Sabin’s at Sea - Day 29 - Lautoka, Viti Leva, Fiji
Updated: Oct 25, 2022
by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog
Today is another day I have to pinch myself to see if this trip is real or just a dream.
I can’t believe it is almost a month since our journey began. People have been asking are we getting tired of being on the cruise. We find the things we appreciate and try to look beyond the things that don’t go the way we planned.
With any cruise there will be changes and you have to go with the flow and be flexible.
You can’t control the weather or the port of calls available for the cruise ship to dock.
Today was an overcast rainy day in Fiji. After not being able to go to Dravuni Island we were a bit bummed because that was the place that was truly going to experience the spirit of Fiji. There we would have the opportunity to snorkel, enjoy beaches, and hike around the small island.
We arrived at Lautoka, Viti Leva, Fiji in the early morning and was able to disembark by 8 am. This was a port that was not originally on our itinerary.
Lautoka is the second largest city in Fiji. It is on the west coast of the island of Viti Leva. The same island as Suva. Lying in the heart of Fiji's sugar cane growing region, the city has come to be known as the Sugar City.
Laukota has a large Indian Population. The Indians came to Lautoka in the 1800s as workers and over time the population became predominantly India.
It was the Hindu holiday Diwali. Therefore, we knew many of the sights to visit and shops would be closed. Many shops had beautiful Indian art they stamped with sand to celebrate the holiday along with fire crackers we could hear as walked around the city.
Since it was raining, we decided to take the free shuttle to town. There was a guide on the bus to give a brief introduction to Lautoka.
Once we arrived at the shuttle drop off point, we were greeted by a group singing to welcome us. They were part of the store Jacks, which is a Fijian chain store.
We walked around the town and saw a Hindu temple, the botanical gardens, and a mosque. It appears the have all different religions in Fiji.
The town reminded us a lot of the Middle East and not really what we would have expected to see for Fiji.
John has been looking for a Fiji seven dollar bill. We were able to find one at a local grocery store. It cost about $3.50 USD.
We decided to go on a tour to see outside the city. We agreed on a price of $15 US per person to see outside of the town. We went with the couple we play bridge with.
We visited a little village where John was able to buy a Fiji Fork, which 100 years ago their ancestors used for cannibalism. We even had an explanation of the tools they used to kill their enemies to eat them.
They Fijians speak English very well so we had no problems conversing or negotiating.
We did appear to have a miscommunication when our tour told us we would see two hours of Fiji sights but only gave us an hour. So we had to work it out that since we did not get our whole tour we paid only half.
Our experience with Fiji was different than we expected. Yet, we are grateful to have been able to visit Fiji.
Tonight we set our clocks ahead and hour. So eventually the day we went into the future, we will be getting back.
Tomorrow is another sea day and then we will be on Tonga.