Fiji Islands

22 March/3 April

Before we left Samoa we booked accommodation on Fiji. Using a map of Fiji, the Sonaisali Resort Hotel seemed to be the right place for us (small island surrounded by sea with good take-off to Europe and USA).As the map did not show the prices of one triple room, we decided it was too expensive ( even though the services were excellent), and took a taxi to find some a cheaper hotel situated closer to the Nadi airport. After visiting at least six or seven places we decided to move to the Nadi Bay Hotel, where the owner agreed for the installation of antennas anywhere we liked.
     For the two additional guys we were chose the Horizont Hotel, about two kilometers away on the same shore of the Pacific Ocean. As the terrain was covered by two meters high sugar-cane we overlooked a samll detail. Both hotels were right on the airport's runway ! We were View to Lautoka
not afraid of the noise but of jamming some of the airport navigation systems. The aircraft landing and taking-off were less than 100 metres from our antennas !
     As we had lost so much time, we decided to put up the WARC beams and try some QSOs, and if there was not any complaint from the airport, then stay at the hotel until the end of our DXpedition. After a few hundred QSOs all seemed to be ok and we went to the airport to meet our friends Karel, OK1CF, and Milan, OK1DWC.
     The usual custom problems took on a worse dimension as the custom officer asked to see their licences and import permits. As they did not have any, they had to hire a taxi and to go to the PTT in Suva (nearly 200 kilometres away) and buy their licences (they got 3D2CB and 3D2WC). In the meantime we had finished all antenna installation and were ready to help them bild position number two in the Horiyont Hotel.
     One of the main objectives on Fiji was to take part in the WPX Contest - SSB part. By lot was selected the 3D2WC callsign and we tried to be well prepared for the coming weekend. The condx during the contest were not too good but despite the fact we made more than 3500 QSOs and over 7 million points to give us a chance of a good position in Oceania. Unfortunately, Karel OK1CF forgot to send the log after our return home. The rest of the crew continued with CW on the other bands, mainly on the WARC bands. We also had a good luck and caught a short 6 m band opening to Japan, provided 24 QSOs in a few minutes.
     As I was not involved in the contest, I tried to gather information to prepare for a trip to Rotuma. An enormous lack of information about the island is the main problem you have to solveif you want ot go there. We had been told there is electricity and accomodation facilities there, but we kept in mind the comments that Ron, ZL1AMO, had made that a generator is necessary.
     After telephone conversations with an owner of backpackers hotel on Rotuma, I was assured there was electricity available and so we decided to send two of our team to the island - Karel, 3D2CB, and Milan, 3D2WC. They found out later that nothing we had been told was true and they had to spend a lot of money hiring a generator and finding private accommodation. We bought the air-tickets, and as the Sunflower Airlines only fly to Rotuma once a week (usually on Saturday), we said "good luck" and after a short farewell party, we left Nadi Airport for the long trip back home to the Czech Republic.
After short breaks in Los Angeles, CA and Heathrow Airport in London, we safely landed at Praha airport on Friday 3 April.