We finally made it onto the plane after what seemed like an incredibly long evening. John walked around with LE in her infant carrier to get her to fall asleep without fussing. Thankfully, it worked, and we were given permission to carry the carrier on the plane and keep it in the vacant seat next us.
After getting settled in the half-full plane, three flight attendants came to check on the carrier, verifying that it’s safe for the plane. The last lady to check on it mistakenly told us that we had to take LE out, which woke her up and made her cry. We finally got her to go back to sleep before we took off, and they brought a bassinet that attached to the bulkhead for her to sleep in during the flight. I must say, she slept well-- certainly better than I slept. John and I were both surprised at how quickly the flight went by.
When we arrived to Nadi, Fiji, at around 5:30 a.m., we were greeted first by about 6 Fijians right at the plane’s door and then by three Fijians playing guitars and singing loudly as we walked the short jaunt to customs, which, by the way, had no lines and friendly staff. John and I were both very surprised by the number of people who were awake, at work, and happy before daybreak.
|John and LE at our day hotel, the Mercure, in Nadi.|
Since our flights were changed to a more inconvenient route with a long layover in Nadi, our travel agent got us a room for free at a nearby hotel, the Mercure. We took the hotel’s shuttle, checked in without issues, and made it to our room to rest. John apparently wasn’t tired, but LE slept and I half-slept. We got up, went to the main courtyard for the complimentary breakfast buffet, and then headed back to the airport to catch our noon flight. The people there were very friendly, wanting to hold LE and talk with us.
Here's LE below at the Nadi airport just before we got on the plane.
For whatever reason, they had us all board, sit down, and unbuckle our seatbelts and sit in the unairconditioned plane while they filled the gas tank. LE was a sweaty mess.
Views in flight
We landed in Labasa, Fiji, ready to take the 2 hour bus ride to our resort in SavuSavu. The airport in Labasa was just a small building with one office and about 30 chairs. There was no security or air-conditioning. Our luggage was simply brought in on a rolled cart, and everyone just grabbed what was his. I walked around with LE while John waited for our luggage, and two ladies asked to hold LE, kiss her face, and take a picture with her on their cell phone. Having a baby makes you an instant celebrity.
Here's the landing strip.
Here I am with LE, standing in the parking lot of the airport. You can kind of see the landing strip in the background.
After we got our luggage, we found our way through the crowd to the man with a clipboard who apparently was in charge of getting the surprisingly large group to our resort, Koro Sun, outside of the town SavuSavu. Almost everyone rode in a van to the resort, but since we had little LE, we were sent in a cab with just one other passenger. That’s when we learned that the reason there was a group going to our same small resort is because there is a Tony Robins conference later in the week at Tony’s resort down the street from Koro Sun. They all arrived a couple of days early to adjust before transferring to the Tony’s resort for the conference.
Our cab driver pointed out a number of highlights along the way and answered a lot of questions that we had about the island and SavuSavu. There were cows, horses, and pigs tied up along the roadside here and there, and a lot of rainforest and natural flora. It was a pretty drive, but we were thankful to finally arrive at Koro Sun!
P.S. Wholly cow I was pasty when I got there!! I look sickly in that photo. Yikes!