BULA! We arrived in Fiji on the eve of the 31st Aug and stayed for 9 nights, leaving on the 9th. During our time here we stayed on Nadi for 2 nights in two different hostels and on the Waya Island at Octopus and Wayalailai resort for 7 nights in total. Each place was memorable one way or another, whether it was for beautiful views, the Fijian laid back happy culture or for the people we met (some good, some very wierd!). The Fijians were so singy that they even greeted us at the airport with a song which consisted of one word.....BULA.
1.First night in Nadi - On the first night we met a few guys from our dorm and went out for a meal at the Indian/Thai restaurant. Here we met a wierd Tourism Student who refused to give us his name because we were never going to see him again!, we had a curry although I am not convinced my chicken tikka was supposed to contain black meat (definitely rat) and we all went to the late night bakery down the road for desert and picked up some cheap tasty treats.
2.Getting to Octopus - We were up and atom at the ridiculous hour of 7 in the morning to have our comp breakfast then catch the comp bus to the bay. We met a guy called Aaron who was taking too long to get ready and ended up missing the bus....ooops that could have been us! At the bay I took some grief from Han for my choice in alcoholic beverage (mint liquor), then we got ourselves some Fijian dollars each, which are the funniest note in the world as the queen is actually smiling! Our boat was a giant yellow 'awesome adventures' vessel, which we all piled on, seeing Aaron arrive just in the nick of time before we set off.....lucky git! On route to Octopus we saw a lot of nice views including the most bizarre little island that couldn't have been more than 200m in diameter!
3.Our resort - We were well impressed with Octopus when we first set eyes on it. The villagers all did the standard Fijian welcome song to us after we first arrived, which was nice, and we were given a cocktail as a hello present. All the members of staff were dressed in flowery tee-shirts and dresses and were very friendly........also a tad lazy but that's all part of being Fijian! We met some nice guys on the island; one couple were teachers who made me feel better about doing an NQT and the other couple got engaged on the island while we were there! As for facilities, we had a good volleyball court where we got stuck in with the locals and played some games and we had a gorgeous pool. Our dorm was pretty nice as well since it was air conditioned and didn't have bunk beds......definitely sick and tired of bunking up now! The food we had here was also really nice, we even got a three course dinner every night!
4.Village visit - We visited the local village on our first day which was really good as we got to see a real Fijian village, had a look at their school, got to walk around with all the kids, did a cava welcome ceremonyand got to see the villages perform some of their music and dance rituals. At the end all the ladies put on a mini market stall for us to buy some souvenirs which is where Han got her anklet from. The funniest moment was when we all were made to get involved with the dancing and learned the cross-over holding hands turn......definitely pulling that move out on the dance floor in England!
5.Manta Ray tour - This was a boat tour we did from Octopus that had the aim of finding some wild manta rays and getting us all in the water to swim with them. Unfortunately we couldn't track one down but instead were given a snorkel tour around a beautifully clear coral reef. Me and Han even had a go at diving down into the water with our snorkel masks on and Han was getting so good that she even started picking up clams off the sea bed........such a good swimmer! As part of the tour we got lunch (barbequed fish) which we ate on a little island. A few of the Kiwi's on our tour were cracking open coconuts and eating the inside so we all had a try of a fresh coconut as well.
6.'Fiji vs The rest of the world' Volleyball match - A bunch of resort guests (including me and Han) took on the Fijians at volleyball in the event promoted as Fiji vs The rest of the world! It was a pretty one sided match as the Fiji guys were a lot better than us but they were kind and let the match get to 2-2 before they beat us easy in the 5th! The twist was that for any good shots or bad shots you had to have a shot of cocktail. It proved to be Hannahs night as she pulled off spectacular shots all game and even threw in some salmon esc dives which were great but unfortunately cost her dearly as she had to drink about 10 shots!
7.Jewellery making - Han saved herself some money one day and got involved with the jewellery making class which was a bit too female dominated for my liking so I sat it out! You were only supposed to make 1 or 2 items but Han made about 6! Good job! Unfortunately when Han tried to make a thatched leaf basket another day she was left feeling sad because one of the others pinched her leaf and it was the last one.....such a sad story!
8.Quiz night - We got involved with the famous Octopus quiz night which was done in traditional pub quiz fashion but with a Fijian twist! We had to do all sorts of rounds including charades and a talent competition where we performed the human pyramid whilst singing Boy George's Chameleon.....it was a sight for saw eyes. Amazing we ended up coming second which meant we had to play off with the other top two teams for the winners prize, a Champagne Breakfast! What followed next can only be described as UNBELIEVABLE! Firstly, I was nominated by my group to compete in a press up endurance competition, which was a strange decision bearing in mind I have the physique of a malnourished stick insect! I then went and won which was a shock to everyone including myself! After this, it was neck and neck, so we went to the sudden death anagram round! We all looked at it as time was ticking by when all of a sudden Han started hyperventilating and screamed in my ear "SUPERMAN" which was the right answer and we won the quiz and the Champagne breakfast for the following morning! Who would have believed it, quiz champs!!!
9.The crab race - This was a competition of speed, strength and will power. Everyone paid a few dollars to have a hermit crab which we got to hand pick and carry over to the tournament desk, getting nipped in the process! There were three intense rounds where the aim of the game was for the crabs to make it to the outer circle first. Neither of ours won but we did have a little hermit in the final round who was obviously the best crab but instead was noble and gave the others a chance to shine!
10.Wayalailai - Our Wayalailai transfer was one of the more frustrating things we did during our time in Fiji. The sea was very choppy as we touched down on the beach of the Island which sent a big wave into our boat, soaking us all! We were sat on the floor so we all got wet bottoms and our bags were a bit moist!
Once on the Island we went into our dorm which was being sprayed with anti-bedbug spray.........not a good sign! We had a decent first evening without too much tossing and turning. The same cannot be said for the second night which was a nightmare! We were pooing ourselves about bedbugs and we had a mouse pooing all over our bags, beds and everything! Put it this way, we spent a lot of time shining a torch into our covers to make sure we were bug-free!
We spent the rest of the time on the island chilling in hammocks, eating nice Fijian style food (lots of rice, veg, chicken and tropical fruit) and being anti-social! Haha
11.Last day in Nadi - After the bumpiest ferry journey of my life to Nadi (where I was very close to throwing up) we had some food with the mad German guy who looked like Ivan Drago, then headed off to bed where the large Liverpool girls played us a deafening tune in snoring!! The following morn we hit Nadi town centre which was a bit of dejavu from Thailand with all the street salesmen chatting at you and following you around. One woman literally followed me around a store for 10 mins.....stalker! We ended up buying a few things including some of the ground root 'Cava' (AKA the drink form of weed)!
Fiji Good Times - visiting the local village at Octopus, trying Cava, volleyballing, winning the quiznight and relaxing in front of some incredible views.
Baddies - Us both getting the s***s after drinking the crappy water that goes into making Cava and getting eaten alive by bedbugs/sand flies!
All in all it was a wicked experience and one of the best places we visited!