Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 99 - Bula from Fiji

Bula from Fiji…and from the other side of the international date line!

Team Roz arrived safe and sound at Nadi International Airport just before 3:00 pm local time. Please forgive my mistake on the blog this morning – I said we were arriving on Monday, September 1st and of course, I meant Monday, August 31st. That blog entry was rife with errors, and I can only ask your forgiveness – it was a rather hasty entry written at the airport gate and I was a bit sleep deprived!

The 7 hour flight was great – very smooth and the plane was practically empty. As you can imagine, the view from the sky as we descended into Fiji was pretty spectacular. Conrad got out the camera and did some filming – I hope the video captures the incredible colors from the various depths of water. Just stunning!

We breezed through customs and were all relieved that none of our food rations were confiscated. (I think I brought enough granola bars and dried fruit to feed all of Tarawa for a week!) We waited for about 20 minutes for a shuttle to our hotel, which is just a few minutes down the road. We checked in quickly, unloaded our bags in the rooms and headed immediately for the restaurant – we were all famished. Cold beers and a good lunch was just what the doctor ordered.

Sitting outside, we all remarked how similar this part of Fiji is to Hawaii – Hunter noticed that the plants surrounding us are just like the ones in his backyard at home. The hotel has a lovely little pool surrounded by a nice garden, and since our flight to Tarawa isn’t until noon tomorrow, I think we might get a little dip in the morning.

So, I know this is all terribly fascinating stuff (wink, wink) but the reason you’re all here is Roz and you’re itching to hear more about her! Our girl is doing great, not to worry! Many of you are wondering why her position is no longer being posted to the RozTracker, and why she’s not blogging and Tweeting anymore. Don’t worry – this is just temporary. Roz is taking a few days to collect her thoughts and just enjoy some peaceful, contemplative time alone before arriving on Tarawa. She’ll be back to blogging in just a couple of days.

It’s important to point out that I’ve asked Roz to grant her Team one really big favor. In fact, it’s a huge favor. I’ve asked her to slow down. That’s a big ask of someone who has been alone at sea, rowing for nearly 100 days. But I had to make the request – I only found out on Thursday that we’d be going to Tarawa and as you know, we’re scrambling to make all the necessary customs and immigration arrangements for both Roz and her boat.

The other reason I’ve asked her to slow down is for her Team. The earliest we could get the rest of them to Tarawa is Tuesday, September 8th. They’ve been a huge support for Roz throughout this amazing mission of hers and are now coming halfway around the world to support her and toast her arrival – it would be an incredible shame if they missed it by just one day! So Roz has graciously agreed to slow down.

One last great piece of news that I just received: Roz is featured today on CNN! You can take a look at the excellent story by journalist Matt Ford here. Okay, I’d best run, my battery is just about to die. More to come tomorrow…from Tarawa!


UPDATE (8/31): Just got an email from Linda in Tarawa and learned that we won’t need visas after all – whew! ;o)