So, first thoughts?
I can’t start without mentioning the weather! Dear Lord, it is bright! And HOT!! Even the locals are complaining since it is, apparently, excessive even for here. And there’s no let up, not even at night. Nor does the constant whirring of fans make the slightest difference, and while the sea is only some three or four metres from where I’m sitting, it’s still bath temperature in the shallows! We’ve been told it will cool down soon, and that we might even get some thunderstorms, and if that’s the case I’ll be the first one outside in my knickers giving thanks to the rain god!
Situated amongst towering palm trees and vivid hibiscus, the resort is small, with just five fales for guests. Ours is on the beach itself, as is one other, while the rest are a short way up the hill behind us. It goes without saying they enjoy stunning views. Not wanting to shut myself away all day I have set up my workstation in the restaurant/bar/gathering and relaxing area, a place with extensive bi-folding doors on three sides, lots of sofas, and a wide deck which drops down to the beach. Trouble is, and as you can see from these images, being surrounded by waving palm fronds and a turquoise and aqua sea is too distracting, it really is. Especially when writing about a grey and wet wintry day in Portsea! (Ruby and Lilith, my latest novel.)
We had an extensive four-day handover from the owners, including a full run-down on all the infrastructure, and what to do when a cyclone hits. The thinking is, with three already this year, a fourth one isn’t way outside the realms of possibility. In addition, Jas was taken over to Neiafu to be shown the local hardware store (as far from a DIY megastore as you could get), the Chinese supermarkets (small, unlit buildings with four or five aisles of food and clothing) and the fruit and veg market (outdoors and very basic). He was also introduced to some of the many expats living there - oh, and the Chief of Police, too!
And lastly, a quick word about our famous three-month detox! We felt it wasn't right to make a start on being alcohol free while our hosts were still here, as it would have been far too rude to turn down the nightly beers and glasses of wine!! But we haven’t had sugar, and other than a pizza and a panini (thank you Renate!), we’ve had no grain this past week and very little dairy. Instead we’ve feasted on delights such as crayfish with garlic mayonnaise and red snapper with a medley of local vegetables. And while we’ve been left with a supply of fillets in the freezer, it really is time for Jas to get out at least one of the rods he brought along, or even the spear gun, and go fishing!