Fiji Time (Part 4) - The time is up.
Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
132Trip End Jan 04, 2012
“Maybe the usual, Walk of fame and all that – maybe a museum or two”
“Sounds fine, looking forward to getting out of here now; it’s been good, but there is only so much sunning and being bitten I can handle, I expect I’ll sleep better tonight though” I reply slightly distracted as I turn on the computer. As I’m having this conversation with Kate I have just read another couple of chapters of James Pattersons 'Kiss The Girls’, I am slumped in a Hammock on the Beach with a light breeze blowing in my face. The sun is out and it is getting warm. We have another two nights but I think it’s going to make me more worn out due to the little sleep I managed last night. I feel smug though, sitting in Fiji while I know everyone at home is tucking themselves into bed before another night at work. I get wireless signal which is excellent, boot up facebook and feel the need to remind people where we are
“sitting in a hammock on the beach in fiji. nice day :)” I type, or something very similar.
I then have a quick look over my emails before thinking about relaxing into a stuper and trying to get some sleep. As hotmail starts up I notice someone I wasn’t expecting has emailed. A lady named Tamsyn who we booked our flights with. The email is titled “Flight Change – URGENT”.
It transpires that Air Pacific in their wisdom have changed our flight by a day out of Fiji. We are stuck in this god forsaken (It’s amazing how quickly somewhere becomes god forsaken when you have intentions on being somewhere else – we were enjoying the Beachouse and then all of a sudden after this email – we weren’t) hell hole (this is how we felt at the time – the place is lovely) for a further day. I am tied into a booking in LA, we have lost one of our days in the states and we have no booking here in Fiji. Panic.
Kate and I have a crisis meeting. For a few minutes I try and work out some options; maybe fly out earlier to LA? Try and call the airline and double check Tamsyn isn’t wrong? Etc. And then we go to reception and call Air Pacific. I get mildy irritated on the phone as I am passed from pillar to post and find that the earlier flight is over subscribed. Kate and I later argue over this as I haven’t tried hard enough to create space on this flight, or bullied the company into letting us go Business class. I don’t push this kind of thing because these people tend to do the best they can, well I think so anyhow.
In the end Air Pacific (after asking if I had insurance – to which I replied “Yes, but I’m not going through it – you’re going to sort this out”) said they would pay for another night of accommodation. Step 1 done. We quickly told the Beachouse we would need another night and Air Pacific would be calling to confirm booking.
We went away, adjusted our booking in LA (for free!) and then sulked a little while.
I was called to reception to take a call from Air Pacific. Post argument with Kate I thought it wise to at least ask about Business Class but they were insistent the plane was full. I had at least asked. She gave me a booking number for the accommodation and then as I signed off saying “so you’ve got us another night here and the booking number is XXXXX”, she replied “No, it’s at the Novotel in Nadi, and you can stay there until you’re flight (it’s a late flight) and they will transfer you to the airport”.
Quite a relief.
We were relieved to have got things sorted, but we had lost most of the sun trying to sort things out. The rest of that day was sadly heavy rain, but it gave us a chance to read and re-group.
Our final day in the Beachouse was bright and sunny for the most and so we sunbathed on the beach and finished the day with a lovely BBQ. The site was very busy with a local group having some function which put a downer on things slightly; they were all very loud, very boisterous and seemed to hog the pool and some of the undercover areas – I wouldn’t want to be here for a long time if it was that busy. It had been very quiet around the grounds generally, but it became clear that that was because most of the rooms were empty. I expect away from the ‘wet season’ the place is heaving.
And now from the Novotel - Upset to have lost a day in LA we have inadvertently got ourselves a night’s stay in a proper hotel in Nadi with a late checkout and $25 FJD each per meal for lunch, dinner and breakfast. The place has a golf course, gym, swimming pool etc. We will not have to wait around at the airport for nigh on 10 hours tomorrow as we would have had to initially (checking out of the Beachouse at 10am and then waiting at the airport for an 11pm flight), we have saved a bit of budget and we have a chilled last day in Fiji. We’re in fact going to the gym shortly before finishing the day with a swim and a bottle of wine.
It’s a nice hotel. It’s the sort of hotel that if you were staying in the UK would probably be somewhere between 3 and 4 star. But if you’re in Fiji, I wouldn’t stay in it. It’s expensive for the food and drink (we had vouchers so it made it free but if we were paying it’s about 10 quid for a burger) and their service is slow. Me and Kate were waiting 40 minutes for a chicken burger and a BLT at lunchtime and there were only another 2 people to serve, wasn’t like it was busy (without the free vouchers it would cost about 20 quid, about twice the cost of the Bedarra and it wasn’t any better). The pool is big, if not heavily chlorinated but you could be anywhere here – it’s just a stopover hotel. For an easy night either before or after a flight – it’s perfect, but anymore than that – think again. We’re done in Fiji now – Roll on LA.
“Yippee Kay-yay Mother Hubbards” – I’m pretty sure that’s what John Mclaine says in Die Hard anyhow.