Where the air is sweet...

Sun 23 Aug 2015 06:13
17:36.071S 177:26.43E

Port Lautoka welcomes you!

I’m not kidding you. The air really is sweet in Lautoka, every breath fills your lungs with the soft brown Demerara scent of sugar, giving you a sense of everything being slightly sticky… The sugar processing plant is here, and most of the plantations are in the West. Most of the time a plume of smoke hangs over the factory, you have to walk past it to get to town, and a light covering of ash falls on the deck when you’re at anchor and hangs suspended in the water, like dull glitter, whenever the wind blows from the shore. There’s a steady stream of lorries looking like hedgehogs with spiky sugar cane in a heap on the back, and long trains of cane go along the rails on the side of the streets at a walking pace. It feels like things haven’t changed for hundreds of years, like you’re walking in a history of the Caribbean. 

Sugar processing plant. The hedge like thing on the left is the train filled with sugar cane, the lorries are waiting to be unloaded on the right. 

The sugar train goes through the town.

Lautoka is a bustling city, crammed full of stores. It had a rather more Indian feel to it than Suva, and seemed more spread out but is a great place to provision. So as well as visiting immigration to sign Jon off the boat, provision we did. Even more food - mostly for trading, second hand clothes from the Chinese shops, wood glue and sandpaper for the carvers from the hardware store. Lochmarin is full!