Bula from Fiji
Trip Start Jul 26, 2004
23Trip End May 31, 2005
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Relax, enjoy a cold beverage and read on...
After three flights and 21 hours of travelling we arrived in Nadi, Fiji at 5:10 AM! It took us a few days to get our act together but we made it to our first real stop:
...The Yasawa Islands. We took a catamaran out to a couple of islands for some fun in the sun. First stop Naviti, a hilly island where we relaxed and melted into "Fiji time". Most of this was spent on the beach, in the sun and on various hammocks around the island. From there we jumped to one of the most northerly islands, Nanuya Lai Lai, which is best known for having the film The Blue Lagoon filmed there
As difficult as it was, we left the islands and made it back to the mainland where we had arranged to stay in a couple of villages. The time spent there was life changing...
We went into the highlands and stayed in the village of Abaca (population 83 people - 20+ mangy dogs) with a Fijian family. We lived in their home, which was 10 feet by 15 feet and made out of tin. No electricity, no flush toilets, no furniture, no fridge, no motor cars, not a single luxury. And why would we want to do this some of you are asking? To experience real Fiji.
You take your shoes off when you enter their homes (we made that mistake ONCE!) and sit on the woven mat floors, which are on the hard ground. For meals, they take out a cloth and we sit cross-legged and eat. All the food is fresh and cooked on a hotplate, and yes- it was amazing
We went on hikes to see a waterfall and enjoy the food they were growing in their plantations (citrus fruit, papayas, etc). One day we climbed to the top of the mountain that the village lay in the shadow of...our escorts were 15 Fijian kids, of all ages, racing us to the top. We wore hiking boots and struggled up the steep pitch. Them, barefoot or wearing flip flops and zipping by us.
Our next stop was another village named Navalla (population 600) on the other side of the mountain. There we stayed in a lodge on the outskirts of the village with another very warm family. We enjoyed more home cooked meals and an intimate kava ceremony that put us all to sleep. We went for a tour of the village with our host
So far these are the things we learned about travelling....
1. We have to get used to burrowing down our pants to get money (our money pouches are down there)
2. Really large cockroaches like to hang around toilets
3. Sleeping on a mat on the floor isn't as uncomfortable as you think, even with four snoring people lying next to you.
4. Everyone in Fiji seems to have roosters
5. Roosters don't only crow when the sun rises. 2 am in the dark is a perfect time for them to belt it out
6. When hungry enough dogs will eat their own feces
7. Men look good in sulus (sarongs). Really! (especially Chris)
8. Four wheel drive vehicles are not the only things used to climb steep, winding hills
9. If you go to Fiji just for the islands you are missing the real heart of the country.
10. Fiji only has two locally brewed beers and they're really not that good.
11. We're still in love with each other (not sick of each other yet...)
We will upload some pictures next time we have accessibility ( we're not sure when that will be.)
Next stop New Zealand. I hope those Kiwi bastards are ready for us...