Trip Start Nov 16, 2008
Trip End Dec 31, 2008

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Flag of Fiji  , Viti Levu,
Monday, May 11, 2009

today i arrived in Nadi, the tourist capital of Fiji.

i am sad to say goodbye to Australia as i feel i left a bit prematurely, though i'm confident i will be back. the last 6 weeks i've been travelling around Queensland and the Northern Territory Outback have been some of the most memorable and awe-inspiring in my life. i feel so lucky and so blessed have been given the opportunity to experience such a magical place. i sincerely hope i get to visit this gloriously sunburt land once again.

i had to come to Fiji anyways in order to switch planes for my flight to LA, so why not make a small mini-vacation out of it while i'm there? why not!
i'm actually really excited for my 5 day stay here. i've booked a 4 day stay at a small eco-resort on a teeny island in the Yasawa Island chain which is northwest of Viti Levu, the biggest island in Fiji (which is where Nadi and the captial Suva are located). the airport of Nadi--which is the largest in the country by the way--is very small and simple. after stopping by the travel desk and sorting out my transport, i waited with about 100 other people for our so-called "rides" to come. most of them consisting of beat-up vans with some sort of faded decal of the hostel's logo stuck on the side of the driver's side door. i have to admit i was a bit nervous that i had just signed up for something less than i was expecting... but my ride came and myself and about 6 others crammed into the little van and off we went.

the parts of Nadi that we drove through reminded me of some of the poorer parts of Puerto Rico, run down and dirty. in all fairness i didn't see much of Nadi, only the parts we drove through to get to the hostel. the hostel, as it turned out, was quite a ways off the main street and i wasn't sure if our driver knew where he was going! but lo and behold we turned a corner and there before us was a cluster of really nice (some really big!) hostels! yes! i checked into my 14 bed dorm--the largest dorm i've stayed in throughout my travels--and ended up chatting it up with some of the girls staying in the room with me. they were heading to dinner at one of the bigger hostels next door that had a good (and cheap!) restaraunt and invited me to join them. i was stoked 'cause i was tired of eating by myself and it sounded like fun. i ended up ordering a pina colada and my god, it was one of the best tasting coladas i've had in my life!!! i decided to try the reef fish selection since i was eager to try some of the local seafood and when the lady said that it was mahi mahi i was sold. with my first bite i was in heaven! like the colada, the mahi was some of the best i've tasted anywhere.

satisfied with a great meal and a some fun conversation i headed off to bed as i had an early start the next morning. i was catching the ferry to the Yasawa Islands!

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