Fiji Time - Nadi and The Octopus

Trip Start Nov 01, 2010
Trip End Nov 01, 2011

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Flag of Fiji  , Yasawa Islands,
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

After a 3 hour delay, our flight finally took off from Auckland airport. It's okay it was only an engine related problem :S.

We arrived about 730pm in Nadi, Fiji. After getting off the plane, I immediately regretting the fact I’d wore jeans and a sweater, it was proper toasting. A big difference from chilly NZ. The flight was pretty good with Air Pacific, but movie was useless on the 1980’s single TV.

In the airport we headed for Awesome Adventures office. It was here we booked our various boat trips throughout the Yasawa Islands:
1. Port Denaura, Nadi -> Octopus Resort, Waya island.

2. Octopus Resort, Waya -> Blue Lagoon Resort, Nacula island.

3. Blue Lagoon Resort, Nacula -> Port Denarau, Nadi. 


First of all, we had booked 2 nights in the Nadi Bay Resort, and a courtesy taxi took us there. When I say courtesy, the driver was Indian and informed us that he’d been held at knife point a few times and robbed regularly, but then he went on to say that we would be fine though, excellent. It was  a hostel we’d booked with a double room and shared bathroom facilities. Place was basic but dead on, it done what it said on the tin. Most people simply use Nadi as a transit base, to hop on and off the chains of islands. We’d 2 nights to chill and do a bit of lying out by the pool. As much as we loved NZ camper vanning, feck it was an effort and a half. Some major chill time was about to take place over the next 2 weeks.

There really weren’t many around Nadi Bay Resort. We’d the air-conditioning turned up full dig as it was so hot. Had a nice fish of the day dinner down by the bar/restaurant and were delighted to see some nice cheap prices for a change. Australia and New Zealand wouldn’t half burn a hole in your wallet. 

Had breakfast which was included and then I darted for the local supermarket & pharmacy. Needed to stock up on toiletries and more importantly insect repellent, as we had heard Fiji has rakes of Mosquitos. Mosquitos like me very much, they see me and tell their mates in Buffet time, all you can eat. They like Donaghy blood. (bit feckin twice already)

We went sunbathing (a welcomed change) by the nice pool at the resort. There were about 5 of us. A couple of hours was plenty then it was siesta time. Played a few games of pool with the local Indian Painter.

Had a few beers by the bar and went for a feed. There was a mini-theatre in the place also, and the movie, 'oranges and sunshine’ was playing, good show.

Afterwards we popped into the bar. 2 Irish men were there, in fact they hadn’t really left the bar lol. They were in their late 40’s, 1 was from Cork, James and the other was from Kerry, Morris. Both of which had been living in San Francisco for over 25 years. Both were sound and bought us a few rounds of drinks. They’d been at the Ireland game also, so that was all the chat. Later, Morris, a real character gave us his phone number to give him a shout whilst we were in San Fran, definitely will. We just booked our hostel for San Fran actually J Maybe we shouldn’t have bothered and stayed and Morris’ 7000 sq. feet home lol He told us he was at 1 of his daughter’s friends parties 1 time and they dared him to eat a goldfish, and he swallowed it alive no problem haha Him and his mate were on holidays together, and he said they always were presumed to be a gay couple, especially when they said were they lived.

We said our goodbyes and it was good night, we had to get up at 630.

The Octopus

For the next week we’d booked to stay in Octopus Resort on Waya island for 3 nights, followed by Blue Lagoon Resort for 3 night. All was paid for, which included your food also, which was sweet. Before leaving Nadi Bay resort there was a bit of a ‘stolen’ passport scare however it was a false alarm (it was in my suitcase), however we’d now missed our shuttle bus to Port Denarau and ended up in a Joe Max with a couple from the Cheq Republic.

We made it there with plenty of time and boarded the Yasawa Flyer no problem. Boat was quite nice and well air-conditioned. Basically it done 1 full lap per day up around the Yasawas. Our island was about half way up and took us 2.5 hours to get there. We’d done our homework on both resorts, and the trip advisor reviews were unreal, as was Craig and Laura’s feedback after they’d just finished visiting them.

We passed the islands 1 by 1, they all looked like paradise, and so small you could walk around some of them in 20 minutes. Water looked crystal clear and we couldn’t wait to go snorkeling. Arrived about lunch time, greeted by music and guitars by the locals and resort staff as we got off the small shuttle bus which came out to collect us. They were very welcoming and handed us a refreshing cocktail. The sand was white and the water looked class, we had actually landed in paradise, there was no doubt about it. The lady guided us to our thatched ‘Bure’ / room, which was amazing, we had seen photos on their website but it really didn’t do it justice. There was a giant fan, great bathroom and shower which was practically outdoor 

Breakfast, Lunch and dinner were served at set times and there was an activity agenda on the giant blackboard if it interested anyone. Lunch tasted great and then we were off back into the ocean again for some snorkeling. There were fish everywhere and the water was so clear and it had a great coral reef. I decided to then go for a dander along the beach and down the island. It really was so remote and not a person in sight, just great blue waves and coconut trees haha. As much as we loved Koh Samui, this placed actually was proper paradise, felt like we were on our honeymoon already haha

The meal times were set times, 7pm for adults, we congregated at the bar for a couple of drinks. Drinks has been quite a big factor of our year away but NZ for 3 weeks was generally just a couple as we were driving and had an early morning, every morning. Apart from Auckland I suppose in and around the Ireland game, all routine went out the campervan window. We all sat down to our 8 seater tables which then made you mingle around other hotel guests. This was  anew experience to us and quite odd. Obviously you can end meeting really nice people but on the other hand there are a few screwballs about. This kiwi girl at lunch grilled us on our religion and the state of the Irish recession, it was 99 questions, we hadn’t finished answering by the time her next 1 came at us, meantime her wee boy is screaming the place down. Next time we seen her at a table our code red flags went up, get out, run, hide.

This time we were seated at the end of the table, whilst a nice American couple sat at the other end, who were on their honeymoon (definite honeymoon resort), conversation was good and then 4 German girls sat in between us all and started yelling at ach other in German, drowning out all contact with us and the yanks. We just wanted a mute button.

After dinner, we’d a couple of drinks then bed, alarm was set up for 6.45, I signed up for a 4 hour hike to the peak of the island.

Caoimhe decided she wasn’t in hiking mood, and stayed in the cot. Myself and 12 others had signed up for the hike over breakfast, flip-flops got replaced with trainers, 2 tins of insect repellent on, and we were off. Our guide, Amelio, was a good spud and this was his 400th trek up to the peak, bare-footed, he’d lived on the island all his life and his feet were like a set of Pirelli’s. It was roasting hot and humid and slippery enough, no machete was needed like as the path was well cleared in most areas. At some points were climbing the face of rocks, craic! The 4 German girls came too, excellent! The Japanese girl spoke no English, I knew immediately this was going to be a very social hike. In fairness the guide was funny and liked talking rugby and Ireland’s beating of OZ, much to the dismay of the lone Australian lad who was a dead on actually. I have to admit it was tough going, sweat lashed off me, but we eventually got there, and the views from the top were stunning.

Slid 50% of the way back down on my arse.

I arrived back at our Bure, knocked on the door, no answer from Caoimhe. Peered in through the window of no.19, no sign of anyone or our things, ? Has Caoimhe ditched me ? lol One of the cleaners informed me Caoimhe had moved us and all our stuff to no.4!? Ok that explains the surf board outside our house then….Basically we’d noticed serious funky pi$$ smells from back of bed and wondered had we been ‘sleep-pissing’ in the corner haha. By the time I’d left for the hike poor Caoimhe was near boking with smells, especially the new smell of shite. Caoimhe being Columbo, went for a nosy, and noticed the septic tanks were located right behind our joint and 1 had over-flowed. Lovely! Staff moved us and gave us a complimentary 1 hour massage voucher each, after we told them that the deluxe upgrade of dinner wouldn’t float(excuse the pun) our boat as we don’t like Lobster, were not posh. 

Had lunch at same table as my new Japanese silent hiker, it would have been like hearing pin drop had it not been to our 2 new friends, 2 vet graduates from England, could talk ye to death, but very pleasant all the same.

We were really enjoying the chilled out time here on the islands, so remote and relaxed. There was no mobile phone coverage and internet was only accessible via 1 satellite linked laptop. Everyone from Fiji always uses the phrase ‘Fiji time’ i.e. no rush, whenever it happens, it happens. That’s fair enough and I understand the logic of the stress free meaning behind it, but for Christ sake, a 1 hour wait for my lunch, listen everything else can be Fiji time, eating time should be an exception you think I carry a knife, fork & spoon with me everywhere in my pocket for the craic in case someone pulls out cake or something?

Our final evening was spent over a BBQ, Beach bonfire  (free shots as a local lady poured it down the hatch) and watching the NZ v France game on the only TV on the island. Some fire throwing was going on also.That day we walked to the end of the island so I could get phone reception, to keep our ones posted that I won’t be in touch for a week or 2, whilst in Fiji you really are disconnected from the world. In the afternoon we went for our 1 hour massage. The pre-massage instructions were interesting, ‘you should be fully naked’ – here, my superman boxers will suffice. Was very relaxing right by the shore watching the waves come in. It was a very different experience to that of a Thai massage were you pretty much get beaten up.

Sunday morning, check out, Yasawa flyer passing by 11am, on route to our next resort, a sister resort in fact to Octopus, Blue Lagoon, the very northern island, Nacula.
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