Two weeks of eating, sleeping and sunbathing...
11.01.2013 - 24.01.2013
Well what can I say about Fiji...the word paradise comes to mind! The last two weeks were spent sunbathing, eating hit and miss food, day trips and island hopping! I arrived in Nadi in the evening and went straight to my deserted hostel which cost me a whole £7 for the night. No idea where I was which was not helped by being alone in a dorm room, mistake on the choice of hostel - note to those looking for hostels near the airport go for smugglers cove and stay away from travellers beach resort! It was clean at least but it was the worst night sleep I have had in a long time, I longed to be back in a swag in the Northern Territory...
Anyway 7am finally came around and off I went on a coach to take me to my island hopping tour called "the lazy threesome". Now had I met anyone the night before they could have explained how the tour worked, or maybe my STA agent could have? I was under the impression it was going to be similar to the Australia tour where I stayed with the same people, turns out it wasn't and the idea was you did the route of the package on your own or with others if they were starting on the same day as you. So off I went on this massive yellow boat heading towards the Yasawa Islands petrified I would miss my stop! But eventually after 3hrs and 30 minutes I made it to the first island called Naviti where I would be staying for two nights at Korovou resort.
This resort was really nice, good facilities as well. I arrived with 5 others all doing different island hopping passes and was the only British one there that night, I soon got told by one of the Australian girls how surprised she was that I was British but yet had a tan, I followed up by explaining how we all were not your English rose. Really friendly staff, and the night after an afternoon of sunbathing and swimming pool sessions, we had a bonfire on the beach with the Fiji male staff playing guitars and singing, such good voices, Simon Cowell needs to visit Fiji for hidden talent! Our second night we had a show, again from the male staff, who wore traditional fiji grass skirts to performe fiji dances, we then had to learn the Bula dance and had a limbo contest. Sleeping was very hot, the electricity gets turned off during parts of the day and from 1am-7am in the night which led to a very stuffy room. We had a massive storm one night which kept us up because the chosen roof material was tin making the rain extremely loud! On my last day before heading to my next island I had a Fiji cooking lesson. I assumed this meant we would be cooking the meal ourselves but it was more a watch the chef make it and eat it afterwards! It was a traditional Fiji meal called Kokodo which consisted of raw fish (yuck) and chopped up veg all poured into coconut milk et voila! I did try it but was very put off by the raw fish so had to hide my leftovers under my napkin, oops!
The next island was Nacula where I stayed for another two nights at Oarsmans Bay Lodge.
Oarsmans Bay Lodge
Another hour on the big yellow boat to get to this resort, I should mention to get to the islands from the big boat you had to get into smaller water taxis that went to your resort without falling into the sea, luckily they sort your luggage out for you! This resort was right on the beach so you could swim straight away, Korovou didn't really have that hence it had a pool. It was so hot so after checking in I went straight into the sea ( I know that might be difficult for some to believe) after a few minutes in the water you get fish swimming all around you which was fun! More sunbathing until it started to rain, which at first was light and refreshing but then turned into a tropical downpour, this happened a few times on this island, possibly because we were near the top of the Yasawas so got the first downpours.
My last island to hop to was Beachcomer for one night which was in a cluster of islands called the Mamanuca Islands. I took four hours to get there from the top and just for extra fun the air conditioning broke.
If anyone reading this has gone to Beachcomber please let me know if it was anything like the party island it is suppose to be. I did not know this about the island but kept hearing that it was a big party island with a corn of 100+ beds. The later was correct, the party on the other hand well it just felt like when you turn up to a club too early. There were probably about 30 people there and half of theses were not in the dorm. But the dorms were like nothing I have seen, the bunk beds looked like they were a big puzzle all slotted next to each other. In total I think there were 130 beds, I was number 88! It was clean though, apart from the smelly recycled water in the toilets and the questionable food. (Luckily) I was only there for the night and had a sea spray day sailing trip for my final day before heading back to the mainland.
Sea spray trip
There fewer four of us from Beachcomber that were on this trip and no one seemed to know what we were doing, again thank you STA. This was by fear the best day on my tour, we arrived from the ferry to another island to get onto this big sailing ship which kind of looked like a posh pirate ship(ish). First stop on the trip was a visit to the island where Castaway was filmed, here we had an hour to swim, snorkell, sunbathe and take lots of photos to look as if we were stranded like Tom Hanks! Back to the boat for an amazing BBQ lunch and drinks were included all day. As soon as it was finished we stopped at a village to go to a Kava ceremony. Kava is the traditional Fiji drink which looks like muddy water and tastes like muddy water but it made my tongue and lip go numb and to think this was the tourist version! After this it was full sail back to the port to be picked up by a big boat and dropped all the way back to Nadi.
My contiki friend Hannah was a day behind me on her island hopping tour so we arrange to stay at smugglers. Really nice having her there for I think 3 days, sunbathing mostly and reviving in the pool, the staff said it was usually hot that week, which is funny when you think of all the snow in the UK! The night after Hannah had gone home, another contiki thisntime in the form of Luke showed up with a change of plan and was now at smugglers for that night which was nice to have another familiar face around. I was at the hostel for 8 days ( i couldnt bring my flight forward) and to prevent myself from getting cabin fever I booked onto two day tours, the first to South Sea Island and the second to Robinson Crusoe Island.
South Sea Island
This island is the first stop on the big yellow boat so only took 30 minutes to get there from the port so I had the whole day to relax, snorkel ( until a baby shark turned up) and have lunch with a Fiji dance show. Really pretty island but it did get hit badly by the cyclone so work was being done to get it back to its usual self.
Robinson Crusoe Isalnd
This day was so much fun, the island was in a different location off the mainland and took about 45 minutes to get there we then had another water taxi which was about the same amount of time to get to arrive at said location. Once we were there the activities did not stop! First up was a lesson in coconuts which also meant tasting the sweet water, coconut and the milk, so yummy! We saw how the food is traditionally cooked in a pit covered to keep the heat in, this is called Lovo. The male staff then walked on the hot coals, ouch! Time for lunch, another amazing spread. After we had a fire and knife dance show which was amazing, this is why people go to this island and if you have the opportunity I would visit it. It lasted for about an hour and was non stop, so good! In the afternoon we finished the trip off with a walk in their garden where the guide told us about the plants and trees and their usages before the western world influence came in. Last but not least a crab race, I picked number 19, I couldn't even see it, I think it was a fix...
Finally my last day n Fiji, as much as I loved the two weeks I am looking forward to New Zealand and the activities that await...