BULA everyone!! Ive just spent a week in Fiji and I loved every minute! Although I went on my own I had a great time exploring the islands. The people are so welcoming and friendly I thoroughly enjoyed my stay.
Firstly I started in Nadi where I spent one night at Aquarius resort which was on the beachfront. After about three hours of thinking I managed to organise and plan my trip for the week with the assistance of Rose the lovely Fijian receptionist! For $1015 (330 GBP) I booked a ferry pass and accommodation on three islands - Octopus Resort, Mantaray Island and Beachcomber Island. I also booked the Seaspray Sailing Day Trip.
On day two, I woke up at 06.00 and had a big breakfast of toast, muesli and fresh fruit! The bus took me to Port Denarau where I got my Bula ferry pass ($299/70GBP). I got onto the South Sea ferry and sailed past lovely scenery of volcanic landscapes. The ferry stopped at each island dropping people off, I took some pictures of Bounty Island - where 'Celebrity Love Island' was filmed. It looked lovely just like on the TV! After two hours I arrived at Octopus Resort and I was welcomed on the beach by the staff singing and playing their guitars and shouts of BULA! I was upgraded to a bure/hut instead of going in the usual dormitory which I was really pleased about! I shared the bure with two Canadian girls Kiri and Solena. The bure had ensuite open air shower and toilet. I had a lovely lunch of chicken in coconut paste with rice and then I laid at the pool side over looking the beach. I made a shell bracelet with the help of the Fijian local lady. I then went to lay on the beach and the view was just lovely, crystal clear water and white sand! For dinner there was a huge feast laid out on the table and I ate far too much food. On the evening, as a new arrival I was invited to attend a Kava ceremony. We all had to sit on the floor around a Kava bowl and the chief welcomed us and gave us a drink of the Kava - a plant drink that looked and tasted like mud water. It makes your lips and tongue go numb and tingly and apparantly if too much is drunk then it can have a narcotic affect! I only had one cup and it made my lips go numb! When receiving the drink I had to clap my hands three times and say bula and then vinaka (thankyou) to the chief. It was interesting to be involved in the ceremony and be welcomed to the island.
On day three, I went snorkelling and saw some lovely coloured fish and corals right in front of the resort. Later in the afternoon after lots of sunbathing, I made a bookmark from the leaf of some tree that I cant remember the name of! It didnt turn out that well as Im not very good at creating things! On the evening I went on the sunset cruise. It was a little cloudy however it was nice to be on the boat. The staff were playing their guitars and singing to us and it was nice to have a beer watching the sunset. On return to the resort we had a BBQ. Then it was time for party games on the beach! I didnt join in with the limbo game although I joined in the drinking game! We all had to run along the beach and race to drink the wine as quikly as possible! Then another game involved us having to pass a long piece of rope up through each others clothes and along to the end of the line of team members to win. I had lots of people pulling at the rope as it was going down my top and my skirt! Fun fun fun! I had a pina colada when I finished playing the games and then laid on the beach looking at the stars. The milky way is visible over here and there are thousands of stars!
On day four, I went to the local village and went to the church service. The chief of the local tribe allows visitors to attend the church each Sunday. The service was in Fijian language but it was nice to hear the choir singing. The children were mischievious in the service and a man came along and hit them with a stick! They just giggled although the man didnt seem to pleased! After the service we went back to the resort and I went snorkelling again. Lunch today was a lovely pumpkin salad with marlin fish - very nice. On the evening after dinner the resort brought out a huge screen and stood it at the side of the pool. As we all lay under the stars we got to watch The Yes Man with Jim Carrey, which was really funny. It was so cool to be laying ouside watching the movie!
On day five, I sadly left Octopus resort and got back on the ferry at 11.30 to Mantaray Island. The dorm was nice set in the hills, although not a patch on the posh Octopus Resort where I had just come from! On the afternoon I met up with Emily - a girl I met in Nadi. Its weird, wherever I go I keep bumping into the same people. I went searching in the trees for a coconut. I scraped my leg on the tree and was bleeding - another scar! Everywhere I go I have got a scar to remind me! After attending to my wound I went to make my coconut bracelet! On the evening I had a meal with Emily and then had an early night and lay under my mosquito net and read my book!
On day six, I went snorkelling out in the sea with Mantarays! It was brilliant! We were taken out to sea on the boat and then we had to jump off the boat into the deep water and snorkel. My face mask and snorkel were letting water in and I started panicking. The guy named Ace held my hand and swam with me along the current. The mantarays literally swam right beneath us! They were huge - 5 metres wide! They looked so graceful it was amazing. Apparantly there were reef sharks around us too but thankfully I didnt see them! I saw nemos swimming in the coral it was lovely. The current took us further out to sea so the boat came and picked us up and took us to the top of the channel to start snorkelling downstream again. I saw several mantarays it was great. We than went back to the resort and had lunch. I then went snorkelling again in the sea at the front of the resort. I saw some more nemos, angelfish and also a huge purple starfish! It wa then time to get back on the ferry and the staff waved goodbye and sung us a farewell song. The ferry then took me to Beachcomber island which took two hours. I arrived at 17.00 and I walked around the whole island in 15 minutes and watched the sunset. I later had dinner and im so greedy I had two servings - no need, but the food was lovely! I slept in a 130 bed dorm! I couldnt believe that 130 beds could all fit into one room but it actually worked quite well and was tidy! I didnt have the best nights sleep due to noise and the lights being left on!
On day seven, I woke up at 06.00 and watched the sunrise. There was no-one around and it was tranquil and lovely to watch. I then had breakfast and checked out of the resort. The ferry came and picked me up at 09.30 and I was taken to another island to get on the Seaspray Sailing boat. I was welcomed on the boat and the staff gave us all a muffin and a drink! We sailed to an un-inhabited island named 'Castaway Island' where Tom Hanks filmed his movie. It was stunning with white sand and clear blue water! It looked absolutely gorgeous! We got off the boat and I went for a walk around the island. I got talking to a girl from England and as it turns out, she is the cousin of a girl I work with (Karen)! How random meeting someone from New Marske on an un-inhabited island trip! I went for a walk around the island to try and see where Tom Hanks had been with his friend Wilson! I went snorkelling again and then later got back on the boat to have a BBQ feast. We sailed to another island and went to see a village. The chief gave us a welcoming Kava ceremony and then we looked around the market. I saw some lovely shell bracelets although I didnt buy any as Australia would not allow any through customs. We sailed back and the sea was very choppy and the boat was tipping from side to side it was good fun but scary! We sailed back to Mana Island to wait for the ferry to take us back to the mainland Port Denarau.