working in Lautoka

The last week in Fiji has brought a few surprises, ups and downs… and coconuts! ;)

Shortly after posting my last journal entry I checked into the Nadi Downtown backpackers for 12 FJ$ a night for a dorm bed incl. breakfast and 10mins internet. As I was really tired I basically slept from the late afternoon till the next morning and even missed the free breakfast…

At least I could still use the internet to quickly check for mails and answer a few.

I had a look at the nearby Hindu temple; even payed (uncommon for me) 3.5 FJ$ and walked around it three times (hindu tradition: once for your family, once for your friends, and once for yourself) taking heaps of photos from the colorful statues. This one is the largest Hindu temple in the South Pacific; yet it seemed quite small compared to hindu structures like Prambanan near Yogyakarta (Java, Indonesia), which was actually mostly distroyed during the big earthquake not too long ago.

Later that day I took a minibus to Lautoka (2 FJ$, ca. 20mins) and changed to a local bus to Vuda Point marina in the south.
At the marina I stuck a “Crew Available” note up on the notice board and talked to a lot of yachties on and around their boats. Many of them were heading to Vanuatu soon, unfortunately noone needed crew.

The sun was going down when I left the marina and some locals told me that there wouldn’t be any cheap accomodation in Lautoka; so I decided to go to Nadi Bay where several cheap Backpackers are clustered along the beach.

With a few lifts (I didn’t even put my thumb out) and a local bus for the main road stretch I arrived at Horizon Backpackers long after nightfall. I booked in for 5 nights (stay-5-pay-4 special deal -> 60 FJ$), as I thought I need some time to adapt to “Fiji Time” and relax on the beach. The first shock were the food prices: 15 FJ$ for dinner at Horizon’s restaurant seemed a bit out of proportion (more than what I paid per night!). And the next cheaper eateries/shops are 1/2 h’s walk away along the main road (Queen Rd). I was hungry and didn’t have any provisions, thus I walked back to where I had gotten off the bus (Queen Rd) not too long ago and got some fried rice with chicken for 2.7 FJ$.
As I realised the next morning the beach wasn’t quite as paradise as one would expect of Fiji: grey sand, murky water and in general not the most idyllic setting…

The following 5 days went by anyway (mostly talking to other backpackers and locals). At least I found a few coconuts to supplement my otherwise quite simple diet.

Unfortunately my credit card disappeared and when checking my account via online banking I realised that I am pretty much broke (just enough left to cover my insurance till the end of the year).

So yesterday I went to Lautoka to follow up on a hint I got from a girl at a photoshop in Nadi City.

And here I am now, found work and a place to stay and food is also included, yippie!

2 Responses to “working in Lautoka”

  1. Mom Says:

    Hey! You are now in our stomping grounds! Dad & I went to Fiji 14 years ago and still have friends who live there. It is an awesome place to be. Loved the country. Hope you are doing well.

  2. Matthias Says:

    It’s always nice to read what you are doing down there (can I say “down there” to Fiji? :)). When did you left Germany? 3 or 4 years ago? Time’s flying by…really fast. Sometimes too fast. My seventh semester is starting soon and it still feels like I just got started here…

    There’s a postcard on my fridge from Fiji (my cohabitant Nina got it from a friend of her, who visited Fiji as a backpacker too). The last time that I was sitting in my kitchen and thinking about holidays and travelling you came to my mind and when I saw the postcard, I wondered if you already been there. So, a little bit later, this also happend :).

    So, greets from (after some crazy heat) rainy and cold Germany to Fiji. Have a good time and enjoy the “original Fiji beer” (which is on the front of the said postcard). Greetings, Matthias

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