The plan was set. It would be the Toucans, actually with guest crew Geoff, so tonight let’s agree to call them the Threecans, the Full Circles and Escapees off to find the “Carnival” and with any luck at all, a little Savusavu night life. Its the PM version of the No Crime/No Drugs festival. As dusk closed in on Savusavu we made our way to the Copra Shed Dingy dock, tied up and followed the crowd shuffling to the festival grounds, dark by this time, but we could see the lights of an old Ferris wheel powered by a smoking one lung diesel engine, and a brightly lit, two story vinyl inflatable “bouncy castle” slide. Later I would swear that the Ferris wheel was leaning a little.
The police band, already playing up on a large stage at the far end of the festival grounds, had set aside their sousaphones and trumpets for electric guitars, keyboards, drums and a large sound system. They even featured a female singer who made up for what she lacked in stature with girth and pipes!
I kept a close eye on that Ferris wheel which seemed to go faster and faster as the night wore on. Was it wobbling? Like the possible track of a hurricane, I plotted its luckless path of destruction if the worst should happen. My favorite part was the dozens of vendors gathered cheek by jowl around the periphery, all barbecuing lamb, pork, chicken and fish in the dark. For six Fiji dollars ($3 US) you get meat, sausage, boiled taro, and salad piled on top! Unfortunately in Fiji this is considered finger food. Well, in a certain sense, I suppose everything could be finger food. It just depends on your tolerance for greasy sticky fingers out in public.
While trying to grab a few photos of the band Marce wandered to the back stage area and found a few band members tuning up with kava served in a white plastic bucket. She beat a hasty retreat. No harm no foul. More screams from the terrified Ferris wheel customers who are revolving so fast now that there’s a kind of Doppler effect as they whiz by. The band demonstrated their range from reggae to Abba.
Next up was the very popular goat raffle. I’ve nothing to add to this except to say thankfully we didn’t win.
The Ferris Wheel operator is involved deep in conversation with a friend ignoring the groaning wheel which is slowly gathering speed and we move a little farther away on the grassy field. Behind us the screams intensify.
Finally I hear the old one lung diesel sputter in protest and the operator grabs the huge break lever which allows the creaking wheel to slowly spin down. Definitely leaning, but it’s past cruisers midnight, we have a walk and a dinghy ride still to do so it’s time to go. Stumbling across the dark open field Fijian families are still going strong.