A few days after leaving Vancouver, there started to be a coughing bug that began to circulate around the ship. More and more people started to have a deep raspy cough and perhaps that's why we had the one seriously ill person who led us to motor quickly to Honolulu (we were too far for any air rescue). Well, a day out of Pago Pago in Amerika Samoa, we had another person get in serious condition and so the captain made the decision to divert to the Fijian capital of Suva rather than head to small port of Savusavu on Vanua in Fiji - partly due to the fact that this person was ambulatory and Suva was a docking port and Savusavu was a tender port (go in on small tender boats). Nevertheless, this provided us with the opportunity to visit Suva which is the capital of Fiji.
Suva is an interesting place in that it is of course the government centre and so there are interesting government buildings and related Suva resident wearing the traditional "sulu" bottoms and accompanying leather sandals museums and other interesting sites to visit. It is also the home to the Flying Fijians -- Fiji's national rugby team -- and their support is visible everywhere through locals wearing official jerseys or t-shirts and team flags flying in the city. The city is built around the harbour and there is a large bus depot and public market adjacent to the harbour.
Like people on the other Polynesian islands, Fijians are very friendly and they were very happy to greet you with the traditional greeting of "Bula bula" and offer a big smile.
Path along Dravuni island
Following the city visit of Suva, the ship stopped on the incredible island paradise of Druvani. Less than two miles in length, the island is a natural wonder in the Kadavu Islands of Fiji. It is fully of palm trees and banana plants that are surrounded by gorgeous beaches along the island's shores. The very few residents (I heard its population is roughly 100) live in a few homes in a central part along the less-windy beach. There is a school, a church and some gardens but other than that it is simply a lush island with no electricity other than some solar panel power and communication via satellite dish. Overall, this was a great place to swim and unwind in an island paradise!
After Druvani we moved on to the port city of Lautoka, also known as the "Sugar City". The large sugar refinery in Lautoka started operation in the early 1900s and is still the largest sugar mill in the southern hemisphere. With the refinery offering work, Lautoka has become the second largest city in
Rail cars full of sugar cane going to the large sugar refinery in Lautoka, Fiji
Fiji and is a wonderful friendly place full of people from various parts of Asia. In Lautoka, you will find Indian and Chinese restaurants offering their delicious ethnic dishes along with local coconut-based Polynesian delicacies. There is an
Lautoka produce market
interesting narrow-gauge rail line right alongside the main street in Lautoka that is used to bring in railcars loaded with harvested sugar cane from across the
island to the sugar mill adjacent to the port. Lautoka is a very interesting city that blends a variety of cultures with the natural beauty of the Fijian islands.
All the photos from Suva, Dravuni and Lautoka are in the "Fiji" folder in the "2019 - SOUTH PACIFIC" collection.