Fiji – The Land of Festivals

Fiji – The land of Festivals

As we set off to explore the Fiji, land of festivals, we are informed there is a huge parade and Hibiscus Festival in Suva, and so our plans are promptly changed. Being on a single parent travel adventure has taught us to be flexible and appropriately make changes if need be. We believe that luxury travel experts would approve of such impromptu changes in such occasions. These are the times we allow our family travel to take us to wherever fun is – even if it means making necessary adjustments.

bouncy castle

©Exploramum and Explorason – Fiji – the land of festivals

So we set off to catch a minivan to Suva – about 1 hour away through the windy hills. He is a cautious driver and has a near new van, so he is selective to whom he gives a ride and at $1.20 AU a ride for both of us, it is a bargain.

We are dropped at the city edge and informed that due to the parade we have to walk the rest of the way. We are stopped by a very proud policeman and so we have a photo at the front of the market.

policeman

©Exploramum and Explorason – Fiji policeman

Incredibly we bump into a friend from Adelaide – where else but at MacDonalds!

Our family travel leads us down to the Hibiscus Festival (yes, land of festivals is true!) and rides look very home-made, so even at $1 each, I won’t allow my son on many of them as they look like the bolts are about to fling off but I’m sure later in our travels this will change. That is what being a mom in a single parent travel is all about as I feel very protective of my son. Bet I have become a luxury travel expert who understands the value of a great experience later down the track.

Suva

©Exploramum and Explorason – lining up at the festival

A 1-hour wait in the sun sees him on the bouncy slide, but when he finally gets on, it is burning his feet and he is too hot and gets a blister so we move on.

The street parade is in full swing, and really is a bunch of home-made floats promoting businesses, all with the Mr. Hardware, and Miss Crush Juice, but I failed to find a Miss or Princess Hibiscus, or indeed anything more than a painted sponge flower decoration of a hibiscus.
festival

©Exploramum and Explorason – Fijian streets lined with people

Heading back to the bus we have to walk through the markets and my son is enthralled with the live crabs all tied together, to be sold in bunches.

Seeing they have sat in the sun all day on a cloth or a banana leaf, produce both dead and alive, it now has a less of a real kick and more of a pungent kick to them.

crabs

©Exploramum and Explorason – crabs for sale

We try to get directions to our bus – there are about 100 all coming and going, and each driver points to the bus row behind him. Suva is a busy hub and with the land of festivals, it is tricky to work this out.  Suddenly a bus swings in and they haul us on and take off as we are barely on the step inside.

It is full as usual, and my son does his usual sleep trick, and flakes out. The lady next to me grabs him onto her lap. He wakes and they play.

I love the honesty and friendliness of these people. It makes the ride home a lot of fun as they play tricks on each other for the next hour.
Fijian

©Exploramum and Explorason – lovely Fijian lady plays with explorason

Back here, and as my son makes a new friend and learns to play rugby, I decide to stay another day and forget the hassle of moving to town.  The next day, we make friends with some people that have an English speaking church that meets where we are staying.

Pacific Harbour Community Church – a really lovely group of friendly people who are a mix of Americans and Fijians. Church and connections here are important, as everyone goes to some kind of church or temple in Fiji.

The afternoon sees us visiting the nearby resort for a swim in their fabulous pool with a cave and dive area, and my son is soon making friends, and using up his energy.

pool

©Exploramum and Explorason – swimming in the pool

friends

©Exploramum and Explorason – Making new friends

rocks

©Exploramum and Explorason – jumping off the rocks

Meanwhile, I get to relax and read a book under the semi-shade of the umbrella and work on having a less sun reflective tan.  It is so hot even I have a go jumping off the rocks – and it has to be hot to get me in the water.
Fji resort

©Exploramum and Explorason – traditional roofing

relaxing

©Exploramum and Explorason – Exploramum relaxes

river view

©Exploramum and Explorason – enjoying the river view

We finish the swim by looking over the river. My son is tired by 3:30 p.m. and ready for an early Indian curry dinner with copious amounts of Roti, which we share for $5 AU and walk back “home”. We end up getting a ride back with one of the guys from the church who is an Aussie building a house here – thanks, Cliff!

He has information on his friends who have an orphanage we may be able to help on the next island. As we have a heap of stuff to give to the needy, this may be perfect.
Life in Fiji – the land of festivals is good.
Questions and Comments
  • Have you attended any festivals at Fiji?
  • What memories did you make?
  • Please share your experinces and comments with us below.

2 thoughts on “Fiji – The Land of Festivals

  1. Hi,

    I came across your blog whilst googling for an English speaking church in Pacific Harbour. Just wondering if you can remember the details of where/when the church met or any contact? I’ve just moved into Pacific Harbour for the next 4 months and am keen to meet others locally.

    My email address is hannahlitingchung@yahoo.co.uk

    Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.