Leaving Brisbane for Nadi Early..
it was best described as everyone has turned up let’s get this show on the road and we were flying out of Brisbane Airport! The only downside was that we arrived in Nadi 45mins early and our ride wasn’t going to show until 6.00am after custom etc. The flight was around 3½ hours no real time to sleep!
We arrived at Nadi Airport in beautiful Fiji 45 minutes ahead of schedule….
After going through immigration we felt like a cup of tea, nothing like it to give you a lift in the morning. The only problem was it was prepared not with hot water but hot milk, not sure what they were thinking but the taste was ghastly.
Our lift finally arrived it was a whirlwind of chatter, Fijian Indians associates and the next door neighbour excited at our arrival and quick to hand over the van for our working adventures.Gary (my boss) takes the wheel cautiously and the rest of us pile into the back.
Stay away from ginger sweets in the morning!
First mistake… they hand him a sweet which he accepted eagerly without questions before I could say stop! You see Gary can’t take anything that remotely resembles any type of heat in food or drink form. These sweets were ginger and they were hot. His mouth open trying to cool the flames of heat coating the back of his throat not a pretty sight first thing in the morning. After dropping off our passengers we were off to Suva.
The Queens Hwy – Travel advice
Driving conditions in Fiji are quite a challenge the road changes at every turn from a nice smooth drivable surface to giant potholes where if they were any bigger you could disappear never to be seen again. There are many spots where you have to circumnavigate these potholes by going on the wrong side of the road.
You have to keep your wits about you because overtaking is something accepted but not condoned on dangerous bends with double lines, over speed humps etc but many do it. Beware approaching a village, these speed humps are not always well marked, if you hit one at 80km you know it!
If you are approaching a village slow down to 50km.
Did I mention the animals?
The list goes on; if they have legs there is a chance they will walk across the Queens Hwy all on Fiji time. (taking there time without a trouble in the world) So be careful and expect the unexpected.
Our transport in Fiji
Suva is around 200km from Nadi and we were starting our journey already tired so this isn’t a good combination. Gary did the driving, I don’t mine but I have a few stipulations the car needs to be in good mechanical order no strange noises coming from the steering and get over 80 kilometres an hour in an emergency. The windscreen wipers shouldn’t fail every time you hit a speed bump especially when it’s raining, I would like air-con but if this isn’t possible the passenger side window should open.
Gary could be thought of as a bit of a legend he is the reverse of MacGyver…
MacGyver would fix it with pantyhose or chewing gum, Gary just drives as is! I’ll watch carefully my choice of words here there is no way I getting behind the wheel of this van.
After going through a teething process with the van we discovered the following:
- Wind screen wipers did work, a small adjustment required only
- Child lock on the drivers’ door prevented opening the front seat passenger’s window
- Unfortunately I will have to live with no air-con, bad hair visit!
Stopped at the Coral Coast for coffee…
Travelling along the Coral Coast reminds me of the drive to Port Douglas in far north Queensland Australia, every time I travel this way I think of that winding road north of Cairns.
We were both tired after our red eye flight from Brisbane so we stopped at the Hideaway for coffee, I don’t know what the accommodation is like but the pool area is spectacular with iridescent blues rushing to meet your eyes. The gardens are beautifully laid out with comfortable looking bures nestled amongst the palms.
It seems to cater for families… with horse rides along the beach and a wealth of activities.
After a long few hours driving along the Queens Hwy and some pit stops we arrived at the Novotel Lami Bay, a unique location right on the bay and about 10mins out of Suva.