4 Days in Fiji Paradise

Trip Start Mar 23, 2008
Trip End Sep 23, 2008

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Where I stayed
Octapus Resort

Flag of Fiji  ,
Saturday, March 29, 2008

After the easiest 10 hour flight we've ever taken, our plane landed in Nadi, Fiji (direct from LAX).  We took a bus to the Marina and boarded a catamaran filled with other backpackers and tourists.  The sun was shining and we spent time on the boat's top deck soaking it up while enjoying the views and salty sea breeze.  The catamaran would make frequent stops to drop off/pick up travelers who were "island-hopping," a popular method of holiday travel in Fiji.  The boat ride for us was 2.5 hours.  We reached Waya Island and boarded a small boat 300 meters off shore for transfer to the beach where we were greated by songs sung by smiling Fijians.

Octopus Resort would be our home for the next four days.

We immediately got into our swimmers and dove into the ocean.  We would learn later that paying attention to the tide schedule was to our advantage as the coral reef was just feet from shore, and, at low tide quite close to the surface of the water.  Our feet were both cut up after the swim.  We spent the afternoon working hard:   lounging, swimming, reading and getting sunburned.  I'm pretty sure that we'll never learn that applying sunscreen on the first day of holiday is actually a good idea. 

That night we participated in the Kava drinking ceremony hosted by the enders from a nearby village.  The root from the Kava plant is encased in a cloth and soaked in water.  The Kava is held in a large bowl which sits on the floor.  We all took turns drinking the Kava from a smaller bowl that was passed around the circle by one of the elders.  Without hesitation, Max and I volunteered for a third (final) round of Kava drinking.  The liquid tasted like dirty water-earthy, gritty and grassy.  Ten minutes later, this stuff was making our heads spin.  The Kava did not fare well with the inner workings of Max's body, so he returned it to the earth from which it came - twice!  This was to be the last time we would drink Kava.

The next day Benny took a hike to one of the tallest mountains on the island.  The dirt trail was only 12" wide, studded with rocks and lined by thick jungle on all sides.  Straight up to the top the trail went - very steep with no breaks of flat spots to catch your breath.  The heat was sweltering and you could grab the humidity right out of the air.  The view from the top was worth all of the sweat and fatigue.  The Yasawa Island chain could be seen to the North as well as the small village where the hike begun.  We ate fruit, took photos and watched a storm roll in from the Northeast.  Ten minutes later, we were in the middle of a down pour.  Our steep dirt trail quickly turned into a flowing river of mud and leaves.  Everyone in the group was slipping, falling, twisting and turning, which provided much entertainment.  Down at the beach, everyone was soaked, but the rain stopped as we made our way back to the Resort.

That night we had an amazing curry dinner, which may have been the culprit that made Benny sick for the next day.

Max took a snorkeling trip the next morning followed by more sunbathing, reading and lounging by the pool.  Benny slept all day.

The following evening we participated in Trivia Night.  Our team of eight consisted of new friends we made from Ireland, Australia and The States.  We never thought we would win, but as it turns out we knew a lot about random facts, 80's rock songs and the Fijian Island Chain.  Our rendition of The Cranberries song "Linger" and Max's high-octane, shirtless table-top dance sent the crowd (and judges) through the roof!  ...And may the most obnoxious team win!  We all celebrated by jumping into the pool.  The celebration would continue at the bar.

Our Trivia Night reward was an amazing champagne breakfast served on the beach the following morning.  Here we picked up right where we had left ourselves the night before.  What a great prize! 

We spent the remainder of the day being lazy and socializing with new friends.

That night we were treated to song and dance by the Fijians from the nearby village.  Dressed in traditional clothing and armed with guitars and a wood block, their harmonies moved us all.  The men and women took turns singing songs and ended with a magnificent a capella song like none we've ever heard.  So passionate are these people about their traditions and culture.  We felt honored to be members of the crowd that night.

The following morning we had an early snorkel and said our goodbyes.  A rain storm caused us to walk to the opposite side of the island to catch the small boat to the catamaran.  The group of us ended up huddled together under a tree in the pouring rain for 30 minutes waiting for the storm to pass.  Finally, the clouds broke and we were able to get to the catamaran where we endured a long, bumpy ride back to the mainland.

We spend the night in Nadi and would arise before dawn the next morning.  Destination:  Christchurch, New Zealand.
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jklangmann on

Still can't believe it!!
Hi boys! I see the pictures of you there and I still can't believe you are half way around the world! Fiji looks amazing and I'm sure it was... next up? Find me a really, really big beetle in the jungle! Can't wait to see your new ride...ta ta for now

lindiquilts on

Happy trails to you!
We excited for you for you both! Pix are terrific and commentary interesting and entertaining! I still don't know how the dark chocolate rates!!!!! We are having vicarious fun 'traveling' with you! Loads of love from us both! Green Bay Mom and Dad

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