Fiji - the Highs and Lows!!
Trip Start Jan 15, 2008
72Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
We arrived in Nadi at around 9.30 at night and of course there was nobody there to collect us because we were supposed to arrived at 6.30pm. So after a bit of running around we eventually got some poor guy out of his bed to give us a lift to the hostel
In the morning a woman called Vera (?) from the travel agents came to the hostel and helped us book our accomodation on the islands. We managed to haggle her down to $130 per night for the both of us and we found out later that this was really lucky because everyone else seemed to be paying $150 per night. Anyway we booked Coconut Bay on Naviti Island and Sunset Resort on Waya Island. We could have travelled to more islands but we both wanted to just chill out in one place for a while. We also booked all our boat trips from the mainland to each of the islands and back again - not cheap by the way!
The next morning our alarm went off at 6am (thought this was a holiday!) for the bus to collect us at 7am to take us to the port. We had heard horror stories about this boat trip being really rough and luggage getting thrown overboard etc, but fortunately we had no problems at all apart from toward the end of the journey (3 hours for us) we were both starting to feel a bit sea sick
And so we arrived at Coconut Bay on Naviti Island. As we got out of the boat we both nearly slashed our feet to bits on the coral that was exposed in the water at low tide, but we battled to the beach and into the reception/dining room/bar/chill out area etc. I might highlight that there was no singing welcome greeting as we got off the boat that you get at some of the resorts. We checked in, got the resort rules and meal times and got shown to our 'bure'. This is what the accomodation is called and it means like a small bungalow. So the room was literally one room with a toilet and shower sectioned off within the room and a bed, no other furniture, shelves, hooks - nothing. We did a massive beastie check and then made the bed and pulled down the mozzie net over the bed, didn't want any visitors during the night thanks!
We went for lunch which was a plate of rice and a slice of watermelon. Was tasty but we didn't realise at this point that it was rice for lunch and dinner so by day 4 it wasn't tasty anymore.
So I wont bore you anymore with every detail of Coconut Bay but basically we were quite lucky with our room because we did have a shower that worked, seems not everyone's did and it definitly didn't work in the dorms
Oh I should mention at this point that there is no hot water on the island, all sinks and showers are freezing cold water. Oh and I should also mention that there is only electricity at certain times, like 6pm to midnight. And because the rooms are small they are very very dark at all times during the day!
The food was grim, really grim. Rice and potatoes were the norm, usually with a chicken leg or something like that. Certainly not the buffet style affair that I had thought and not the piles of fruit. Considering that fruit grows all over the islands you were lucky if you saw one piece of fruit per day.
My only other complaint about Coconut Bay was as I mentioned earlier the coral in the water. At low tide all this coral is exposed and it is really quite horrible looking and near impossible to walk over into the water.
Anything good you might be asking??? Well we did actually have a good time here. The people on the island were good fun and you eat with everyone else so you get to know everyone really quickly so it was very social. There was another beach, 20 minutes walk away that had a good beach and you could walk into the water no problem, it also had excellent snorkling. And of course lying around in a hammock enjoying the sun was fantastic and at the end of the day that was what we were there for. So we forgot about the room and the food and just chilled out.
After our 4 nights at Coconut Bay we were actually quite sad to leave but onwards to the next island. As the boat approach the island there were loads of people on the beach singing and dancing to welcome us. Much better that the last island and we immediately felt welcome. Same as before, checked in and shown to our bure. No hot water or electricity on this island either, but this is the norm on all the islands, unless you are paying ALOT of money.
We had a wander around the resort, had a swim and returned to our bure. Whats the first thing I see - a spider, oh and another one, and another one..... Bloody thing was infested with Spiders and incase you don't know I HATE spiders
Finally morning arrives and I ask to move rooms and the woman reluctantly moves us. There is no way Dale can make the boat to the mainland so we were stuck on the island for a couple of days anyway
Day 2 passes in a bit of a blur, Dale finally stops being sick around 12 noon but doesn't eat anything till the next day. Day 3 he gets up out of bed and goes for a walk around the resort so I check us out the resort for the next day (which is one day earlier than we had originally planned) and go back to the main land for some normal food, a hot shower and some civilisation.
And that my friends was our experience of Fiji! Maybe we were just unlucky, but having spoken with loads of other people on the islands, many of them had the same impression as me. That Fiji is not the paradise island that you think it's going to be. It's not cheap, the food is terrible and yes some of the beaches are nice - but not them all. You can't buy anything on the islands, you are at the mercy of the chefs and although many of the Fijians were lovely, they are not all happy and smiling and certainly won't miss a trick to get your money. Would I recommed Fiji to someone - probably still yes, but be prepared for what your going to, take supplies onto the islands with you if you can and be very careful about what islands you choose to visit.
Lynne Robertson are you reading this - hope I haven't shattered your illusions and dreams!
Ok off to America next and I'm quite looking forward to some civilisation