The Road ( a bit ) Less Travelled

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but some of those can be misleading.

A road sign about 100 metres from my house

One might think from the sign above that I’ve gone feral, escaped to the wop-wops.

Not quite so. The house is about 4 km away from Nadi, and the same distance to the airport just North of Nadi. It’s basic – no aircon, no hot water, no ceiling fans, no plugs.

But it’s also very cheap, and its other inmates – Jone, the lease-holder, and Peni, a former Fiji rep rugby player visiting from Brisbane – are fine fellows.

It’s kind of isolated, but there are two coffee shops, a growers’ market, a service station, and several hole-in-the-wall “dairies” all within walking distance.

Even better, thanks to Jone’s tuition, I’ve learned the art of hitch-hiking in Fiji. One faces the traffic, extends the arm, and flutters the hand, similar to the slow-down signal. It works well, especially as the hitcher is expected to cough up $1 for the ride. Fair enough.


The internet here is erratic. It was good enough to teach online at my first digs, but too inconsistent out here to risk the wrath of Japanese students.

Fijians aren’t big on coffee. It’s relatively expensive ( $8.50 FJD at the upmarket cafe, $6.50 FJD at the local ). And I’ve yet to find somewhere which sells filter beans – it’s all instant, all the way.

Fruit and veg is more expensive than I expected. Prices at the small growers’ market are higher than NZ equivalents, and it’s $1 an apple at the supermarket. The Papaya is beautiful.

The dogs need professional help

In my last digs, in Namaka, dogs could be heard yelping at almost any time of day – and often of night as well. Namaka is a shopping centre about 3km from Nadi . It’s a middle-class area by Nadi standards.

Dogs were everywhere. Some roamed the street, but these aren’t the problem.  It’s the impounded dogs, locked up by their owners inside gated properties, and so with nothing to do except yelp hysterically at any imagined threat.

Which they do with gusto.  The owners clearly don’t know or care enough to intervene.

It’s better here in the countryside, but sometime every day, a dog goes off its nut for a happy half hour or so.


Which are to rough it here for a further week or two, and then look to Sigatoka ( a market-town to the south )  or Lautoka ( North of here, Fiji’s second city ). The first is close to a river and the sea, the second offers good accommodation at cheaper rates than Nadi, but no good swimming spots.

Also on the agenda is a bus trip around the northern part of the Viti Levu from Nadi to Suva.

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