Today I met Clifford, an employee of a bank from Papua New Guinea, or PNG as its known to locals! He's in Fiji for business as the bank is in the final stages of negotiations to buy The Pearl hotel. They're in a joint venture with a mining company that is looking at exploring the mineral wealth in Fiji. Apparently, not too far off, behind the mountains, is an area rich in silver and gold. I wonder how this will change the area as the miners are eventually moved in?
The activity today was a cycle around the area with out guide Taitun. We were joined by 2 other "flashpackers" from Germany who also got a special deal at The Pearl. Luckily, there was only 1 hill to negotiate and most of the terrain was flat (thank God, I don't think I could have managed another uphill). We ended up at The Arts Village - a loose collection of shops and a cultural village showcasing traditional Fijian customs and handiwork.
Dinner, this time, at the swank, candle-lit Mantarae restaurant. Tonight's special: the Hot Seafood Platter which included calamari frittti, baked oysters, Mahi-Mahi skewers, prawn skewers and, the piece de la resistance, grilled slipper lobster with fries. Oh my, how I enjoyed the meal!