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Bula once again from Fiji. It's the 14th of May, and another day of staying in our perfect little paradise on the Coral Coast. The sea, the sky, the sun are all looking very good and we're debating never leaving Fiji at all..! We're both just lazing in hammocks, whilst a couple of our friends are out diving or spear-fishing, so I thought this would be a good time to catch up on our blog.
Our Beachouse journey started in Nadi, after checking out of Horizon late morning. It was rainy and overcast as we had our breakfast, and we actually hoped it stayed like that so that lugging our bags through Nadi wouldn't be such a horrific task. We got a local bus into the city, which was an interesting experience in itself, because the buses here have no windows and sound like a plane taking off whenever the driver accelerates. We went to MH to buy some noodles and rice. We've also discovered Whittaker's chocolate, which you can buy in New Zealand and Fiji, and it's honestly the best. chocolate. ever. We've made it our little vice in Fiji, because it's too expensive really, but it's our weakness and we can't help but buy it. Our Coral Sun bus was supposed to pick us up in Nadi at 1pm, but because of 'Fiji Time', which is very evident in everyday life here, it was over an hour late, and we were so fed up of the wet, hot, humid heat in Nadi, on top of carrying all our bags with us. Whilst Han turned away numerous taxi drivers and looked after our stuff, I went on a quest to Chicken Express to get us lots of chips and proteiiiiiin to cheer us up. More waiting. We'd never been happier to see a bus before and when it came, we sat at the back and devoured all the chicken (don't think the other passengers appreciated us doing that, but we didn't care at that point) whilst looking out at the stunning views from Kings Road again.
Our first night was a bit of a disaster here, in that we had a fair few annoyances. To start with, the bus driver tried to short change us three times… then we made accidental enemies with the man on reception here, who refused to let us pay in Fijian Dollars, insisting they needed to be Australian. Then, after meeting some lovely people, we decided to take a 20 minute nap before going to the bar for drinks, and ended up waking 13 hours later instead. Travelling + Nadi definitely take it out of us!
Our first couple of days were spent being ultimate beach bums. The place is so beautiful here, that it's really easy to spend days being idol and enjoying the views and the warm sea. We've found a bit of a gem here on the Coral Coast; it plays Bob Dylan at breakfast, Angus & Julia Stone through lunch, Ben Harper in the evenings, and Bob Marley at almost all other times. We also love spending so much time outdoors, eating our toast in the morning under little thatched bure and laying around on the grass at night hearing crazy travel tales and things. This place also serves free scones and tea at 3.30pm each day, which suddenly turns us more British than we are back home. We'll definitely miss them, along with a nice little happy hour where we can get beers for about £1. We've been playing a lot of card games and making some coconut jewellry inside as well, although luckily we've only had two hours of crazy rain and thunder since we got here last week.
On the 9th, Francis came and joined us again after his time with Ellena on Mantaray Island. He brought us three more big bars of Whittaker's Creamy Milk chocolate, and lots of wine! We had another very hammock-and-book day, and then something amazing happened - we saw on the blackboard that it was ROAST night. So we ordered that, instead of our usual noodles, and were so ecstatic when it finally came. I've never seen Han eat any meal so quickly, it was so good (but never as good as yours, Mama!). We met a really great 29-year-old German called Benjamin that night, who looked exactly like Alexander Supertramp from 'Into the Wild', and later found out that that was his inspiration for the trip he was on, so we spent the night having a few Vonu's (the local lager, very nice stuff) and talking over our travels.
Wednesday, for me, was definitely the best day in Fiji so far. We had a hilarious breakfast involving lots of toast, three very funny English guys, and Susie, who were all also on their gap year. So we spent the morning with them sunbathing and chatting (and witnessing Duncan in his mankini - never again!). We also met a great guy called Jelle from Holland, who we've spent a fair few funny nights with. The sea is so perfect to swim in here, although you can walk out 100 metres and it will still only be up to your middle. It's a gorgeous pale green colour until you reach the reef, so we spent a long time just floating around and loving life under the hot Fijian sun! Then, Matt (from Germany, also called 'Schnappi', who we met the day before) organized a group of us to go fishing with the local guide called Sana. We set off for our 1.30pm start at 2.15pm (another example of the ever-present 'Fiji Time') and headed out to a reef not far from the Beachouse. Straight away, Matt managed to catch a mackerel and, through hand line-fishing, the rest of us managed to catch about 11. There were two nice French girls, Harry from Surrey, Matt, Natalie and the two of us. Han caught three; one was a snapper fish with humongous eyes, which ended up being very tasty. I caught my first fish ever too, YAY. It was a trigger fish. We had such a good time on the boat, the sunset made the sea look so beautiful as well, and on our way back we saw some flying fish, a massive marlin (which we all thought was a shark to start with) and some blue starfish in the shallower corals. When we got back, Matt showed us how to gut the fish (neither of us are too bad at it) and wash them out ready for the FISH FEAST we decided to have that night. We all pitched in and it was a big group effort to cook all the different tropical fish in papaya and lemon, and Han and I were put in charge of the rice, which we cooked to perfection..! It was one of the best meals we've had, finished off with banana fritters and lots of Fiji Gold beer. (Sorry, I've suddenly realised how food-centred this blog is, you can definitely tell that I'm hungry whilst writing this, oops). The rest of the night was spent as usual, playing a mixture of cards, pool (though I'm definitely not getting any better), drinking games, or the famous-persons-name-on-the-head game.
The next few days have come and gone without us even knowing, and the days here seem to roll into one massive laid-back stay. There's a lot of interesting people staying here and lots of groups laying around the sand and grass, so it feels like we're at the Croyde Oceanfest everyday! We're definitely getting used to island life, so much so that we've decided to move our Nadi-Auckland and Auckland-Christchurch flights back four days so that we leave Fiji on the 24th now, it's just too perfect here to not stay. Yesterday, a group of us went on a 4-hour waterfall trek from Navola Village. We set off after a big breakfast and walked along the beach under the cliffs until we got to the village, where a few children came with us (one called Si, who took a liking to me and kept picking me up and carrying me through the jungle really quickly over rocks, I feared for my life) and guided us up to the waterfalls. After two hours of squelching through mud barefoot and climbing over rocks, we got to an awesome little spot with a natural spa, pools of cold refreshing water and some amazing waterfalls, where we spent a while messing around and diving in from the rocks. I managed to hit the bottom of my foot after jumping in, so i've got a cut which all is bandaged up (it's a lot more difficult to heal wounds in tropical climates apparently). Tomorrow will be a sad day because Schnappi and two hilarious Dutsch that we met, called Jasper and Chris, will be leaving. Another Matt who we got on really well with left for NZ yesterday too, though he's doing a similar route to the two of us, and I found out he's going to Sussex Uni (small world!) so hopefully we'll see eachother around.
Our plan is to leave on the 16th (I think this is about our 9th day here now, it's gone so quickly) and catch a bus back to Nadi (we're not fans of Nadi, but it's the stopover city to get out to the islands) for a night, before getting an early ferry over to the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands. Though it's really expensive there, with virtually no internet access and only bucket showers, we've heard it's beautiful and the guide books make it look like the stuff Desktop backgrounds are made off, so we're going to spend 6 days island-hopping around them. Our ideas at the moment are one night on Bounty Island, one on Beachcomber Island, a couple in Wayalailai Resort, one at the Kuato Resort and then a final night of unaffordable luxury in the Octopus Resort. It should be a very good week, but this probably means we can't update this site until we make it back to Nadi ready to fly to NZ. Hoping that everything's fine and dandy back home. We're missing you lots but having a fantastic Fiji time. Please keep the lovely and funny emails coming, they're really appreciated even if we're awful at replying. Love from us in paradise on the Coral Coast xx.
Bug-o-meter: I saw a terrifyingly big spider in the toilets today which moved really fast. Big scare. Other than that, the mosquitos here are savaging our legs!
Tan-o-meter: It's improving! A lot of burning, peeling and tanning going on despite abudance of SPF whatnots..