Bula, and welcome to Fiji Time!! I am LOVING Fiji, its fantastic good fun, the weather is hot hot hot and the scenery is outta this world (well, actually its not... its in Fiji...)!! I've been super busy the past week, would you believe it!! I'm in paradise and I'm busy!
I arrived here at 1am on Monday (23rd) morning, the flight was delayed. But in the airport I did meet up with Ashley and Neal, a couple I met in Surfers Paradise, so atleast I didn't hafta do the wait alone! The flight was ok but there were screaming kids and a very annoying woman behind me who decided to use my chair as a punch cushion! I wasn't amused! But we got out and got to the hotel, Nadi Bay Hotel, its beautiful! But I pretty much just crashed out, I've an early start with the Fiji Experience in the morning!
Monday I officially started my Fiji Experience. I met the tour guide, Cam, and the bus driver Shaffin (Fin for short) and the rest of the bus! A guy Andrew that I met on the Kiwi bus was there so I felt a little better knowing someone on the bus!! SO we set off. Our first stop was Nadi town to do some essential shopping for sarongs or sulus as they're known here. We were visiting a traditional village and so had to cover up! Once everyone had got what they needed we headed to Natadola Beach, the perfect picture of Fiji! I look back at my pictures and even I'm jealous by the fact that I was there! So we lazed, relaxed and paddled and I got to know the people on the bus! We then had an amazing lunch, a BBQ on the beach! After lunch we got to the Fijian village called Malo-malo. We had a wander through the village and went inside the chief's bure where Cam taught us about the Fijian culture. It was fascinating! Next stop was Sigatoka sand dunes. They were steep and I watched as people threw themselves off the top of them on boogie boards!! Not my idea of fun, plus I'd done it before in Oz!! Once people had their fill we went to Mango Bay Resort, our nights accommodation! This is where I had my first Kava, a traditional Fijian drink which doesn't get you drunnk but gets you wasted, and my first cocktail, unfortunately not in a coconut shell! But it was damn good anyway, a mango daquari! Yummy!! So We had dinner then settled down for an early night in our 32 bed dorm!
Tuesday was one of the best days for me! We got up and got out early, and made our way to Navua where we swapped from the Green Machine to the 3 tonne chicken truck! Well, those that were doing the jungle trek in 35 degree heat and muck up to their eyeballs were anyway... us sane ones hopped on a longboat and cruised up the river to the beach where we would collect the trekkers. We chilled out for about 3 hours and had some lunch and generally just chatted away, there was about 9 of us that didnt do the trek. I'm glad when I saw the state of the ones that did!!As we were waiting for them to get lunch we could hear thunder coming from behind a hill in front of us... I panicked, my track record with storms ain't great!! But I got with it, got myself into a big rubber tube, and floated leisurely down the river! It was so good, until we got to the bottom and saw a huge fork of lightning! I was so scared lol. And then the rain started, not drizzle, oh no, but fat drops of torrential rain! It was hilarious!! The longboat trip back down was fantastic too as the rain had made the rapids a lot bigger than wot they were, brilliant!! Renee's seat also broke during the rapids coz we were bouncing about so much, hilarious!! After this we got changed and made our way into the capital city, straight to our nights accommodation where we ate and watched a traditional dance ceremony, pretty cool!
Wednesday we picked up straight away and headed for a Suva city sightseeing tour... this was the capital and it wasn't much bigger than Belfast! Infact it was possible smaller! We stopped outside the Presidents house where we got pictures with the guard, then we headed out to another village, this time where we could meet the chief. So we got dressed traditionally then headed into the chiefs bure. We even had to sit tradtionally which was pretty uncomfortable, the girls had to sit with their legs curled undert them to one side, boys cross legged. The ceremony was cool, plus we got more Kava lol. After the ceremony the girls got to make Fijian bracelets. That was pretty cool, I really enjoyed that! Once we were done there we headed to a big river where we had a Bili Bili rafting race! These are rafts made outta bamboo, very uncomfortable to sit on, but we did come second so that was good!! Then it was on to the school visit, where we met loadsa kids and just played around with them and talked to them! Once we finished there we made our way to our accommodation at Voli Voli beach. Stunning! Here it was class participation night and we had party games and a hell of a lotta drink! It was such a fun night!!
Thursday we got a lie in (except Jen Loren and Elaine who decided to go diving, I couldn't coz of my cold). So I faffed about then relaxed on the beach until it was time to go. It was a pretty relaxed affair today and we got to our lunch stop around 2.30. Here we learnt how to make roti bread then polished it off with a curry! Delicious! Then a short drive took us to the famous mudpools. We caked ourselves in the stuff then rinsed it all off in hot springs, it was like getting into a hot bath! Amazing!! Tho it did sting my bites a bit wot with it being pretty hot!! After the hot pools it was a 10 minute drive back to Nadi wher we checked into the Nomads Skylodge, lovely place. We got showered (should've seen the state of the shower after the 4 of us were finished!!) then headed out to Mama's Pizza for one last group meal. The pizza's were astonishingly huge!! But really really good too! Then it was back to the hostel and to bed early!!
Friday me and Elaine (a girl from Armagh) were picked up and taken to Port Denerau for our ferry to Beachcomber Island. It was a pretty decent sailing and we arrived in Beachcomber to find paradise... and a 130 bed dorm! It was like walking into a refugee tent! Bodies lying everywhere! We got settled then joined the Welshies Caitlyn and Hayley on the beach and baked and swam and swam and baked, eate lunch then I went inside and slept lol. I woke up and went to find everyone then we headed for the bar. I burnt my legs and felt a little sick after my 2 Malibu and pineapples so I went to lie down after that, but perked up again rightly for a fantastic feed at dinner, complete with dessert!! Woo!! Then we hit the bar again and spend the whole night there drinking and socialising, it was a lot of fun!!
Finally we get to today (Saturday) where we got the 9.45am sailing back to Nadi via the Mamanuca Islands. Some beautiful views of the islands, but it was a bit rainy so not the best postcard pictures lol. Once we got back to Nadi we shopped a bit then headed back to the hostel where we got checked into the same room as Jen. We then all went and soaked in the pool for a bit before I came in here to update you all! Tonight the 3 of us are heading into Port Denarau for a meal in the Hard Rock Cafe! Looking forward to that! Then I've got an early start in the morning when I'll be picked up to head off cruising around the Yasawa Islands!!
Love and miss you all xxx