Lautoka to Beez
Lautoka and Back to Beez Neez
This morning was all about final bits of shopping, final packing and final check-out. Everything somehow fitted in the trusty steed and off we went toward Denarau and the ferry home to Beez. As we pulled out of the car park the brightest vehicle ever seen was glowing in the sunshine. The most vivid green.
This working girl was having a lie-in this morning.
Wiki Says: Lautoka is the second largest city of Fiji. It is in the west of the island of Viti Levu, 24 kilometres north of Nadi, and is the second port of entry in Fiji, after Suva. Lying in the heart of Fiji's sugar cane growing region, it is known as the Sugar City. Covering an area of 16 square kilometres, it had a population of 52,220 at the 2007 census, the most recent to date.
Economic Activities: Lautoka is known as the Sugar City because of its sugar cane belt areas. The main Colonial Sugar Refining Company (Fiji) (CSR) by workers from India and the Solomon Islands between 1899 and 1903, it hires some 1,300 employees today. Other industries include timber milling, garment manufacturing, distillery, brewery, jewellery, blending, steelworks, fishing, hatchery, domestic items, paints, and construction. In 2012 Lautoka was announced as the administration capital of the western division. We felt it was very similar to Labasa, but the supermarket had more crawly things........ The narrow gauge rail beside the road, stretched for miles. One train we saw had carriages as far as the eye could see. We lost count at eighty-one.
As we neared the port we saw a massive pile of wood chippings bound for New Zealand. They have to turn the pile to stop the whole thing catching light, we did see a few small spirals of smoke.............
History: The name of the city is derived from two Fijian words meaning "spear hit." According to an oral tradition, the name arose following a duel between two chiefs. As one speared the other, he was reported to have cried "Lau-toka!" The first known European sighting of the Lautoka area took place on the 7th of May 1789. Captain William Bligh spotted and roughly charted the coasts of Lautoka while making his epic voyage to Timor, in the wake of the mutiny on the Bounty in which he and a few sailors loyal to him were thrown overboard and cast adrift on a life boat.
We bade a fond ‘farewell’ to our trusty steed and Bear went off in search of the Returns Bay as the rest of us moved all our luggage to the Ferry Terminal. Bear drove off following the map, a controlled gate man told him to go back to where he had started out, fifty feet from where he had left us...........
We began the trip with four bags and four back sacks and the return journey saw us with seventeen pieces including a new, twelve volt television for Beez........... Some things never change. The task is to get everything back, sorted, put away and all things being equal ready to leave for a two journey hop to the Blue Lagoon where the Stealthies will be reunited and we’ll see State of Mind and a few other rebels.
Once the check-in bags had been taken by a lovely man, who only groaned once at one of the bags, we had time for a swift sherbet. Settled on board with the various shopping bags, we had a smooth ride to our first stop – Plantation Resort. The new arrivals were welcomed with a song and a necklace of seashells and we did the last ten minutes eager to see our waiting girls, all looked well.
Half of the Formidable Four head off to Scott-Free. I waited quietly fish-watching. Bear returned, I nipped to the shop for milk, eggs and yet more shopping, checked us out and finally set foot on an excited Beez at just after five. Everything was unpacked and put away by eight so we are ready for the off on the morrow.
ALL IN ALL GREAT TIME BUT NOW TO MY OWN BED
WE SAW SOME REALLY GOOD STUFF AND HAD FUN