So after our short stint in Christchurch, NZ and managing to see Dave and Sharon running their marathon we flew back to Auckland to catch our flight to Nadi, FIJI!
Fiji is something we have both been looking forward to for so long so we were both just so excited, much like little children on xmas morning, no jokes! Immediately as we got off the plane, the heat hit us, bliss! Was such a nice change from the frezingness of NZ, especially when we're waking up to -9 weather, not fun!
We booked ourselves onto a tour back in Queenstown called TROPICAL AWEGASM, this involved all our accomadation, food and transport for 6 resorts on 5 islands, let the games begin!
For those who can't read the whole blog entry, in short i had the time of my life in FIJI! loved every second, and i smile everytime i think about the time i spent their, we met amazing people, saw some amazing things and well - we were in paradise! White sand, clear water and beautiful sunsets!
Our first island was South Sea Island where we went on our first day (june 1st - yes we moved our flights forward). Being our first adventure in Fiji it was all very foreign to us. We had to get on a big boat to then be trasnfered onto little ships once we reached the island to take us to shore. Our bags were soaked when we picked them up, but we were welcomed to the island by Fijian people singing to us with a guitar! South Sea was such a tiny island...you could literally see from one side to the next, and we were just surrounded by water. Paradise. The entire 2 wks i felt i was on the show shipwrecked...and well just in general shipwrecked, was amazing.
On our third day on the island, after 2 days of sunbathing in a very windy spot we went on a day trip on a boat - the seaspray. It was a days sailing trip that took us to the island where they filmed the film 'Castaway' starring Tom Hanks, a Fijian village and had free food and drink all day woop! The island was absolutely stunning, it had nothing on it except palm trees, rocks, white sand and coconuts, i cant explain how perfect this island was. I only wish i hadn't been sea sick from the journey. Instead of waiting to get into the boat being dragged along with the sailing boat to take us to shore, i jumped off the boat and swam ashore before anyone could even ask what i was going - i had to get off that boat and not feel sick anymore. It worked, and it was a lovely swim, lots of coral to sea and i was washed ashore white soft sandy beaches with clear blue water. The boys tried for about an hr to hit down some coconuts for us to drink (we bumped into a bunch of friends from NZ on the boat - turns out they were on our tour). At the end of our tour we were left stranded on Mana island as the boat engines broke down, so in typical backpacker fashion we made the crew bring off the left over alcohol from the Seaspray boat onto the island for us to drink. When the boat finally arrived to pick us up and take us back to south sea, nearly 3 hrs late we were all merry and thought it would be a great idea to it on the top deck of the boat rather than inside. We were all sitting comfertably and having a giggle when a huge wave hit leaving us all absolutely soaking, our friend Eddy from France looked like he had been for a shower fully clothed. After the first wave hit, they kept coming, I hadn't laughed like that in a long time.
Island 2 took us to Waya Laila where we were to bring in Kate's birthday wooop. This island was bigger than south sea and our accomadation was much better than the last (i got eaten by bed bugs in south sea, great). The staff in Waya Laila were hialrious. We spent our first day sunbathing as it wasn't windy and the sun was shining :) as well as learning how to weave our own braclets. My lady Marissa was adorable, Fijian people are up there with the nicest we've encountered so far on our travels.
We also had the opportunity to go snorkelling on the outer reef of the island WITH SHARKS! We all piled into this boat and jumped out where the reef sharks come to feed everyday. As we jumped out our boat, the boat from the island opposite ours pulled up and it had more of our friends from NZ so we all got very excited. Anway, snorkelling with the sharks was awesome, Kate and our new freind from Canada, Britney stayed in the boat as they didn't like the thought of getting in the water with the sharks. I was diving down to try and touch them, they are difficult things to catch i tell you but i eventually managed it with the help of one crazy member of staff who put a dead fish in his mouth so all the other fishes would come and eat it from his mouth, was rank. Later in the day we climbed the mountain in the middle of the island, through what felt like the setting of the program LOST we walked up hill, past coconut trees, banana trees and so many other fruits growing to the most spectacular view of the island and beyond. We had to walk across this lege of death though, if we'd lost our footing, that was it, gone! Luckily we were all on top form and survived the crossing ha. All you could see was little islands in the distance, clear blue sky and clear water as far as the eye could see.
The bringing in of Kate's birthday was hectic - there was a fire dance show put on by the staff WOW is all i can say. The dancing was amazing, they were using fire sticks, throwing them about, touching it with their feet. At the end we were all invited up to learn the BULA Dance which became second nature to us by the end of our trip, we had to do it everynight. Once the show had finished me and Kate were asked to dance by two fo the performers, this was a lot of fun as they are such good dancers. After this we managed to convince the staff put on a bonfire for us all down at the beach so we were all dancing round the fire - the staff eput a branch over the fire which i was dragged up to sit on for a photo, was amazing. :) The night was full on antics, I was setting kate challenges before her birthday came in and it was just such a funny night.
Island 3 was Korovou. On the boat we were all sunbathing together, all 8 of us at this point. Korovou is a beautiful resort but the beach is too corally to sunbath and swim on so they have a pool. I actually felt like i was on holiday in Greece or somewhere, it made a nice change. We spent the day jumping into the pool and chilling out, and of course making up dance routines in the water - which are amazing!! The night however, well we obviously had more celebrating to do for Kate's 23rd birthday. We were lucky enough to get another show that night with the BULA boys teaching us yet another version of the Bula dance, and we were all doing conga lines, giggling. The night was by far one of the funniest nights travelling I have had. Without going into too much detail, we all ended up in the pool (underwear still on, don't worry) but then the French boys on our tour stole our clothes, so I had to walk across the decking to get them back. Problem being the deck was full of people and everyone saw my bum, o well. haha.
We really were so lucky with all the weather in Fiji (bar two days at the begining and one day at the end). With our time at Korovou at an end, we had to say bye to our Canadian friends Britney and Liz. It was so sad. We've decided to stop making such good friends because when you go to say bye it's heartbreaking, honestly. I know it's part of travelling but we have been so so lucky with all the amazing people we have met that it's tough leaving them.
Our tour group were amazing, we were so lucky. With me and Kate, we had Jonny and Andy (who we actually met in La Paz, Bolivia), Ben and Nicky who were the most amazing couple, soo lovely, Eddy - a lovely French man and three other Frenchman, Romain, Niko and Damien who were by far the most beautiful people i think i have ever met in my life. No jokes. They were just beyond beautiful. And as i am my mothers daughter (hehe, love you mummy) i realy did appreciate their presence, i found it hard not to stare haha. Anyway...they were also really lovely guys, very funnny. They tried their best to teach me French, I was given a French word of the day, for example Je Ve Bonzette (I am sunbathing), good ey? For those that know me, I am rubbish at French and got asked not to do it GCSE haha so everyone was very impressed with my attempts. :)
Our fourth island, Coral View is right at the top of the Yasawa's which were the set of islands we were exploring. The weather was glorious and we cheekily managed to get a small room instead of a dorm, always a plus for a good nights sleep. On our first day me and Kate took a wonder round to the other side of the island and discovered the most beautiful beach - white sand and warm clear water. After a few hectic days we were shattered and fell asleep on the beach, only to wake up when the tide had come up wetting our feet and a bunch of our stuff. We were so disorientated and got lost trying to find our way back to our resort, and as the tide had come up we didn't really recognise much as the beach was know longer there, we were walking in shallow water haha. Thank god we bumped into the beautiful Frenchies (all 4 of them) who took us back to our resort, we were so lost it was funny.
This was one of the bigger resort so at night they had a little party, with more BULA dances to learn. By this time we had become accustomed to wearing pretty flowers in our hair - brightens up our whole outfits :)
About a 40min boat ride away from the resort were some caves that Fijian people believe their god used to live in. When we got into the caves, we learnt that we had to swim 3 metres underwater into a dark enclosed cave - was sooo cool. I had to borrow someones goggles as we hadn't hired them (partly as we didn't know we were meant to but also as they were expensive and well, we're stingy travellers ha) Diving under the water and going through this tiny cave was exciting, although i was very happy that our guide was on the other side shining a torch so we knew where to go to - head toward the lighhht! When i came up into the cave, it was pitch black and we were left tredding water until everyone was through safely. Once that happened, we had to follow our guide, well his torch into another cave at the back of the one we had just swam into, where we were told the history and myth of the caves. On our way back to where we started, for some reason I was the last person left in the caves, and the guide had to leave me totally alone to go and get me a mask, so there i was left tredding water in a pitch pitch black cave, admitedly i was left for no longer than a min but it felt like so much longer and i was worrying that i might be left there (haha) but i eventually was joined by our guide. It was a really fun experience.
Our afternoons in Coral View were spent playing on the grass, and i mean playing as children. Me and Kate were doing sausage roll races, rolly polly races - we did mature slightly by doing dance lifts and lots of break dancing moves. We were all put to shame by Romain who showed off his skills, amazing. He's like a monkey i tell you. Leaving Coral View was different to the other island, all the staff lined up along the beach right up to the boat and gave us all hugs and kisses goodbye, it was so lovely.
We spent 2 nights on all the islands except the fifth island, Manta Ray where we only spent 1 night. Another small island, Manta Ray has a really good vibe to it. On our one and only afternoon their we took advantage of the free kayaks. 6 of us went out in these little kayaks and spent a few hours racing in the water. For some reason I was the only girl targetted by Andy who thought it would be funny to chase me across the sea eventually catching up with me and pushing me into the water. We were all just having such a fun time, when a genius idea was proposed, girls v boys races, but with a twist. It was like a relay race but at the end of the line another person had to get into the kayak, so eventually you would be 3 people in one kayak, needless to say the girls won as we are so fabulous. We even managed it without falling into the water, but the boys were a totally different story. It took Jonny and Ben about 20 mins to get two of them into one kayak, and even when they managed it they were sitting on it the wrong side up - they struggled to believe how rubbish they were compared to us so challeneged us to a volleyball match, again girls v boys.
It turns out that yer, i'm awful at volleyball. We had to split the teams up in the end with mixing of boys and girls, even then we were all so bad we made up our own rules, no make that our own game.
We celebrated our new game with some cocktails on the beach before going up to dinner. After dinner, there was some funny entertainment with the crushing of coconuts and the limbo (which i had a disadvantage at due to my stupid big boobs grrr - but kate did amazing).
Leaving Manta Ray was actually really sad as we all realised our time in Fiji and as a group was coming to an end, but on the plus side it was nearly mine and Andy's birthday.
With my birthday on the 13th and Andy's on the 12th we were lucky that we were ending up on Beachcomber, the party island of Fiji for them. Beachcomber was a lot smaller than i thought it would be, but it was a lot of fun. Firstly we were put in a dorm of 150 people, mental i know. You actually couldn't tell how many people were in the room until you woke up in the morning, and as i was on the top bunk all i could see was a lot of people. Was very strange first thing in the morning - and what made it worse is that you wake up very early in Fiji like 7am so i was even more disorientated that i normally would be, very early 7am!
Bringing in Andy's birthday we celebrated by having a few drinks, but Andy and some German dude took it a little too far doing Tequila Suicides (where you snort the salt, shot the tequila then squeeze the lemon in your eyes - painful to even watch) and well Andy was very drunk to say the least. On his birthday morning me and kate climbed into his bed to give him birthday cuddles, we really did become quite the little family. :) and to my delight, some friends we made in NZ, Sophia and Alice came to Beachcomber just for my birthday so i was very touched and happy with that -surrounded by friends on my birthday even though i was s far from home!! Thats an example of how many amazing people we've come across!
Andy and myself decided that we would put a theme on our birthdays - natural sources. So Kate, myself, Sophia and Alice spent the afternoon making grass skirts for everyone, and tops for the girls. The bringing in of my birthday was AMAZING! We had a table reserved for our group at dinner and everyone went all out on costumes (much to my delight) and the antics began!! As it was our last night together as a group everyone was on having such a fun night and thats exactly what happened. Us girls were called up to help teach everyone else of the island the BULA dance and well, i just had the best night ever! Lots of drink was consumed but hey, it was my birthday hehe. I have no idea what time i eventually made it to my bed but all i know is i had such a fun night, i laughed a lot and i was really touched and appreciative of everyones efforts at dressing up! Before midnight kate had me doing silly things like doing 20 rolly pollys across the dance floor (which may i add is all sand), going round the place taking every males top off and other silly things that would embarass me!
At midnight i had 4 topless french men, kate, sophia, alice dancing round me singing happy birthday in both french and english - loved it!
During the day of my birthday after opening my cards from home (thanks everyone, love you all) we had to say bye to everyone which was not fun. Infact, it was actually really sad, and worsened by the fact the sun didn't come out to shine, rather the clouds payed us a little visit - of course that would only happen on my birthday! Was still hot though and i was in paradise. We did get in trouble from the staff for having a water fight but that was funny. Me and Kate had booked to stay on Beachcomber for an extra night whilst everyone else was leaving that day. Luckily 3 out of 8 we've seen in OZ but the others are in NZ and US now, sad times.
For my bday my fabulous boyf, Kate bought me a top that says Kate likes Sian on it. Funnily enough, for her birthday i bought her a printed tshirt that says 'Kate likes cheese, Kate likes meat, Kate also likes her...FEET!' We've actually become the same person, the same presents, excpet she also got me a spife (a spoon and knife in one -genius, although a private joke also so it's not funny to you, it is to us ha) and i had a card signed by everyone. On our last night we had a few drinks but had no energy to drink, especially as we'd stepped on coral the night before (i dont remember doing this though) and neither of us could walk properly, so dancing was a bit of a problem for the first time ever.
When it came to leaving Beachcomber the next day we were gutted, we had had the best time in FIJI. We'd been so excited for it for so long that we couldn't believe it was over, and OZ was our next country, that always seemed so far into our trip.
Our boat trip back to mainland was sad, but when we got to our hostel and went for dinner we bumped into Ben and Nicky so managed to have dinner with them which was really nice.
We had to get up really early for our flight to Sydney, but we ended up having a nightmare journey, WHat should of taken us 4.5 hrs took us 9! It all went wrong when we found out our flight number was 911 - i swear that should be allowed. So we got on the plane at 9am, and were told shortly after boarding that there was a technical fault with the plane. After an hr waiting on the plane, we were asked to alll get off the plane, given food voucher (always a silver lining, free food) and left waiting clueless for 3 more hrs. When we eventually got back on the plane we were told the flight crew had run out of hrs so they had to get a new one in from the hotel, and then surprise surprise the pilots ran out of air time sooo they had to fly a new captain in from the other side of fiji! I mean have you ever, grrr! Now me and kate are bad flyers at the best of times so this really didn't bode well with us, we spent the entire flight in tears and on edge convinved we were about to plumit to our deaths. Thank god we landed safely and our now safely in Sydney. Cannot believe we in OZ!
After much discussion we have decided to hear straight up to Cairns and work for a few months to earn some money before travelling the east coast of OZ and then heading to Asia. The thought of our trip ending in 5 months is too much for me to handle so yer, we've extended it! Sorry people, but this is a once in a lifetime experience and i am having the time of my life, and want to put off reality and life for as long as possible.
SO on tues me and Kate fly to Cairns, and we've already found a place to live woooop!
Sydney has been cool, we stayed in a hostel for a few nigihts, then went to Leanne's (my family friend) who was amazing, we had a pool and gym for a few days and a TV! We got the chance to chill out which was much needed, recouperate and get some energy to hit up Sydney in the style we do. :) Sydney is rainy as ever so I'm excited to come back here when summer hits, it'll be a totally different experience but yes mother, we have seen the opera house and harbour bridge, it's very cool! Just cant believe we're in OZ and it's been 5 months -go us!
Anyway...i do have an OZ mobile now, so email me if you want the number, it's always nice to hear from home! Jason, if your reading, you win for contact so far as i said, gold member! love you!!
Love you all and missing you lots.....also HAPPY BIRTHDAY TILLY and CONGRATULATIONS TO PNINA ON HER FIRST! So proud of you p!! :)
kisses to everyone, pics from FIJI will go up soon, i promise!