When boarding the plane to Nadi we instantly got the fiji vibe, the air stewards welcomed us wearing flower garlands around their necks and flowers in their hair... we were both looking forward to this! As we were approaching the airport to land, I looked out of the window and said to Alex ''there aren't as many swimming pools in backgardens as i expected." He shook his head, laughed at me and said that the Fijians weren't that well off and thats why they didn't have pools in their yards! Once off the plane we were welcomed by a group of fijian men dancing, playing guitars and singing... a really nice touch and very welcoming, but something we quickly learnt was going to be a daily event!
The free shuttle to the hostel was a bonus, until the driver seemed to think accelerating towards cars in front that were braking was a good idea. Arriving safely, Alex appreciated the Air Con and I enjoyed the locals dancing on the beach.
The next day we boarded the Yasawa Flyer for the first of many times, this was a big yellow catamaran that ferried passengers up the Yasawa Islands up the west coast of Fiji. As we made the 5 hour journey up to the most northern island, we soaked up our first bit of sun since we left home. Little resort boats then come up to the big yellow boat to which you have to transfer onto carefully, whislt watching the luggage men chuck your bag onto the boat, hoping that their aim was accurate
Our first night was spent in Nabula Lodge, when shown to our dorm we realised that they had booked too many people in the dorm, as the only couple we were luckily (or so we thought) ''úpgraded'' to a very cute thatched roof hut. This was our first expeirence with a mosquito net, which we niavely thought was only there to keep mosquitos out- however waking up to find a giant crab, that alex described to a me who was not wearing contacts/glasses, as "a giant alien clawing its way up the walls." We thanked the mosquito net for being inbetween us!
The beach and the water was perfect, the sea felt like a bath that you could lay in all day, which we did for most of the following day. Alex was quite content with his book, so i went on search for a coconut. Having watched one fall right infront of my eyes i took upon my quest. Unfortunatly I couldn't quite get through the bushes and returned to alex coconut-less. That night i blew up with bites the size of coconuts, which taught me to next time just sit and read my book!
On our next island we stayed in a resort called White Sandy Beach, which didnt turn out to be a great choice of ours, the highlight being a cockroach flying into my cheek as we brushed our teeth, and a night where i just hoped alex stayed alive in the painfully hot dorm. We spent the day sitting in the hammocks on the beach before heading on to our next resort, Coral View. This place was a god send after White Sandy where we were welcomed with a platefull of food more than we had eaten in the past few days combined. The dorm had electricity and even a fan - it was like Christmas! The next day we eagerly waited for the boat to arrive, hopefully carrying Wedge and Jen (my friend from uni and her travelling companion). We spent the rest of the day chatting under a tree- and trying to dodge the rain from a cyclone that was passing close to Fiji. Despite the rain, we were very happy to see them and that night we comenced our very serious card games over a few fijian cocktails!
The next couple of days we went snorkeling- the weather was still quite dodgy and the waves made the snorkelling quite challenging! We saw some pretty fish though and sunbathed for the rest of the time.
Our next stop was Kororvou, where we played volleyball, sunbathed, swam in the pool, watched the sunset and the "bula boys" do their infamous dancing ("Bula" was the Fijian word for hello but seemed to be the word of choice when naming things - we had the bula boys, the bula bar, the bula dance, bula water, bula boat... we could go on!). That night, after i had finally drifted off to sleep, having been kept up by the squealing lizards on the ceiling above me, we were awoken by an extremely drunken irish girl who was adament that Alex was in her bunk. Even though she just sat there on his bunk for enough time to drink his bottle of water, he calmly pointed his torch at a free bunk that she must have been confused with. Eventually she seemed to agree and so we watched her take two steps towards it and then about 9 to the side.
The next day was Sunday and so we decided to go along with the locals to their church service, which turned out to be quite overly deep with the vicar having to wipe his eyes a few times. We got involved in a few fijian hymns and it was a really moving experience.
We left and headed to Long beach, which was the most idylic place we stayed. The beach streched around the whole bay, with shallow turquiose water that seemed to go on forever. We spent most of the day in the water chatting and swimming about. We even swam across the bay over to an island that was unhabitated with just palm trees on it. It was so enjoyable that we were still in the water at sunset - pretty impressive! That evening we battled with a bird sized moth to get it out of dorm, another night where we were glad to get the mosquito nets down.
The following day, having been on a snorkelling trip to another impressive coral reef, we got the boat to a resort called Octopus, one that we had to pay a bit more to go to, but it was beyond worth it! After enjoying the luxuries of Octopus resort, Wedge and Jen had to leave to head off to NZ, it was sad to see them go after a lovely week with them. Luckily we bumped into the lads that we travelled around NZ with that day and alex was glad of the male company, having spent a week with us 3 girls. We visited the Nalauwaki village- the islands village and had an insight into their way of life which was quite eye opening - I now realised why they couldn't afford swimming pools. We also got the chance to go to their Kindergarten where the children ranged from 3-5 years old. They sang songs for us in english, and could even speak in three differnt languages, they put us to shame!
We left and headed further south, to Bounty Island, this is the island that Celebrity Love Island (shown on ITV a few years ago) was filmed on. This was again back to our basic Fijian standards and Octopus seemed a long behind us. We spent the days sunbathing and kayaking around the island, the latter was great exercise, which we hadn't had much of since NZ. After another night of having to block out the sounds of fighting lizards on the ceiling and fruits falling on the tin roof, (which sounded like melons!) we left Bounty and headed back to the mainland, where Alex's quest was to find a hairdressers. Having located one, he began to cut his hair. This was not like his normal cuts at home, this was like an M&S haircut, where the guy used every impliment available to cut, comb and shear. That said it was a great hair cut, un-nessassarily long, and remarkably cheap! They even cut his nose and ear hair!
Arriving at Nadi Airport we were stalled checking in by the check in agent informing me that i didnt have an austrailian visa on my account to allow me in... Even though some of you may think this was me being blonde I actually did purchase one! So unfortunatly something had gone wrong and we were sent in the direction of the nearest computer to reapply. This was all sorted over the internet and we were soon on our way back South to Australia.
After a long day of waiting around for the flight we finally landed in Melbourne only to find both our debit cards had been blocked for fraud prevention when attempting to withdraw cash. I, (after ringing my Pa first) promptly sorted my card out with a brief phone call to Barclays. Alex however, 40 minutes later was still on the phone getting extremly stressed demanding to speak to someone else! That day hadnt gone so smoothly but we were now in Austrailia...