The wharves, piled up with produce both ways, and unpaved roads cut by flash flooding rivers.The waterfront bars, with lots of exotic women mingling with happy, happy merchant sailors. And the singing. Sinners went to church just to hear the singing.
Confession. The writer is a sucker for good photos. And for the islands of polynesia and melanesia, and the constant tradewinds in the palm fronds and the surf on the outer reef.
And the small villages, and the wharves, piled up with produce both ways, and unpaved roads cut by flash flooding rivers. And the waterfront bars which had I known it at an early age, were possibly also brothels, with lots of exotic women mingling with happy, happy merchant sailors.
And the singing. Sinners went to church just to hear the singing.
Not all of what is remembered has made it into the early 21st century. These places now have jet airports, even though some of them also have runways laid down in WWII that would have been difficult to bomb, such as Bauerfield, hidden in a coconut plantation and close to a mountain with its own camouflage clouds, but that is in Vanuatu.
The Skymaster DC-4s, the Stratoclippers, the DC-7Cs and the Constellations and Super Constellations and the early jets are all gone, but at least the livery on this first Fiji Airways A330-200 is one that would have looked as relevant then, on any of those aircraft, as it is refreshing today.
It isn’t generic beige and it isn’t a clone lookalike of anything. It’s truly south Pacific, and it’s good.
Ben Sandilands has reported and analysed the mechanical mobility of humanity since late 1960 - the end of the age of great scheduled ocean liners and coastal steamers and the start of the jet age. He’s worked in newspapers, radio and TV in a wide range of roles as a journalist at home and abroad for 56 years, the last 18 freelance.