Killing time at Breaka's Resort, Port Vila before flying to Nadi, Fiji.
Making the most of the day
I wish the weather would make up its mind so I could make up mine. It flicked between sunny, dark-cloudy and windy, prompting me to flick between staying in or going out to the beach. I had the day to kill before my 1700 flight to Nadi [Nadi-travel-guide-960483], Fiji.
I had decided to stay in when Becca knocked on my door, having checked out from her place. I gave up my room soon after. There was a break in the weather and we decided to go to Iririki Resort about 3 minutes across the water from town. Our hotel manager rang and found that the pool wasn’t operational and their beach was tiny. He suggested Breakas instead.
We took the van there, bought a drink and used the pool as the tide was right out (again). The pool was quite nice, but still, not much nicer than ours.Killing time at Breaka's Resort, Port Vila before flying to Nadi, Fiji. Pool was chilly!The water was chilly but we took the plunged as we had made the effort of coming out here and buying a drink; not something we would have done in our own pool.
We left about 1330 back to town for a lunch at the Seaview burger bar by the water. Becca ordered the fishcake which turned out to be a heavy ginormous lump of partly smashed (rather than mashed) potatoes with bits of fish in it, then deep fried lightly. As it was so big, there was very little surface for the volume. It was the best value item anywhere at only VUV100, so I bought one to take on the flight.
We got back to the hotel with enough time for me to freshen up and say goodbye to Rich and Andrew before vanning to the airport for check-in at 1500, some 2h prior to the flight. All the formalities were done in a jiffy, but they strictly enforced the requirement for an onward ticket out of Fiji.Killing time at Breaka's Resort, Port Vila before flying to Nadi, Fiji. Low-tide isn't a good time to swim here.The flight wasn’t about half-full and probably two-thirds of the passengers were mainland Chinese.
Thoughts on Vanuatu
By visiting Port Vila, I had unintentionally been to every single international destination on the Air New Zealand’s currently scheduled network. I felt that I had best the best-kept-secret for last as Port Vila offers handy access to unique adventures not seen elsewhere, eg. Tanna volcano and Land-diving.
1. Unique sights and adventures.
2. Cheap and easy public transport around Port Vila; hail a shared van and they take you anywhere for a low price, adjusting their route to please everyone on board.
3. Reading pidgin signage and trying to work it out in English.
4. Friendly locals who don’t charge you a special tourist price.
1. Good beaches aren’t found ubiquitously.
2. While locals don’t charge you a special tourist price, the price of most tourist services are high. This is no different from other Pacific countries. I call it “third world with first world pricing”. I reckon it is the proximity to their main markets, NZ and Oz. There isn’t a steady stream of customers from neighbouring and less wealthy countries as you’d find in Asia.
3. The best sights are geographically diverse and require costly domestic flights.
Arriving in Fiji
Fiji Link’s ATR72-600 had arrived early. Consequently we departed and arrived about 30 minutes too. Immigration queue wasn’t the shortest and the luggage came out from the wrong carousel.
Coming out, I tried to change my Vanuatu Vatu of VUV10400 to FJD, which was worth FJD200 based on the median/wholesale rate. I was quiet shocked to have ANZ offer me FJD143 and Western Union FJD167. I did find that FJD167 was the norm in Nadi town; some places were worse but the best I got as Proud’s Duty Free which gave me FJD171.
The Fiji rip-off pricing has started already. Wifi at both my upcoming hotels aren’t free. And I know it will not end till my return flight home because the departure tax (prepaid) is about NZD160.
My hotel the Nomad’s Skylodge aka Tanoa Skylodge was more run down than the spruced up pictures. Due to a mixup, they put me in a cheaper room than I had booked and charged me less. The room is a big normal hotel room that had been partitioned into 3 cubicles, and they call it a dormitory. All was good except they aircon stopped working and I had to shift.