Right, this is the airport section of the 20th feb.
we took our taxi(again a huge shuttle minibus) to LAX international airport, 15dollars each plus tips aint bad. on the way to the airport we encountered our worst nightmare...a sea of red brake lights on the highway/freeway. although we were assured by our driver that it was moving so it wouldnt be too bad.. he was correct. we arrived on time and ready to check our baggage in. perfect. our bags checked in we headed to security. then we hit our first major hiccup of the trip. i had forgotten to pack my swiss army knife, nail clippers and my scissors. how brilliant. i was trying to smuggle these items through american customs. i informed tom that it was stupid and that i didnt want them to get thrown away so i had to check those items in as a separate article. e.g i put them in a cardboard box and put that through as a second bag.
the flight was all good and we slept fine. FIJI TIME!!
Some of the more observant of you will have noticed that there was no 21st feb entry. this is because of the date line. we crossed it, no thursday.
Nadi airport - we arrived at 5am fiji time, and got out of the airplane a little cramped and needing a stretch. the air immediately outside the airport was incredible. 5am, hot, humid 24oC. so weird to experience. we were greeted by guitar playing, skirt wearing fijians at the airport, whilst we queued for almost an hour sweating. through immigration, we walked down the escalators and immediately, as if by magic, both box and my bags were infront of me on the carousel. toms was on the floor. lol. at the cash machine, (one of two that were on our side of fiji) we took out 300 fiji dollars (the queens head on all of them) and made our way outside to the pick up point of our big yellow awesome adventure bus. after connecting with the small yellow ferry, we sat on the top deck admiring fiji's beautiful yasawa islands. but alas, we had forgotten to pack suncream in our hand luggage, so we burned. hard. but only on our faces on forearms. 5hours in the country and we are burnt. we had 5 hours by boat to our resort. so we had alot of burning to do. and boy we were radiant red.
the transfer from the ferry to oarsmans bay lodge was nothing but awful. it rained and rained and rained. and adding to the rain water, was the fact that the boat was weighed down at the front by all of our bags, so sea water flowed in and soaked everyting.
we settled into our dorm, very nice and very clean and basically chilled out. there was nothing to do except read and explore the beautiful beaches. that night we were treated to authentic fijian food and dancing. pretty hot and humid, and we were asked to join in. we got sweaty, but so did the fijians. all in all a very enjoyable night.
today was a weird day. very weird. we checked out of the dorm and took a boat to the big yellow boat (a hub where everything happens like booking accommodation and where everyone gets their water taxis from) after paying 54Fiji dollars, (1/6 of our money for the entire week. we went back to the yellow boat and asked for accommodation at Coral View resort. they said that was fine, just we would have to get a different boat to come pick us up. me and tom are starting to wonder about this now.. we get into a boat which had a top speed of 0.3 knots per hour, so we took forever to get into the middle of the ocean where we had to do a mid ocean transfer to another small boat then we arrived at coral view. but about 1/2 hour later than everyone else, midway through lunch. (cold hot dog and cold uncooked potato sliced..mmmmm) we checked in. and BONUS - they overbooked the dorm and we *had* to stay in one of the private Bure's (love shacks) for no extra cost. f*cking luxury. mosquito free and so so clean. i have a picture of it. free! tom and i were thinking it was a joke! at dinner we met 3 guys, who were all great lads. really cool. josh - gay as anything, english. joe - awesome guy, american, but going to sydney to study rock formation at sydney uni who offered us free accommodation at his dorms and chris, norwegian, and the purest aryan you will ever see. blonde blonde hair, tall, althletic, dreamy blue eyes. sounds so gay but its the only way to truly describe this amazing guy. ok im joking now. he was just hitlers dream. had a fairly chilled night, played cards till 12. good crack. organisded to stay another night and get drunk the next night. off to luxury beds. tom shotgunned the double bed, so i got the single. but got the good beds in auckland.
We also got new nicknames. Tom is 'Stud'. and I was 'Boomer". cool or what...
i awoke very early that morning, about 7am, breakfast wasn't untill 8am..what to do.. i know, i'll wake tom up 'BULA'! he wasnt impressed. we had to check out of our luxury abode and go extend our stay for another night. so we packed up and got checked into one of the worst things ever. a 9 man dorm about the size of a kitchen(a small one) made out of coconut leaves and coconut everything. perfect place for creepy crawlies and mozzies. i lay down on the lower bunk bed and looked up. 4 spiders. delicious. we were also next to the window, which had no shutters or anything, just a kind of mesh to keep the bugs in not out. anyways, we went snorkelling out in the 'blue lagoon' which was our first taste of snorkelling in the trip.. the weather..overcast and very rainy.. :( tom and i had a discussion about the sun, and should we wear suncream. it was short. 'no man, the sun loves me, i never burns.' so we snorkelled face down in the water for about n hour and a half, saw Nemo and other ridiculously coloured fish. and swam all over the reef. beautiful coral and fish, really good first time. our backs felt a little burnt , but not looking too red.
we hung around with some new friends and played cards till the inevitable happened, we had to go and change in our dorm for the night. this dorm you have to remember had no electricity or anything so we thought changing in the dark would be a problem..NO problem, as me and tom took off our tops, the room lit up in a kind of ruby red. our backs were the colour of a post box. painful and red. cool. dinner was authentic fijian BBQ with sausages, little bit of steak and miscellaneous meat X. it was quite nice, cooked in the authentic fijian style, stainless steel BBQ by the australian Fijian Bob. no kidding that was his name.
We met a guy called Tom Harrison (son of harry) and american Joe. wine was consumed and the night went hazy.
Banging hangover. but nothing prepared me for what i saw when i woke up.. the luxury Bure, the exact same one i stayed in the night previously.. i had gone to tom harrisons(son of harry) room that night. good nights sleep. went to breakfast and checked out. tom slept in the coconut hobbit dorm and woke up with bites all over his legs and feet. unlucky tom! as we had no room, we had to laze around until 12.30pm until our ferry arrived. so we lazed and swung in a hammock. fijians have the perfect way of life. although i got a rather painful and itchy maybe spider bite on my thigh. this added to the mind blowingly painful hangover. the small boat ride to the big yellow ferry was the most scary thing of the trip so far. 3m swells in an over packed speedboat, with the rain 'lashing' the boat. this boat was struggling. 20 minutes, soaking and frozen, we arrived at the big yellow ferry. soaked and topless. we booked our accommodation at 'Korovou Eco Tour Resort' me and tom are trying to go green and do our bit for the environment. seasickness occurred during the 50 minute trip to korovou. the boat was leaving the water, like actually leaving the water then crashing down. then we have the fijian crew laughing and joking that the ship was called 'the yasawa flyer' which it actually is. good old fijians. i threw up lots and lots.
the dorm room at korovou was one of the nicest things i think i have ever seen. 32 beds, ceiling fans, and pristine floors beds and not a single insect flying around. this was really nice. that night we chilled with some scandanavians. then we heard of a kava ceremony going on down the beach about 600m away. we went in search of this mysterious narcotic drink. we failed and returned without finding anything, just me stubbing my toe on some huge rock on the beach. Great Sleep.
Woke up revitalised! chilled in the pool(yes the pool) untill about 2pm when our boat left. tom and i some how missed the water taxi to the ferry, so we had to wade out into the sea to get the taxi to pick us up. nice. we booked our accommodation, 'Beachcomber Island' check it on google. its a tiny island in the chain of islands with reef all around it. we got our beds, bed number 44 and 45. the dorm we were in was huge. 123beds in total in one big room. then came the most annoying bit so far. my tummy and appendix started to hurt, really bad. so i went to the reception and asked to see a doctor or nurse. 'there is one on the next island.' good stuff. i went to bed and took paracetamol. tom was wicked here, he, instead of drinking and partying (we were on the party island) stopped all of that and stayed with me. he wanted to be sober and able to take me to the other island if anything happened. what a true friend. he also fetched me water and some paracetamol and thermometer. so grateful for him being there.
woke up feeling a bit better. relieved more than anything, apparently appendicitis comes on really hard and is really painful. it didnt feel like that anymore. as a thank you to tom i hired us snorkelling gear for the day. as we sat waiting to do out to do some snorkelling, letting our suncream sink in. the day trippers came to the islands. 10 japenese enthusiastic dickheads. they were so annoying, loud and so weird. they were obviously rich though because they all tried some sort of water activity. they hit the lash at 10am too. we hopped onto the free snorkeling trip the the top of the island for some amazing snorkeling. the fish were so confident and really tropical. large as well. we came back an hour later and chilled for a while.
after about an hour or so, my tummy feeling better by the hour, we went snorkeling off the island, and swam out. never did i ever get the biggest shock of my life. below us, about 2meters down and 2 meters away was a 4ft silver tip, reef shark. yes, i spotted a shark below us. f*cking scary. i showed tom and him being the guy that he is tried to follow it. it swam away. played a little volleyball. (we won) and then went to go get ready for the night. we drank with some guys from volleyball. funny evening learned the 'Bula Dance' which is more like a badly adapted macerena dance. funny though.
This was our last day in the islands. the beautiful yasawa's and mamanuca's. but the boat didnt leave until 1700hrs. so we could snorkel and V-ball the day away. which happened to be one of the nicest days yet. no clouds, just sun and sea and tanning time. the day went really well. chilled, ate, swam, played cards and waited for the boat. money was running low at that point so we couldn't afford drinks or anything. we boarded the boat and left the islands. when we got back to the marina, our bags were unloaded. mine was the last one to come off the boat. scary as i thought they might have lost it. our transfer to our hostel was in an open windowed bus. we arrived at the Nomads skylodge. which was really nice and cool. aircon on full blast felt like we were back in england. heyhey. that night we had Kava. finally, after searching for it all week, our last stop and we finally had some. oh. my. goodness it tastes so bad. if i were to describe it, it would be as if somebody had put a very dusty train seat in water, squeezed it, and then added pepper. it is foul. its also a drug so your whole mouth goes numb. its weird. but we were promised no hangover so we went for it.
430am start for us today, had to get to the airport at 5 to check in. money was running low, and i mean seriously low. we had to steal all of our food and we even managed to pick pocket and old lady for some money. nah im just joking about the stealing and stuff, but our money was seriously low. like 2 fijian dollars left. thats like 60p. the plane awaited and we were off to New Zealand!!!
by the way, that picture is of me, but ive lost it uploading it onto the comp.