Suva to Pacific Harbour
Thursday 13th August 2015
Bear and Steve went off to collect the hire car while Pepe and I finished off the packing. I had grown quite used to our apartment by now, and was almost sorry to leave. I wondered what the next place would be like...
We were supposed to be checked out by 10 a.m., but at 9.45 I had a phone call from Steve to say that the hire car we had been allocated had been brought back damaged and was not roadworthy. Worse than that, they did not have another vehicle available. However, after some persuasion, they had contacted Avis who could provide a vehicle, and would deliver it in 15 minutes. So there would be a slight delay.
Pepe spoke to Reception who said we could have the rooms till 10.30, then would have to vacate. Bear and Steve were back by 10.30, and we were somewhat surprised to find they had a minibus! It was a Toyota Hiace which was so new it didn’t even have number plates, and Avis had removed some seats to bring the number down to within rental car limits. We had loads of room and it was very comfortable! However, it was temporary, as Avis had said they would deliver a more suitable vehicle to our next hotel later in the afternoon. We were very impressed with their efforts to provide us with a car, particularly when our booking had been with Budget.
We piled all the luggage (now including shopping) into the van, jumped in and Bear drove us off into the Suva traffic.
Suva is very busy traffic-wise... ...with many one-way systems.
Once out of the city centre it was a pleasant drive along Queen’s Road, the southern coast road. Gazing out of the window, we noticed the outcrop of rock we had been seeing across Suva harbour, and stopped to take a photo. We wondered if it would be shown on the map, but it wasn’t, so we took out the iPad and Googled “rocky outcrop near Suva” and it turned out to be Joske’s Thumb, a volcanic plug and local landmark. Named after one of Suva’s pioneer settlers who established Fiji’s first sugar mill in 1870, the rock had actually foiled two attempts by Sir Edmund Hillary to reach its peak. He finally succeeded in scaling it in 1983, 30 years after climbing Everest. It also appears on the back of the Fijian $10 note. Well I never.
Joske’s Thumb, also known as Devil’s Thumb or Rama. Can also be seen on the back of the $10 note.
We arrived in Pacific Harbour, about 50kms from Suva, early afternoon, and found our resort, Club Oceanus, by accident as we were having a drive around the ‘town’. It is actually just an area around a lagoon given over to holiday homes and resorts, with no ‘town’ as such. There is a village nearby where the local Fijians live and which has a few shops. Our resort was on the side of the river that runs from the lagoon to the sea. We were pleased to find clean, well-kept rooms in a well-tended garden on the riverbank.
The rooms were all in one long building... ...in well-tended grounds.
Relaxing outside our rooms at Club Oceanus, Pacific Harbour. This is more like it...
I never thought I would be so pleased to see a modern, clean bathroom!
After a bite of lunch, Steve went off for a stroll with Bear, while I set about unpacking and getting stuff ready for our white water rafting trip tomorrow. Excited!
Our resort from the other side of the river. A few shops by the local village.