Mel and Stu missing you
Well, we paid alot of money to go on the Feejee Experience, we couldn't work out anyway to see the real island and there were alot of activities along the way. The first day we were picked up from our hostel and taken to Nadi to stock up on money, pay our balance. With our spare time we wandered along the street, we went into a shop to buy Mel a long wraparound skirt and were led into a second shop where the owner was settling down to his morning kava and invited us to join him. Kava is interesting, like muddy water it has a clovey taste and numbs your lips and tongue. It is also a mild narcotic so there are lots of kavaholics out here, and it is a real insult to someone to reject when they offer to share their bowl with you. We bought in both shops, but in fiji it is thought very unlucky not to make the first sale of the day, so we bartered reasonable prices in both. Then back on the bus to the most beautiful beach on the island (against misconception fiji main doesn't have many nice beaches due to the broken coral from the barrier reef - hence why people spent their time on the outerlying islands) which was nice and our guides cooked up a bbq for us and there was really violent surf which we enjoyed riding in. Then we visited a village to learn a little about local life and the local children showed us around their homes and gave us flowers, all very pleasant. The feejee policy is only to stop in small villages so that the tourist money goes to them not into the cities. he children were lovely and all very interested in taking photos with our camera. One girl gave Mel her address to write to. The money raised has paid for a lot of village facilities. Final stop of the day was the massive sand dunes, which we had to negotiate on a body board - exhilirating, scary and due to a bump at the bottom, a little bit painful! We arrived late at the stunning Mango Bay flashpackers resort - which was a bit pricey but had a lot of amenities and again we had to partake in a kava ceremony on our arrival. Come day 2 and another early start as we were to go on a three hour trek through the interior of the island. It was ok, but you spent most of the time looking down so didn't get to appreciate the forest around us. There was a section where we walked for about 40 minutes up a stream, which was different, before a ridiculously dangerous decent down to the river, where we had lunch and boarded tubes for a gentle ride down the river. Once we got to the natural rock pools we climbed out and had to jump the 5m drops. Good fun and we got some good pictures. That night we were to stay near Suva, the capital, in Raintree Lodge. Nice enough but no mosquito protection on the windows was to cost us later! We were taken into the capital for a nice dinner with the rest of our group whose company we were enjoying. We awoke the next morning, and Mel took over the popsicle award with over 40 bite across her back and on both arms. Stu's hands and face were peppered but not as bad. Today we headed for a remote village where we were welcomed with, that's right, a kava ceremony, but this time a proper formal one where all the rules were adhered to. Then the girls wove bracelets and the men did some planting outside and went to examine the local cave system. Then we rejoined for a cocunut husking race. We visited a local school and saw their work. The maths looked very complicated for 6-13years. They learn all their subjects in english even though they speak fijiian at home and only start learning english at 6 years old. Unfortunately poor weather meant the bamboo rafting race was cancelled, instead we headed for our third hostel at Volivoli beach. We'd been interested in doing a night dive here, but were informed by the instructors that the day was muchbetter so we decided to go out the next morning. That night we played some silly games with the staff but we decided to retire early as we had to be up early for the dive. The dive was spectacular. some of the best colours we'd seen and lots of swim throughs so we really felt inside the reef. Day 4 was mainly about getting back to Nadi, although we did stop for a huge cheap chinese meal and then, one of the highlights, at the mud baths and then hot pools - theyhave no idea why they are hot as they are not volcanic! So now we're back in Nadi, for the cities bula! annual festival, which should be a good experience.