Look out your window right now.
Is this what you see?
It’s more like this:
Actually, it’s exactly that.
There’s just no way around it, Fiji is just a dang good idea right about now! Why (besides the obvious) am I thinking about such a thing? Well, I’ll tell you.
Lately I’ve been continuing my slog down memory lane by scanning (with a scanner) my way through the rather voluminous collection of transparencies I’ve amassed over the years and Fiji just jumped right out, begging “Me next! Me next!” So I pulled them out and said “Let’s go!”
The Fijian images in this post are from a little trip I took courtesy of the Pacific Area Travel Association in 1985. It was a “fam” trip for travel agent members of that organization but because of friends in the right places I was invited to go along to take pictures. Of course I dropped everything I was doing and got on board without a split second’s worth of hesitation, pretty much what I’d do right now if asked.
Although it was some time ago, I don’t think these images are too dated. You may have noticed on your travels that some places just don’t change that much when you get down to their essence (Rome for instance!) and I’m hoping the Fijian archipelago with its more than 300 islands is one of those places.
This and some other obvious ones below were taken at what was then known as the Pacific Harbour Cultural Center but is, I assume, now the Pacific Harbour Arts Village that serves as a preservation of the Fijian way of life.
Overall, I like Fijians a lot and I hope their culture remains healthy. How can you not like a people that greets you with a “Bula!”?
The main Island, Viti Levu, has a network of trains used for hauling sugar cane from the farm to the city and at one time carried passengers as well. This train, as you might have guessed, is a hauler of tourists now along the “Coral Coast”, a stretch between Sigatoka and Suva. This part of the island is also now laden with resorts such as that one at the top.
The Yasawas are a group of about 20 islands off the north coast of Viti Levu, the main island. Can you imagine owning an island like this? Some of you may remember when Raymond Burr, hero of the Perry Mason TV series in the ’60s bought Naitauba Island to the northeast of the Yasawas. Owning an island like this is a popular thing amongst those with the means and I can easily fathom why.
More than a third of the population are “Indo-Fijians”, mostly descendants of indentured servants brought here by the British in the latter 19th century. You’ll notice that this part of the island was black and white – how strange!
Finally, here’s a shot of most of us having fun in Fiji, at least in our imaginations:
Actually, this is finally:
Well, that felt good, but it will still be a while before I want to look out my window again.