-one ruffled the highest shelf at all. The room was very big, basic wooden chairs and tables and a menu that peaked the skippers taste buds. We were sadly too late for lamb curry or roti so we settled for chicken and chips with a dollop of coleslaw. I had three drum sticks, two taken home for supper and Bear had quarter of a chicken plus a drum stick, we both had a can and the lot came to six pounds. Clearly the most expensive thing on the board as our lamb would have been half the price. Replete we continued or bimble.
A two litre bottle of Coke was a pound, a small shower gel was three but packets of noodles were fifty pence and veg very reasonable. We looked in the freezer and saw big lamb shanks. Ooo, how about those for Sunday roast, I checked the price. They should have been about seven pounds but when scanned showed on our receipt as four, so all our shop came to what we thought was our lamb bill. We got four fat carrots for fifty pence, a dozen bula eggs at one pound seventy two and a treat for me – not to become a habit was a pound for a bag of Peanut Ruffs.
The final thing we saw in our last shop window was indeed a Bear.
We bimbled home and stopped in the bar for a beer and a diet Coke. Lovely to sit as the days heat turned to cool at dusk. We chatted to an American who bought a coconut farm two years ago and a chap from Hawaii who has lived here for twenty odd years, met a few yachties and reflected on the lovely locals we had met during the day.
The most wonderful sense as we sat and sipped is the fact that we are now over ‘the half way’ stage.
ALL IN ALL A BUSY, PRODUCTIVE DAY
REALLY FEEL WE HAVE MOVED ON