Totally tropical

Trip Start Apr 02, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Fiji  ,
Monday, October 31, 2005

Well here we are in the South Pacific, back into the tropical heat and laid back 'Fiji time' things happen here at a slower pace having invented their own time to match it. Things here are a lot more expensive than we had planned on or maybe because it's near the end of our trip that every nights accommodation bites hard into our remaining money. Generally speaking the mainland is much cheaper than the islands but the main pull to this area is to visit some of the stunning islands abundant in the crystal clear sheltered waters lapping on the white coral sand. As I said before the cheaper accommodation is located on the mainland Viti Levu, most hotels/hostels provide dormitory rooms for the single traveller so you can keep the costs down there. We are staying in Nadi near the airport, there isn't a great deal to do here but it's a great place to start island hopping which most people do pretty soon after they have arrived. Most islands primarily cater for package holidays, the 5-star holiday makers or honeymooners, blowing the prices sky high for the budget traveller but there are still cheaper options to be had if you look hard enough. Another way to cut the prices is by steering clear of travel agents and bargaining a price with the hotel itself, cut out the middle man and drop the commission. Some hotels provide three meals a day included with your room costs, although these meals can be dodgy to say the least. As we had little time and money to explore thoroughly we opted for Mana island, a nearby island in the Mamanuci island group. The island is really beautiful but is split between budget backpackers and luxury resort. The resort has taken the nicer side of the island and its beaches, it can leave you with a feeling of the 'grass is greener on the other side' You can freely walk along all the beaches but after taking a look at how the other half live you may be a bit jealous but you are paying a tenth of what they are paying. Weather here at the moment is very hit and miss, either the sun is baking you or the clouds cover the sky and the rain appears. Normally you can have a beautiful sunny morning or afternoon, only for the other half of the day to be miserable. When you are on an island with limited electricity and facilities these rainy days can be very frustrating but as soon as the sun comes out all your worries are far away.
On our return to Nadi we stayed at Nadi Bay hotel, by far the best hotel we came across. You are paying a little bit extra for the privilege but it's well worth checking out. So a few more lazy days by the pool and we will be heading off to L.A before meeting up with my brother in Seattle. It's our last stop on our trip around the world, time flies when you are having fun.
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