Nomads Sky Lodge

Our last day has arrived and we have breakfast and start to pack up our gear. We spend the morning by the pool and eventually Ali’s guitar arrives. It doesn’t look too good, it’s been mended with fibreglass, not quite what we expected but it actually seems to play ok and as we had resigned ourselves to the thought that it was knackered anyway we’re happy enough.

After lunch Ali spends some time getting some of the guys here to sign his book. We had originally intended to collect email addresses in this book but forgot about it from Malaysia to here so it’s a bit empty. Nevertheless he adds a few and he’s pleased with that. At 4pm its time to go and we say our goodbyes to everyone before Sunny takes us out to meet the ferry. Goodbye and Thank you everyone at Walu Beach- You have all been great- Sunny, Ziggy, Malley, Sena, Paul, Tico, Appi, Josh, Stanley, Matilda, Cassie- we love you all!! Our Fiji Family!

The ferry ride takes about 2 hours and we arrive at Nomads Skylodge around 7pm. Peterina has invited us to dinner with her family and at 7pm we meet her Dad, Sam and brother and sister Thomas and Carolin. After a quick drink we are shown to a table right by the pool and soon we are joined by Leba, Peterina’s mum. (The manager of the Skylodge)What a lovely family, they extend fantastic hospitality to us and we have a great Indian meal. The food is so good and includes thali’s with about 6 different curries to choose from. We also have some yummy puddings that we never tried whilst in India and Sam explains this is Muslim food that would traditionally be eaten at Eid.

We spend the evening chatting about our trip and about Fiji. Its very interesting conversation and we learn about the political and economic situation here. As with some of the other places we have visited it seems that waste plastic is a big problem, we also listen to some great stories about the local people. Despite the fact that Fiji is in lots of ways very progressive, it seems that in some areas, local traditions such as kava drinking are going strong. Probably accounting for “Fiji Time”. (Basically things will be done-sometime!)

By 1130 its time for bed and we walk down to the house to collect the kids who have gone off with Thomas and Carolin to watch The Simpson’s Movie. I feel really sorry that we haven’t had longer time to spend with Peterina’s family, they are so kind and friendly and I feel really happy to have had the opportunity to share a meal with them.

Tomorrow we are flying to The Cook Islands and crossing the International dateline. This means we will actually gain a day. How amazing I can’t really get my head around this concept no matter how many times Simon explains it. We leave on the 18th Sept at midday and fly for about 3 hours, and then arrive at 5.30 on Friday 17th. Wow!

Arriving in the Cook Islands

Saturday 18th August 2007-My first thought is that I want to phone someone at home this morning just to say “I’ll speak to you again yesterday” and as I have 5 minutes calling credit left on a phone card I give mum a quick ring before breakfast. Peterina comes and sits with us until we leave at 10.I’m impressed she made it to say goodbye as she tells us she was out partying until 5am with some guests from the hotel.

We wave our goodbyes and get in a taxi for the airport. We sit reading and before long board our flight to The Cook Islands. The flight time is just over 3 hours and the time when we arrive is around 5pm. (Friday 17th August 2007) – Weird!!

We have booked a hostel within walking distance of the airport but I’m a bit upset when we look out of the plane window to see heavy rain. Anyway by the time we have been through immigration it’s stopped but it isn’t that warm and I’m definitely going to need to change into warmer clothes.

The hostel looks ok, right on the beach, we have a big room to share and the view out of the window is great. The fella tells us that the humpback whales are migrating past Rarotonga at the moment and to keep an eye out for them. We shower and change quickly and head to the bar to see if we can get some food. It is going to cost us a lot of money here for the next few weeks and it’s a bit of a shock when they tell us its 25 New Zealand Dollars (NZD) each for dinner, the hostel is 120 NZD and I can feel the cash draining away already.

We have our meal, a BBQ buffet and chocolate cake and ice-cream for pudding and watch the band. There is a wedding party going on and I feel sorry for the bride and groom. I guess when you go all that that way for a tropical wedding you hope the weather will be fantastic. As it is, it’s pissing down with rain and looks like a cyclone has struck outside. Not quite the photos they had hoped for!

We head back to our room, I go to sleep and Simon and the kids watch some film on the laptop. Tomorrow we are thinking of hiring a car for the day so we can drive around the island and try and get some decent accommodation that won’t completely break the bank. Hmmm! Could be difficult!