Mango Bay – Suva – Navoti Landing - Levuka
Cash is king but with an absence of ATMs I’ve been maxing the debit card in Fiji. I’ve subsequently now got to face today’s bill for six nights’ accommodation, restaurant meals, an international phone call, internet and – worst dread of all – my six night bar tab. I guess I’ve covered about 30 quid in cash over this past week but I do pause before I look at my invoice fearing the worst:
My final bill for this wonderful week spent in paradise at Mango Bay comes to a grand total of just 313 Fijian Dollars. Even making allowances for the low currency value of the Pathetic Pound, my bill for all of the above comes in at just 110 pounds – around 20 quid per day full board, alcohol and a few extras. Apparently, as I stayed a fifth night I got the sixth night free (the same deal as when you stay for a third night). I bloody love this place.
I say my goodbyes to the staff and those few friends that still remain, struggling to leave the front gate and get a lift down to the main road in search of Suva-bound buses.
But once I’m a couple of kilometres away from Mango Bay, passing attractive Fijian villages and the wind rushing against my face inside the van, a great sense of freedom consumes me. It is good to be back on the road. It was definitely time to leave.
It is two hours (3 quid) or so to the Fijian capital, Suva, described to me by Scunny Mark as ‘Coventry by the sea with palm trees’. Mark’s description filled me with dread but upon arriving in Suva I feel taken in by the vibe, the people, even the low key bustle. There’s just time for a quick wander around and an Indian curry at a little place in the food court. This is the best curry I have had in a couple of years. Two quid gets me a deliciously spicy eggplant, potato and chickpea curry, two roti, rice, dhal, 2 samosas and a calming mug of masala tea. It does though rather bring out the inner sweat and I’m relieved to dive into the Patterson’s Shipping office to resuscitate in their ice cold air con while my bus and ferry tickets to Lomaiviti Island are organised for me.