The long dusty journey from Labasa town to Nabouwalu was finally at an end as the smell of the sea wafted with the breeze into the Patterson's Fiji Sea Road bus we were travelling in.
As the bus tumbled down the bumpy Nabouwalu road towards the jetty, the sea came into view revealing an empty wharf dotted by a few cargo trucks and figures walking along the wharf towards the small canteen that was a familiar sight in Nabouwalu.
A sigh of relief overcame our small company headed for Suva knowing that we were finally at an end of a long ride.
The moment the Patterson bus pulled in at the Nabouwalu jetty a few facts finally hit us; the fact that the boat had not yet arrived from Natovi and the dreadful thought of another long wait before the second lag of the journey begun.
We all made a mad rush at the rest house to freshen up and relieve ourselves after the long journey.
As we made our way out of the rest house a friend then suggested we take a lazy walk towards the Nabouwalu market for a food hunt before we boarded the boat for Natovi.
Moving closer to the market we realised that it was a bit crowded with people who were standing around a bunch of women selling foodstuff at the market.
Jaws dropped and there were exclamations of amazement at the array of food that were sold by a number of brightly dressed Fijian women from the Nabouwalu area.
The food menu at the market included fresh water prawns cooked in coconut cream with bele and cassava and other sea food.
The freshwater prawns in coconut cream had however caught my eye and the humongous Fijian appetite in me had begun to stir a rumble in my stomach.
After we had bought our food we hurried away to a spot just beside the wharf and sat down to enjoy a feast of seafood and fresh water prawns.
There too we were enjoying the cool south east draft that was almost making me doze off to sleep.
However the happy chatter of my friends and the beautiful aroma of the cooked food from the market had been playing their part and any senses that were slowly lulling away to the beautiful wind came to life with hunger.
I must admit the prawns were unusually sweet and the fresh flakes of delicious prawn flesh surely removed the traces of grog tastes that had survived in my innards from the previous night.
The regular Fijian spoils and jokes were not spared during the meal as we ate chattering to each other in the Vanua Levu dialect oblivious of passers?by who were also waiting for the boat to transit to Natovi.
Beside us sat a group of Fijian ladies airing themselves away chatting away with excited children feeding the ever present qitawa fish with scraps of their lunch cheering madly as the fish darted every now and then to the surface of the water to get at the scraps.
Two hours later I was dreaming away on the deck of the Spirit of Harmony as we bade goodbye to Nabouwalu headed for Natovi.
The dream was interrupted by the sounds of chatter as a group of people seemed to be having a lively conversation.
Waking up to investigate the cause of the din I find my companions and a group of people talking away about a group of islands that had appeared to our left as we were passing through Natovi having a live discussion about whether it was Koro Island or Ovalau.
I joined in the discussion sharing my knowledge of the Lomaiviti Group; however the positioning of the islands within suggested that our claim of the islands identity was still uncertain.
As the boat proceeded onwards, Mount Tomuna the Island of Ovalau stood out majestically wreathed in mists shedding light to the fact that this was in fact the island of Ovalau.
A trip to the top deck confirmed that Viti Levu was a huge landmass just a few meters away and that the whole journey was about to end with a short bus ride away to Suva.
There was where we were headed for the newsroom sports day with our Suva and West friends staff of The Fiji Times.