I have never been one who needed to be at the airport hours before my flight. So when the travel agent told me that we were taking a 5.45 am ferry off of Malololailai island in order to be at the Fiji airport for our 11.20 flight, I told her there had to be another way.
So she switched our ferry to the next one, at 8.45 which arrives at the marina at 9.50 for a 20 minute drive to the airport. She said it would be tight and not the 2 hours recommended, but we would make it provided we skipped the free shuttle and took a taxi.
Our last morning arrived and we sat out at the beachfront restaurant and enjoyed a fabulous breakfast with our friends. Our waitress felt compelled to inform us,
“You’re still here, you are going to miss your flight.”
A few best friend hugs goodbye and we boarded our ferry.
We followed the travel agents recommendation and requested our luggage be stowed near the top for a quick retrieval. The reply to which was, ”
“An 11.20 flight, Oh no, you are going to miss it.”
At the marina we easily found a taxi and were on our way by 10.00. Our friendly taxi driver asked the time of our flight and then replied,
“Oh no, you are going to miss your flight. There is construction.“
Then he hit the gas. And I mean hit it. I didn’t know those old crappy cars could take off like that.
No regard for safety or other traffic, just go.
I was in the front seat, seat belt fastened. I tried to capture the roadsigns, but we were moving so fast. Sorry, not my best photography, but you get the idea.
I could see the construction zone ahead and the man with stop sign regulating traffic in the only available lane. As we flew past him he turned the sign to slow. At first I thought,
It was a few seconds later, when I saw the on-coming cars in the ONLY open lane that I realized he turned the sign not because it was our turn, but as a warning to us to slow down!
Very calmly our cabbie swerved across the cones and into the construction side, continuing to drive quickly over the torn up road, swerving back as traffic cleared. Again and again.
After that it was honking and passing anyone on the road.
I turned to the back seat, the family looked a bit terrified. Then we saw this . . .
Finally, 18 minutes later we arrived at Nadi airport. (It should have taken 40 with the construction).
We entered the airport and looked at the maze for the queue at the Air New Zealand counter. It was empty. There were two open windows, but not another passenger in site.
At 10.20 we approached the counter for our 11.20 flight and the representative said,
“You must be the Albom family.”
“How did you know?”
“You are the last ones.”
So, no drama. We got our tickets, cleared security and all of the other international traveler checkpoints and even had time to buy a sandwich and some final souvenirs before we boarded the plane.
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I am sure you know which sign is not real. I can’t take credit for it though – I got the idea from Not Worth Mentioning, who challenged us to use this sign. Thanks Copyboy Jesse! Frighteningly, the rest of the story IS real.
And, if you are not completely tired of seeing Fiji, I have opened a new Fiji Pictures Store at Zazzle. You can see my best photos on all sorts of products there. I will get some out on Amazon in the next few months as well.
Just curious, do you get to the airport early? or have you ever missed a flight?