After twenty hours in the air, it's great to be back on the ground, especially in such a lovely place. We landed at 6:30am and airport staff was ready for us. Immigration was quick and easy and our bags were checked for agricultural items that could bring disease into the country. It was great to see all of our luggage, although mine was the worse for wear, missing the strap and two of the locks. It was also wet and I remembered seeing rain streaming down the window as we waited for the plane to take off in Los Angeles. My bag must have sat out for a while, but the contents most of which I packed in plastic, bags were just fine. We have many flights ahead of us, so I'll look for replacement locks and strap, not because I think someone is going to steal my things, but because If the compartments come open, things can fall out.
We had arranged for an airport pick up and a cheery man was waiting, giving us an enthusiastic greeting complete with shell necklaces. Our first impression during the drive is that the island has a Caribbean look. When we wandered around our hotel grounds it seemed like Aussies and Asians use this idyllic place as a R & R spot, much like we might visit a Caribbean island. Even though Fiji has 300 islands according to our guide book, we are staying on Denarau which is a manmade island. It was filled in over mangrove swamps, so even though the beaches look lovely, the water is not clear for snorkeling as it is in other parts of the island. It would be as easy to stay in the bubble that is Denarau as it was at our campground in Tucson. There are six large resorts here, lavishly landscaped with fabulous ocean views. You can do all sorts of water sports, get your hair braided, shop for handicrafts, and crash at the pool with a tropical drink in hand. A wedding chapel is here for those with plans for a destination wedding. A golf and racquet club is across the street. We had dinner on the beach. As we waited for our trout-for-two to be prepared, dancers hulaed and performed acrobatic feats with flaming torches and poi balls. When they finished a trio sang local and popular songs. It was idyllic!
Our driver encouraged us to get out and see the place and that is usually what we like to do, but even after two naps, we still feel logey and unambitious. We are one time zone and four more hours of flying from Sydney. After five nights here, we'll be recharged and ready for the tour. Since we will be here again when we cruise back to the US, we will have a chance to see more, reassuring if we don't accomplish much on this stop.