The Adventure Begins. Fiji Here We Come

Daku Resort Savusavu, Fiji. An incredible sketching Adventure. The first two days.

Thursday Sept 12 ’13

A 6.30am flight.

Of course that’s when it leaves,  so you can imagine what time we arose from our cosy beds to be there bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Managed a sketch in pen and watercolour pencils. We are on our way to Fiji. Who knows what’s ahead.

Once in Nadi, a short stopover, and time to sketch my samosa – before a short hop on an 18 seater to Savusavu. Some incredible views of the islands and reefs below. And oh that colour.

.

It’s more of a paddock than an airfield and there’s a cow taking a look at you as you gather yourself and bags there waiting for your man from Daku Resort.

Quite a small airport, but works very well, and I bought a pair of pearl earrings from the ladies who have jewellery for sale! I’ve only just got here. Is this a sign!

 Oh there he is.

Raj is pushing through those arriving and departing to grab our attention.

Raj is the very charming Resort manager, who on one hand, also will drive us wherever we wish to go, and manage the Resort on the other.

It had been raining a little but no matter, the temperature is warm and you can smell the floral aroma wafting heavily in the tropical air. And I have Shirley Temple curls which I’ll have to live with!

They hand you one of those gorgeous big coconuts with the top opened and a drinking straw sticking out, as you step into the Resort foyer. Health drink in it’s own package, straight off the tree. My body feels refreshed already.

Keni the Customer Relations Head, introduces himself. He thinks Milton must be in charge. “Really” he says when Milton explains he is actually my butler!  We all have a laugh. Women’s Lib he’s thinking to himself. Thank goodness we don’t have that here.

 Looking around we see bure rooftops peeking through palms and a huge variety of colourful flowers and foliage.

We wander along little grassy pathways and we’re at our delightful cottage.

How nice is this. High ceilings, fans and louvred windows opening out onto a massive deck  and pool.

I think well be happy here!!

I have a swim after unpacking and float my coconut – as you do.

At dinner we were very happy to try the local cuisine cooked by Merione, Jessica, and the team.

Fish is very popular in Fiji and they still have plenty of them to catch.

This is our down time. For Milton and I it’s our explore time before the sketchers arrive in 2 days. Our get to know Savusavu as locals.

 Friday Sept 13
What a beautiful night’s sleep.The sound of the water on the seashore outside obviously wove its magic.We are at the beginning of an adventure and we don’t yet know quite how wonderful it will be.I do love locally grown foods when I travel and this morning freshly picked papaya, pineapple and banana was beautifully presented and so delicious. As we will learn, everything you eat here, is hardly out of the ground and its on your plate.

With a little cereal and coffee with our fruit, we were ready to rock n roll.

I have an itinerary but I like to know everything before I take sketchers out.

I usually visit places ahead of a Sketching Holiday.

However I knew firsthand from Jacquie, one of our sketching yogis, that Daku Resort was perfect for sketchers.

With Raj and my list of locations in hand, we took off to see the local township, markets, schools, churches, temples, thatched roofs, bullock teams and everything that for our sketchers would sum up their own personal story while here. Sketching the essence of this island.

Tonight was Lovo night. The farewell dinner for the previous Art group, sadly leaving after their wonderful week here. Happily for us it’s just the beginning.

The food is cooked underground for many hours.
It’s usually fish, chicken, taro, and other locally grown root and green vegetables.
At 7pm when dinner is served the beating of the hollow drum invites you to take part in this ceremonial offering.
We are loving the simple food and flavours.
Nothing pretentious.
No fancy ‘plating up’ a word we learned on Masterchef.
Just tasty and very simply delicious. Beautifully presented and your serve yourself.
We’ve been floating up to our necks in the ‘L’ shaped pool on our balcony, gazing out to sea as we soaked up the sounds of birds chirping and the beach lapping.
Tonight the moon is out high above and the cicadas are singing.
So very tropical.  Rock me to sleep.

Tomorrow. It’s the day our sketchers arrive. Late afternoon and they’ve asked that their cocktails are waiting!

And time to sleep

Photos also contributed by Therese.  Watch this space – more to come.   ©ErinHill2013

4 comments

  1. Pingback: ErinHill Travel sketching: Creating a Sketch Journal, and a little Mixed media : with Vivianne Hazenveld September 6 – 13 | Paradise Courses

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