Words cant express how much we fell in love with Fiji and the Fijian people but I will have a go anyway!
It was a class flight from Sydney was on a 747- 400, after a shaky take off we leveled out and enjoyed the in-flight entertainment and the free drink service to settle our nerves! Air pacific are a great airline.
We landed in Fiji and got picked up and taken to our hostel, we didn't have a clue about what to do in Fiji but this lovely women took care of it all and by 10 o'clock the next day we were on a boat cruising to the Manamuca islands.
We arrived at Mana island where we were greeted by all the staff with a big Bula (hello) and they sang us a welcome song, where in the world do you get that!!! Fiji!! We looked around and couldn't believe our eyes how beautiful Mana was, we were shown to our digs and we were right in with the local villagers and we were put up in our tin sheds, which makes the experience even better!
After enjoying lying in the hammocks for a couple of hours I went for a run up and down the beach 9 times and then I had a game of volleyball with the locals leaving Mishee to enjoy her book in peace! Then after a hose shower we had some dinner in the sand floor dining room and bar and played some classic games led by the host Marie and broke the ice with everyone and we partied and chatted till the early hours of the morning. About 1 o'clock in the morning the Fijians busted out the Kava (the local's alcoholic drink I can only describe it as cold tea with added mud but was great to try a local tradition. We drank the Kava out of a coconut cup and you had an option of a high tide a low tide or a tsunami, and had the best laugh.
The best thing about Mana was the people the Fijians are awesome they call you by your first name and always chat to you and make you feel like part of their family. Every time they saw us they would shout BULA Adam BULA Michelle. Fijians are no doubt the friendly people we have ever met.
The second day we took a walk over the other side of the island and wandered though this crazy village of huts where apparently a program called survivor was filmed there, and we shared a beach with no one, and then I went on a snorkeling trip with 3 Italians and Mitch who worked on the island, we pulled up on sand island and saw the most amazing coral and tropical fish and in the water for about 2 hours. On the way back we stopped to collect fire wood and headed back on our green wood boat.
After diner me and Mish hit the sack at about 7 as we were knackered from the night before, the next day we went for a snorkel in the turquoise waters of Mana and made coconut jewelry with Sam one of the staff, Mishee made herself a lush bangle and Sam made a ring so we will never forget Mana. We then just socialized on the beach with everyone playing volleyball, Mana rocks.
As we left the following day all the staff called me in from the sea and Mish from the beach and sang an amazing song about how they would miss us and gave us a hug and we were off to our next island. The amazing thing about Fiji, like I said, is the people, Here people seem genuinely happy that you are on their islands, and the people are so warm and gentle. Fiji really does rock!
We arrived at Malolo island and were sang to as we were docking up with the Fijians in their colourful shirts and their massive smiles, and got shown to our room. I wouldn't call it a room I would call it a villa for about it was massive and could sleep 6 we couldn't believe it and although we never really care what accommodation we have, as we are outside all the time anyway but we were a bit excited to have some luxury, it was called Walu beach and had all the mod cons, pool. Towels, Ala. carte menu, so a massive difference from Mana, living in tiny sheds with the villagers to being in a 5 star resort.
Here was class and the first night we had dinner with our friends who also came from Mana and had our very own private singer as we enjoyed a bottle of red and some amazing food. I have to say it was nice having a hot shower and be pampered a bit.
The next morning me and Mish got a kayak out and paddled around the island which Tom Hanks stayed at when he filmed Castaway only 1,800 USD a night!!!! The kayak must have had holes in because we were pretty much underwater and Mish had a bit of a panic so we had to paddle as quick as we could back to shore, a good work out anyway!
The Castaway island is right near where we are staying we wanted to visit it but you had to have a minimum of 5 people on the trip and there were only 4 people in the resort which sleeps 100!!!
I think the resorts not doing that well because they have about 40 staff and it only £60 with breakfast lunch and a 3 course dinner and all the water sports thrown in. What a bargain.
On the last night we had dinner with a couple of kiwis who were a right laugh and we celebrated Graham's 59th birthday but he acted like a 12 year old, so funny, Ziggie and the crew sang some lovely songs as we ate and talked.
The morning we left we got sang to again and all the staff came down to see just the 2 of us off that's the most upset I have been for a while.
In Fiji they dont really use time like the rest of the world they have Fiji time where there are no set times, and this rule makes this place so relaxed.
Fiji an unbelievable place and we really really don't want to leave. We are spending tonight on the main island in a nice little hostel and flying to NZ tommro to start another adventure in our 9th country of the trip, lifes good!!!!!