I must have said Bula two hundred times today. That is the Fijian word for hello and you can hardly pass a local without reciprocating the friendly Bula he says with a smile on his face. It feels quite genuine, although it occurs to jaded tourists like us that it is to the advantage of everyone we encounter to keep us happy. They ask us lots of questions about our lives and appear to be interested in what we say. Conversations often end with a hand shake.
We spoke to a number of boat tour agents today as we researched how best to spend our time here. When the first person we spoke with did not have a tour that fit what we said we wanted to do, she walked us down the street to consult with a competitor to see if they had something more to our liking. Another spoke with us about attending a time share presentation to "earn" a tour for $5, a frequent ploy in high volume tourist spots. After listening to our accents, she quickly admitted that people from the US are not in their target audience and said that if we attended the presentation, we would be allowed to leave quickly. It was all rather low key and friendly; no high pressure selling.
We have not heard another American voice since we have arrived here. Aussies are in the vast majority and the tourists at our resort are young families or gray haired folks like us. We are here just before the high season when spring breakers will arrive; so sorry to have missed them. We are here during the rainy season, which means that the skies are not bright blue and occasionally it sprinkles for about twenty minutes. The humidity is high and bright sunshine might make it feel very hot, so perhaps it's for the best except when it comes to photography.
Today we took the Bula Bus around Denarau Island, which enabled us to see the other resorts here and the millionaire's area where lavish homes all have mega yachts moored in their back "yards". The resorts are all beautiful and immaculately kept. Some have condos with kitchen facilities, but most are low rise hotel rooms like ours. We spent most of our time at Port Denarau, where all the tour boats are docked. Although jet lag still has us waking up much too early and running out of gas at dinner time, we have arranged some cultural and nautical activities for the next few days that we hope to stay awake for. Bula and good night!