More of my photos from Fiji

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bus ride

recently we've arrived at a "backpackers resort" right on the beach called The Beachouse, on the south side of fiji. great stuff... beautiful beach, a bamboo raft anchored in the water that you can swim out to, palm trees providing shade, genuinely friendly staff, and a good bunch of guests. we're here for a few days while we plan the island we'll head to for the next week or so (probably somewhere in the yasawa group).

today we headed into suva to get some supplies, and had our first Bus Ride of the trip as a result. for me, Bus Rides are those unique experiences riding a charter/non-scheduled bus anywhere in the world. each country, city, and driver has their own form of Bus Ride.

today's Bus Ride was in a minibus. the return minibus back from suva to the resort was the best one. this bus had started its life out as a white toyota minivan. the stock back seats had been ripped out and replaced with high-density seating the van to accomodate up to 11 passengers, plus the driver and his sidekick. the ceiling covering had been removed and replaced with tropical print fabric, which was then covered with plastic sheeting to avoid stains. the dashboard had tribal-print carpeting literally nailed into it, and the steering wheel was covered in a massive, soft cover that the driver's hands barely wrapped around. the gearshift was similarly decorated. hanging from the rearview mirror were two shell necklaces, and an extra suction cup on the widow had an air freshener in the shape of a pineapple, and a small stuffed-animal mouse pointed out towards the highway. above both the driver-side and passenger-side doors were a series of small fish stickers from the movie "finding nemo". to complete the cramped vibe, a kenwood car stereo with cd changer was playing a mix of fijian pop music and american r&b.

the windows had large guards over them to stop insects or rain from entering the car. when the sky was clear, the windows were down the entire time to ventilate the car, and during any sort of downpour, the windows were rolled up all the way, and the AC was cranked to full blast. i was in the front, crammed in next to the driver's sidekick guy (the sidekick was absolutely nonplussed about this seating arrangement), watching us honk and blaze past other cars and minivan-buses on the 2-late highway. as the pepsi-sponsored highway sign urging drivers to "arrive alive!" whipped past, i was beginning to wonder what the accident rate was on fijian highways, and if any minibus drivers ever allow their passengers access to the seatbelts.

after the first hour of the drive back, i promptly fell asleep for the rest of the journey. (one of the best survival methods for Bus Rides).

fun fact: it takes as much time to drive each way from "the beach house" to suva as it does to drive from los angeles to palm springs. just in case you're thinking about heading into town from here to run a few errands too. HONK!

Comments (2)


you need to ride a scooter barefoot in Vietnam traffic! live dangerously!


i'll have to keep that in mind when i reach vietnam (which i may be doing in june... stay posted for details).

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 3, 2006 3:18 PM.

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