Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Diary of a Fiji Quarantine: Day 7

As the sun rises on Sonaisali Island Thursday morning, June 9, I realize I’ve now stayed here at the DoubleTree Resort 10 consecutive nights. It’s been a very pleasant stay, despite being quarantined for the past week.

Today is not just another day in paradise. It’s the day I hope to make my legal escape to fly home.

I’ll need the fit-to-fly certificate that the hotel’s Wellness Ambassador has promised me. I’ll want to arrive st NAN, the Nadi International Airport, by 5:30 PM, and ready to fly the following itinerary all in one calendar day, by golly.

Dep. NAN QF3839 (FJ 810) 9:40 PM - Arr. LAX 12:55 PM

Dep. LAX AS 132 4:30 PM - Arr. SEA 7:23 PM

Dep. SEA AS 2532 11:17 PM - Arr. BLI 11:59 PM

Translation? I fly a Qantas codeshare ticket on a Fiji plane (Fiji “metal”) from Nadi, Fiji to LAX, leaving at 9:40 PM and landing at 12:55 PM the same day.

I’ll stroll to another terminal once through Immigration, and take an Alaska flight at 4:30 PM that lands in Seattle at 7:23 PM. I’ll take another Alaska flight from Seattle at 11:17 OM and land in Bellingham at 11:59 PM.

I’ll have lounge access at NAN, LAX, and SEA, but it will be a long day. I’ll trust my exhilaration to carry me through.

Dinner last night started with a contemplative Fiji Gold Beer drunk slowly out on the balcony. After all, I probably won’t be back here for awhile. 

It’s fun watching employees zip back and forth on their little electric carts, sometimes carrying guests or cargo.

Maybe even a bed…

It was a little cooler, a wee bit breezy, and very pleasant.

The nightly horse ride traipses along the beach, stopping right at my balcony for the obligatory photo opp. It’s a four-horse night.

The action never stops around here if you know where to look.

It was hard to believe the days are getting shorter here, but by 6:00 PM it was time to come in.

Dinner last night was a Chicken Schnitzel, lovingly described…

It was actually very tasty, although I can’t say I noticed the Mexican influence. Delivered on a covered plate too!

Kathy calls. She says she’s feeling much better, which is a relief. She still has doubts I’ll get out with a “fit-to-fly” letter. I may call the general manager to see what he knows.

In the meantime, I’ve ordered simply toast and coffee for breakfast. Room service didn’t even need to call me back to repeat the order. One way or the other, June 9 is going to be a very long day for me.

Breakfast proves to be eight slices of bread, not toast, and more than I need, but very generous. The coffee is hot.

There is good news around 10:30 AM. The hotel’s Wellness Ambassador calls to tell me she’s just sent me my Certificate of Recovery. I check my inbox and there it is, very official looking and signed by an official of the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services. I’ll be amazed if Fiji Airways doesn’t accept it.

I call the front desk and secure an airport transfer for 5:00 PM. Things sre looking up.

At 3:30 I’ve worked out a couple of billing mistakes at the front desk they saved us about $150, I’ve compulsively shaved and showered in anticipation of the length of my upcoming travel day, and I’ve finished packing.

The TV on the wall still greets me, but that’s because the system has been down since a brief power outage.

We’ll see how the rest of the day goes. In the meantime, goodbye Room B31. 

I’ve left some unopened food and drink for your housekeepers, writing down every item so they may be taken home - hotel rules.

On the way out, I thank the new general manager and tell him how much I’ve appreciated the kindness of his employees.

And now I await the boat.

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