Suva is the capital city of Fiji. It is located on the southeast side of Viti Levu, the largest island in the Fiji Islands. Our cruise started when we departed the western side of the island from Lautoka. Suva is the largest city in Fiji. Within view of our ship at the dock we can see the downtown area of Suva. There is a huge bus station. Most of the inhabitants don’t own automobiles so they depend heavily on public transportation. There are three large sheds, each with a half dozen parking spots for the city busses. A constant flow of busses into and out of this area indicates the thriving nature of this city.
Located right next to the bus depot is a huge vegetable market. We walked through the market marveling at the amazing variety of food displayed for sale. There were vendors with tables full of fruits and vegetables. Many vendors simply had a cloth spread on the pavement with their wares displayed for sale there.
Leaving the market we walked toward the larger buildings. We browsed our way through several shops and stores. This would be our last shopping stop in Fiji and the last for the cruise. We picked up a final few Fiji souvenirs at a shop which featured goods made by local artists. Louise found a shop that sold Indian garb. After selecting a few scarves for our granddaughters she tried on a sari and fell in love with it. She picked out accessories to complete the ensemble and then wore it for the evening meal and entertainment.
The overnight cruise returned us to our starting point in Lautoka where we disembarked at 9:00 a.m. We had reserved a hotel, the Gateway Hotel in Nadi, for the night which would allow us to adjust for any schedule changes in the cruise schedule. Nadi is the location of the international airport and the Gateway Hotel was right across the road from the airport. The Gateway turned out to be a delightful surprise. The hotel was really nice with excellent rooms and beautiful grounds. The staff welcomed us and checked us into our room well before normal check-in time. They also knew our flight would not be leaving until late the next day and extended our check-out time to noon. We enjoyed meals and relaxing at the hotel. The extended check-out time gave us time in the room the next morning to do our final packing for our trip back to the US.
On Sunday evening, June 15 we boarded a Fiji Airlines flight to Los Angeles. After flying through the night and crossing the International Date Line, we arrived in Los Angeles at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 15, approximately 7 hours before we left Nadi, Fiji. In Los Angeles we now had a seven hour wait for our flight back to Houston and on to McAllen, Texas. We finally arrived in McAllen at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 16 and took a taxi to our house at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg. We were back home for the first time since leaving for New Zealand, Australia and Fiji on January 29, 2014. It had been one fantastic vacation.