Enter the Rains….exit the Planes
So our first day on the island of Koro was pretty normal. We were able to do two dives in the Lagoon that Marlen lives on. It was kind of stormy and windy and the visibility wasn’t the best but they were enjoyable anyway. The reefs were very pristine as few people dive on Koro and of course, we were the only ones on (and under) the water.
Immediately after our dives, the skies continued to darken and the heavy rains started. We were on the leeward side of the island and down low near the water so we were pretty sheltered from the winds. For the next several days we hunkered down in and around Marlen’s wonderful compound and ventured out during breaks in the rain to hike, visit her neighbors, and get in an occasional snorkel. It was very pleasant with time to read and talk (what a concept!) and even strum a little on Marlen’s nylon string guitar. At night we sometimes drank a little Kava with Johnny, who is Marlen’s Fijian caretaker from the nearby village, and we introduced Marlen to the joys of “Downton Abbey” from our iPad. Although we were keeping track of the storm, and enjoying up to 3″ of rain/hour, we weren’t really aware of what was happening on Viti Levu (the main island of Fiji) until we were ready to leave Koro on Saturday. Our driver had checked with the airplane service in the morning and had been assured that the plane was coming, so we jumped in the truck for a bumpy one hour ride to the grass field airport. Just so you don’t get the wrong idea of what I mean by “airfield” – the picture below is a view of the field (literally). The little boy is leaning against the high security fence and there is a barely mowed strip down the center of the field (which slopes at about 20 degrees down to the water).
We waited for about an hour with no sign of the airplane and no-one to open the airfield gate when the driver received a call saying that the airplane was not coming due to flooding on the mainland and that all domestic and international flights had been cancelled. So we jumped back in the truck and headed back for an indefinite stay at Marlen’s dormitory for the stranded. We finally got a phone call on Tuesday that a plane was coming on Weds to pick us up. We made the drive to the airport again (at least there is NO traffic) and this time we were able to fly out. Tune in tomorrow for some views of the main island including the areas hit hard by the floods. I’ll leave you today with one more shot from Marlen’s house – a beautiful flower right outside her door still bearing the drops from the latest deluge.