The rainy week continued while we were staying at The Warwick on the Coral Coast, so we began to look for alternate activities, other than sunbathing on the beach or snorkelling amongst the coral. We found someone with a car to spare and arranged to drive to Suva.
Pure Fiji Factory Store
Driving in Fiji is a mixed bag. There is only really one main road, which follows the ocean from Nadi through the Coral Coast and into Suva.
The road are mostly single lane, in fair condition with the odd rough patch. The speed limit is 80 kilometres an hour in the countryside and 50 kilometres when going through the villages.
The main problem is that everyone is either going too slow or too fast, and as there are long stretches of windy double line sections, you will often see cars performing illegal and dangerous overtaking. Everyone slows down through the villages though, and I found out why when I was pulled over for doing 72 in a 60 zone. I apologised though, and was let off with a warning.
Our first stop was the Pure Fiji factory shop. Like Fiji Water, Pure Fiji lotions and creams enjoy a strong reputation among those that know their moisturisers, and is quite expensive out of country.
We had been lured in with vague promises of heavily discounted gift sets, but maybe the good stuff was gone by the time we arrived, as the prices were only about 5% cheaper than Duty Free, which was not really worth the two hours of driving. I was hoping to see a little of the factory where the creams are made, but this was all heavily protected, as I should probably have expected. We picked up a few gift sets for friends and family and continued on.
Suva is a typical tropical South Pacific city, it doesn’t go out of its way to cater to tourists, most of which find more to their liking at the resorts and islands. There are a few interesting spots to explore though, including the requisite fruit market where I managed to take a few photo’s. The picture below is of a guy cutting Taro, which I think is one of the local staple foods.
Victoria Street, Suva
Victoria Road was the main street we travelled down. It was mostly older style buildings like the ones above, but there was a few new developments here and there, including a huge cinema complex and mall. From here we drove down to the docks where the cruise ships berth and followed the road along the shore, past the embassies and government buildings, including the grand Presidential Palace.
I had hoped to eat at a nice local restaurant, but our guide chose to take us to a shopping centre food court instead, so an opportunity was missed. After lunch we drove back, this time avoiding any run in’s with the local law.
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