Bula! As one little adventure came to an end in America, my next stop was in Fiji for 2 weeks travelling around the Fijian Islands. The flight to Fiji was really good as the plane was pretty empty so I was able to stretch out and get a bit of sleep as I was up at 5 to catch the plane. Despite the fact it was raining when I got there it was still very warm and I made my way to my hostel for just after lunchtime and got a bite to eat while planning how I was going to spend the next two weeks. I had an island hopping tour already paid for and planned out but that would only take up 5 days. The people at the hostel were very helpful and we got some bits booked up so that I would spend most of my time off the mainland as there was not much to do there. I was up early the next day to start my first island hopping trip so I got an early night and got my stuff sorted.
I got my stuff together and jumped on the bus to head for the Denauro Port where I would get the boat to my first island stop Waya Lai Lai. I passed a number of islands in the Yasawa's all of which looked absolutely beautiful and Waya Lai Lai was no different, it was a very beautiful island, the resorts on the different islands are all inclusive (just food unfortunately!) and all pretty basic (cold showers, electricity only running for a few hours a day) but nice enough. I was staying in a dorm room with about 12 other people and we were the only people there apart from the island staff so it was pretty quiet which was really nice as I could actually have a 'holiday' on this part of the trip. I met some nice people there and we didn't do a whole lot apart from kick back on the beach, a bit of snorkelling with reef sharks which was a little scary but the Fijian leader told us they were 'vegetarian' sharks so it was ok and a bit more lounging on the beach. In the evening the staff put on some Fijian entertainment from acting out the arrival of the first missionaries to some cool fire dancing, they got us up to do some 'traditional' Fijian dancing but it was more just like a Fijian version of the Macarena but it was good fun either way. We Didn't really drink that much in the evenings (probably a good thing for me) and headed to bed fairly early as breakfast was served between 7 and 8. A beautiful island and a good way to spend a couple of nights and learning a bit from the Fijian islanders.
My next island resort was Korouvo which was about 2 hours north of Waya Lai Lai and was on the a large island with a few different resorts. This one was a bit more commercial I felt, it had a pool as the beach was not very nice and generally a but more populated than the other island. The days were spent generally the same way, lounging by the pool a bit more snorkelling - this time with some Manta Rays which were pretty big (around 10-15ft wide) but looked really graceful as the glided through the water. Again the people on this island were really nice and we all had a good laugh together. In the afternoon the islanders all come together for a big game of touch rugby which they let us join in as well which was quality even if they are ridiculously fast with amazing quick hands and feet. I did manage to score a couple of tries though, being the try scoring demon I am. All of the Fijian Islanders were really nice and friendly and you really felt welcomed by them all. In the evening we would have a bonfire on the beach and have a few drinks sitting around, and on the last night I had my latest night I had so far in Fiji, I went to bed at…..12. All good fun. The last day I was feeling a little of island fever as I wasn't used to having so much time to lounge around all day and doing a lot of nothing so I felt that 5 days was long enough in the Yasawa Islands. I headed back to the hostel and got in early evening, it was only a 1 night stop though as I was to another set of islands the following morning, there wasn't much to do on the mainland anyways.
My next stop was the Robinson Crusoe Island which is south of Nadir just off the mainland, I was told I would be picked up at 10.45 but this soon turned into about 11.45, but you get used to everything in Fiji working on 'Fiji Time' (by this they mean things will get done when people can pretty much be bothered to do them) We made our way over to the island and picked up a couple of Irish girls, both of whom have just finished a year stint in Australia so I spent most of the time barraging them with questions. A couple of Dutch guys (again just finished a year in Oz) and an older French guy. We jumped on the boat to the island with a load of supplies that were being taken over (by supplies I of course mean a s*** load of booze) and headed over. The island itself was small (you could walk around it in about half an hour) but very nice, the trip was sold as a 'join the tribe' experience and as promised our first job for the afternoon was to make a costume for a tribal party that night (I made a pretty s*** grass skirt which fell apart rather quickly). The tribal party was good fun though, we had a Kava (traditional Fijian narcotic drink made from the roots of plants which are soaked in water leaving what looks like a bowl of dirty water for us to drink) welcoming ceremony which was pretty cool and then got down to playing a few silly games. The staff on the island were great and we all headed into the on island 'nightclub' (a hut with a cd player and flashing lights) to drink some more Kava. Now the thing with Kava is that it doesn't really taste of anything, I suppose a bit like dirty water really, but we were all drinking alcohol as well so I didn't really think it did anything despite staying up till the early hours of the morning drinking a lot. The next day however I felt like I had a bit of a hangover (from the booze) but felt extremely groggy (from the Kava) and after breakfast at 8 most of us went back to bed to sleep till lunch… it's a tough old life! As it was a Saturday we had a load of day and evening trippers come to the island as they put on a big show in the evening with lots of different dances from around the pacific islands and an epic fire dancing show which was amazing! The day/nigh trippers left about half 9 , as did a number of people who were staying there so there was only a few of us left on the island. This meant we could chill out with the staff and indulge in a bit more Kava drinking, they were all really nice guys and we had a good laugh with them while working our way though rounds and rounds of Kava. Our next day was a bit of a let down as it absolutely chucked it down all day (literally, all day!) so we spent most of the day feeling like crap and trying to find ways to pass the time which was a bit boring but we all got on really well by this point so we all had a good giggle together. As it was our final night and we had to be up early the next morning we all decided not to have a big drinking session but to chill out and probably get an early night… this didn't work whatsoever. While we did only have a couple of drinks, we stayed up all night with the staff drinking a shed load of Kava - again. Now at least this time I could see what it was like when I hadn't been drinking and after a good few bowls, you do feel pretty light headed and chilled out and struggle to walk in a straight line, pretty funny really. The bonus to all this was that we weren't actually paying for any of the Kava which was pretty sweet. The staff sung some songs while a couple played the guitar and we had a really chilled out evening. We headed back to the hostel and I was pretty shattered again after the Kava - it really makes you groggy the next day! I hadn't booked what I would do for my last few days, the choice was between a tiny little island with a gorgeous beach and snorkelling and stuff or the renowned 'party island' in Fiji….. don't think I need to tell you which I went for!
So my last few days were to be spent on Beachcomber Island which is small island (you can walk round it in about 10 minutes) and has a load of different water sports that you can do and a gorgeous beach, albeit a bit stoney/corally. I spent most of the day chilling on the beach before getting showered and going for some drinks with some guys I met during the day, the resort was certainly a lot busier and more geared towards having a few beers. We all got pretty smashed up and got to know everyone there, while somehow managing to avoid being pulled up for the 'Beachcomber dance' (again a variation of the Macarena). It was a quality night and was good to have a bit of dance and play a few drinking games. The next day we all went snorkelling just off the coast which was beautiful as the water was unbelievably clear and there were loads of little fish and stuff. I chilled out in the afternoon on the beach trying to get a bit of a tan before we got showered and changed for another big night in Beachcomber. This time I didn't manage to avoid getting pulled up for the Beachcomber dance but by this point we were all pretty drunk and didn't really care. Again a quality night and met some really cool, funny people. My boat back to the mainland was not until 5 in the afternoon so I had the whole day to kick back on the beach, I had a really late night the night before, eventually going to bed about 6am so was quite happy just to chill out on the beach. Most of the little group we met left on the early morning boat and was just me and Carmen for the day which was cool as we got on really well. I made it back to the hostel about half 6ish and after getting a bite to eat crashed out, my flight to Sydney the next day was early in the morning and I needed to catch up on some sleep.
Overall Fiji was an amazing country to visit, the people are the most friendly, hospitable people I have ever met and genuinely seem happy to have you there. The islands were beautiful and I hopefully have a bit more of a colour to me know as well which is good. Next stop? Sydney were things get a bit more serious as I need to sort out somewhere to live and a job…. Easy. Hope your all well and enjoying yourselves, I'll update you all in a couple of weeks and let you know how I'm getting on. Take care!