On our last night in Fiji, Cindy wanted some microwave popcorn. We brought along a few boxes of microwave popcorn, because that has helped calm Cindy's stomach when the boating gets rough. We had no microwave in our hotel room, but the restaurant told us that they could heat it up for us in their microwave. I took the popcorn down and presented it to one of the chefs. The kitchen crew had never seen microwave popcorn before and I explained to them what to do. I have inferred that they did not cook it for the requested 2.5 minutes, or it could be that their microwave does not have the necessary power. It came back looking just like it did when I gave it to them. So, I said, "Give it another 2 minutes." It came again looking about the same, except the bag was starting to show signs of overheating. No popcorn tonight - sorry Cindy.
|We couldn't get this popcorn popped in Fiji. Oh well....|
We spent our last day in Fiji driving around to kill the time before our flight to Tonga. Fiji is an interesting place, but certainly not the exotic tropical environment I was expecting. The landscape is surprisingly flat and brown. There are lush green mountains here, but the majority of the countryside is not that interesting, considering that we are in the tropics. It is still beautiful, but nothing like Bora Bora or Tahiti. Kauai is much more tropical and lush.
|Typical Fiji dwellings|
|There are lots of these fresh fruit stands alongside the roads.|
|A Fijian bus stop|
|More fresh fruit.|
|Typical landscape during our driving around the island.|
We went back to our hotel to pick up our bags, which we left in their baggage room. Then, we headed down the road to a small (and inexpensive) restaurant for lunch. During our lunch, the winds picked up and dragged a cruiser's dinghy ashore (it had been anchored out when we arrived). Not long after, a small boat also dragged anchor and ended up on the beach.
|This helpful local tried to rescue a cruiser's dinghy, but could not get the outboard|
motor tipped up.
|I would have helped with that dinghy, but I was quite busy|
at the time.
|We will soon get a closer look at the boat that is anchored out.|
|That boat dragged anchor and washed ashore.|
We arrived at the airport and returned our little Suzuki rental car. Clearing customs was easy and quick. Surprisingly, nobody has asked to see the letter that I have been carrying with me. It is from Kathy, and it says that I have her permission to take Cindy (a minor) out of the country. We were told many times that Cindy would not be allowed to travel with me without this letter. However, nobody has seen this document at any point along our travels.
It was a quick 2 hour flight to Tonga where Jerome was waiting at the airport for us. We hopped in a van and drove about 45 minutes from the airport to the dock where his dinghy was tied up. Then, a 20 minute dinghy ride out to his anchored boat. Jerome's wife, Karen, was aboard. We got to spend the evening catching up, and turned into bed early. We are leaving in the morning after Jerome checks out of the country with the customs officials. Karen is catching a flight to Auckland, New Zealand, in the morning. Sadly, Cindy and I never really set foot on the island of Tonga, except at the airport, and then for about 50 feet from the van to the dinghy. It looked much like Fiji, at least from our brief van ride.