Bula from Paradise

Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
Trip End Mar 26, 2010

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Flag of Fiji  , Mamanuca Islands,
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

After a thrilling flight from Sydney to Fiji (dave couldn't stop smiling at the fact we managed to emerg exit seats with
no-one next to us and this seemed to be like christmas for him!) We also had the Fijian rugby team on the plane with us which
was awesome - although they all looked the same? weird.

We spent our first night on the mainland at a little gem of a hotel (thanks iseult!!) and were delighted to find that our
bunk bed we'd booked was actually a twin room - yay for upgrades!
Next morning we took it easy around the pool and then got on our ferry to the much awaited Beachcomber....W.O.W.
It honestly looked even better than in the pics you see of it, just this perfect little oasis in the middle of the aqua blue
pacific ocean..amazing!
Dave and I were greeted with a BULA and shown to our dbl room (breathing a sigh of relief as we passed by the 140 bed dormitory!eeek!)
As the sea was looking so perfect we went straight in for a snorkel, and i swear you could stay out there for ages, its
honestly like swimming in an aquarium with all the brightly coloured fish, i felt sorry for anyone who could hear me on the
surface squealing in delight through my snorkel at all the pretty fish, it was the same joyous feeling as when dave took me
to the wildlife place in cairns! (he's also seriously starting to wonder if he's dating a 27 year old going on 5!;)
We also put our new underwater camera to use, the poor fish didn't know what was happening with all the hysteria going on at
the surface with us two dorks!
After an afternoon snooze (as we've become accustomed to on holiday now)we went to join in on the infamous beachcomber party life....
although it seems as though we're here in the low season so there were only about 50 of us on the island instead of the usual 200 odd!
anyway, another squeal of delight as i saw frozen cocktails on the menu - brilliant. Although we didn't get away lightly,
a few cocktails and fiji gold beers in we were somehow dragged up onto the main dance floor and were taught the "bula dance",
HILARIOUS!! its kinda like doing the macarena but with a few hand rolls and jazz hands....even funnier was seeing dave do
this dance and trying to "blend in", i got all the moves wrong because i couldn't stop giggling at dave, this was even
better than his usual michael flatley impression, he had his hips bula'ing and he didnt even pull a hammy this time, impressive hey? ;)

Day 2 we woke up having to pinch ourselves to believe the paradise we were in, and what better way to start the day than with
a parasail?! awesome awesome awesome, dave and i did a tandem flight (after a thorough conversation with the man in charge whether
the sail could hold daves weight as well as mine;) we did a beach take off and landing, i had barley heard the safety talk he was
giving us when my feet lifted off the ground, so was a bit panic stricken that i'd missed some vital safety landing advice!!
Once we were in the air though it was just surreal, everything looked picture perfect! im seriously running out of adjectives to
describe what it looked like, not even the photos do it justice! we were taken over treasure island and half way round beachcomber
he then thought it would be hilarious to dunk us into the sea!! well i nearly had a heart attack....because the water is so so
clear you can see straight through into the reef so it doesn't look as deep as it actually is, so all i could see was oncoming reef!!
The bar lady back on the beach probably heard me yelping as we got dunked!

Rest of the afternoon was spent lazing in the sea etc, we then thought it would be fun to play a round of 9 hole mini golf that was on the
island, but of course before i'd even finished saying yes dave was already establishing whether we were playing match play or
stroke play??!!wtf? bloody typical! i knew this was going to be one of those games. anyway apparently i lost and the score was 3 and 2
to dave? although i'd kinda figured i'd lost when i launched my ball off the tee on the 9th right onto the beach into some
innocent bystander, oopsy!! we didnt play again after that.

That night feeling a bit wiser we managed to avoid the dance floor for the bula dance and hide upstairs where we spent the rest of the
the evening playing pool against the local staff, new friends Dan the DM and Sam the porter:) oh and when i say "we" i mean
dave played pool while i watched and sipped my frozen cocktails, cheering at the appropriate moment...i could so be a footballers

Anyway, day 3 we caught our ferry to our second island, Manta Ray Island, which would be our home for the next 4 days.
We were greeted once again with a big BULA and dancing (they do enthusiasm really well here!) we booked into our little
jungle "bure" (cottage / hut) which was directly on the beach with the waves crashing on our doorstep!
We then decided to go on a fishing trip that afternoon (yes, i broke my vow about never getting on a boat again!) but i managed
to pop my magic pills and survived the occasion, and actually really enjoyed it! Dave caught 3 snappers and i managed 1 x Coral
Trout! Very cool! even though we were fishing with a piece of string on a wheel while our captain fished with his flashy rod,
That evening i managed to meet a lovely South african girl at long last (i havent bumped into any so far on my travels and was
feeling very disappointed!) anyway, typically south african she lives next door to my cousins!! how crazy? only in SA!
Mum and fam - her name is ninette du preez and they lived on the neighbouring farm to rockhurst and have also sold it to the same
american dude! small world hey?! anyway, now that i had my new friend i was a very happy chappy indeed. That evenings entertainment
consisted of dave teaching the entire island drinking games which as im sure you know he was lapping up every rule, and
pointing with his elbow to everyone telling them to "imbibe" or "consume". poor little teenagers didnt know what had
happened to them! Needless to say i didnt get much sleep that night with the fumes of tequila radiating from his skin and the endless
wee's off our lovely balcony throughout the night. lovely, just what i expected of my beach holiday.

Anyway, turns out that my new saffa friend was staying in one of the upgraded "bure's" which had ensuite...well that was motivation
enough for me (if only to stop dave pee'ing off our balcony!) so we upgraded to a stunning beach front bure, even closer to the shore than our previous one! YAY YAY YAY!

That day we decided to go for a scuba dive (yes, i was actually compliant in going as well!) we dived on a reef called "coral
awegasm" so that about explains it, i also managed to do my first "swim through" (although dave says my face was the picture of
terror, i say i was fine, but anyway.) i had a minor freakout when i looked at my gauge and realised i was at 20m when im
only allowed to go to 18m! Was i going to die now that i'd broken the rules?!! eeekkk! turns out its not such a big deal
though, whew!

In the afternoon we attended a "kava ceremony", kava being their traditional hallucinogenic drink! As im sure you can
imagine dave was well up for this! Basically its a plant root that they grind into a powder and then mix with water and then
drink from a coconut cup (the coconut cup may just be a prop for effect though, not sure) anyway, so dave was MC and had to
say "taka" when another round was required, so yes, we were buggered. And now to explain the taste of this kava, hmmmm...
ok well imagine you've had a dinner party and you dont have a dish washer so you clean all your plates in the sink, and then
you take a coconut cup and fill it with that water and drink it, yes, thats about what it tasted like, GROSS GROSS GROSS!!!
I managed to take about 4 small cups without getting sick, dave however took in about 15 full cups!!! and he wonders why he
wasnt feeling all that great later that day? stupid dork.

Entertainment for the evening was a show by the local village where they did some warrior dances and fan dances etc, even
better though is that they managed to drag us all up on the floor for a locomotion type dance...and dave trying to be sneaky
and hide himself at the back of the snake ended up having to lead us all, hilarious!! After that dave was just about to pass
out from all the kava he had drunk so we called it a night.

Penultimate day on the islands the weather seemed to have turned somewhat so we just lazed in our bure and finished our books,
can you believe dave finished a book? And i finally got to my happily ever after ending in the twilight saga, yay! (and thank
you los!!) We went snorkeling just off the beach in front of us and were amazed how abundant the fish life was! We weren't even 10m
from the shore when we were on the coral with parrot fish, moorish idols, nemos, and i got to see my very first yellow box fish, too cute!!

That evening our new friends ninette and jason invited us to their bure for wine and card games! how funny? we felt very civilised
and mature and not being sure of the etiquette in these situations we were wondered if we should maybe take something over to their bure?
anyway it was a great night of mature games called presidents and assholes and shithead, fab.

So here we are today on our last day in Fiji:( We had to check out and say bye to our new friends as they carried on island hopping
for the next 2 weeks, lucky fish! Had a 3 hour ferry ride back to mainland which i was very happy to survive! We have tonight
back in our same hotel and then we fly out to Auckland tomorrow to carry on with our little adventure.

All in all, Fiji has def been my highlight, such a beautiful, friendly, amazing place!
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Sweat on

I'm not jealous at all about any of your trip; just glad to be at home watching Scotland lose in the 6 nations...

Emma Wright on

I so want to go there! Lots of love to you both. Love em

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