Lobster dinner at WICKED WALU
The group in the Village
LOVO OVEN IN THE VILLAGE
Chefs at work Rhum-Ba
WATUI BEACH CLUB
My plan was to enjoy 3 nights of relaxation on the Coral Coast at the Warwick Hotel and then move onto the lively DENERAU ISLAND (den er rau rhymes with cow). Being the foodie and hotel snob that I am; I couldn’t wait. I must admit though, the lobster at the WICKED WALU and the tempura at SAZUNAMI was the bomb diggity our last 2 nights.
En route we would stop off at the Nayawa Village where we would spend some time with our Fijian brothers and sisters in the VILLAGE. Our 2 village guides received us and presented each of us with a flower lei. We were then led through the village with explanations of life in the village, pointing out various plants they boil to combat a variety of illness including the C word. They showed us the Lovo (oven in the ground) where they cooked our lunch of vegetables, chicken and fish. Afterwards we removed our shoes and entered the community hall for the Cava ceremony. Terry Harris retired RFD represented our group as our Chief and Spokesman. It was all about the men at this point with them on the right and the women on the left and then they passed around the Cava. Later the women showed us their ancient art of pottery making by hand. No wheels used in the making. This is the real deal. Then it was lunch time and they served us a hearty meal. We purchased various handmade souvenirs and the lovely Judy Brandle delighted the excited children with slapsticks on their wrists she brought from home.
In the Chief’s message to us he stated “Lots of people come to the Fiji Islands but very few visit their village”. He thanked us profusely. A few in our group brought gifts of books and school supplies and we left monetary donations when we briefly stopped in their place of worship. It was a very humbling and emotional afternoon.
We bid our farewells, hoping to see them again one day. In another hour we were at the Radisson Blu to check in the group. There was a minor last minute glitch a few weeks ago in that sadly the Radisson overbooked so yours truly had to find other accommodations for a couple nights. No problem, Roommate Sandra and I made the best of it at the Sofitel. I wasn’t too excited since I stayed there twice already but to make myself happy I upgraded to their newly redesigned and renovated WATUI BEACH CLUB. It is truly the Kat’s Meow. Later on in the week we will move to the 1 bdrm suite at the RADISSON.
We purchased our Bula Bus Pass ( a hop on hop off Transportation) around the island and made reservations at the RHUM-BA SEAFOOD RESTAURANT. It has blown me away at how many of the fine people remember me from 3 years ago at the Warwick, in the Village and now at Rhum-Ba. Our server told me where I was sitting, who I was with (cousins Darryl, Van, Gary and Alisha.) and she wasn’t even our server then. Smh
Last night I was in Foodie Heaven. We started with the best damn garlic bread this side of the moon. Garlic bread is the American cousin of Bruschetta which originated in Rome in the 15th century. This Fijian chef put a Fiji twist on this warm ciabatta baked loaf steeped in butter and infused with fresh garlic. Yummy , yummy, yummy!! I’d go back just for the bread and I’m not even a bread lover.
I chose the Seafood Pasta – with prawns, mussels & baby calamari with house rolled squid ink fettuccini, chilli, garlic & chardonnay cream sauce. Sandra went with the SPAGHETTI ROSA BOSCAIOLA with sautéed chicken, bacon, onion & garlic, in a white wine cream & tomato basil sauce, topped with shaved parmesan cheese. Yes, my friends, I kid you not. The dining experience was the TRUTH!!
Stay tuned, more to come from DENERAU ISLAND.