Fiji..........! Paradise..........

Trip Start Apr 17, 2006
Trip End Apr 16, 2007

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hi all. We are back in the world of communication!!

Fiji has been and gone, so we'll give you a late update of the 3 weeks we spent there. We have also loaded the Cook Islands pictures to view. Just to delay us even more, our laptop also has not been working (due to water spillage), up until when Lou decided to put the hair dryer to it and hey presto, it's working again!! Love it!!

We left Rarotonga on 26th May and arrived into Nadi Fiji at 4am on the 28th May, due to the fact we crossed the date line!! Anyhow the funny bit, Dan fell into a huge muddy hole getting on the airport bus and covered his body in sh*t!!! In the process of doing so, receiving a sprained ankle (How the bus load laughed, especially when the transvestite driver was trying to help him up!!! At that point, Lou cried with laughter!! Sympathy at its best....). So there was nothing for it, we had a very lazy 4 days in Nadi, by the pool of our hostel. It was tough going we can tell ya.. We planned to do the 'Feejee Experience' bus tour, but decided against it as 'hop along Harry' wasn't up for it, as even a walk to the bar was a challenge. Lou found us a deal that required little time on our feet and cheap vino!. We booked to go to Robinson Crusoe Island, for 3 nights. It's a fairly small island and was pretty lively. All meals were included, which became fun when Lou came to arranging Vegetarian food.
We lived on mostly Veggie curry. The chef couldn't quite grasp the fact that fish wasn't vegetarian though....! The staff were very entertaining and supplied lots of activities, which included dances with fire sticks and machetes! (See the video clip in our photo section of Fiji). There was free snorkeling in the day, which came to an abrupt end when Lou blew chunks (sea sickness) over the side of the boat, for the whole hour (the fish loved it!) We also participated in light hearted fun and games with the other guests, which included using parts of our bodies, cucumbers and a lime!! Lou's team won, so Lou made all the team complete a victory dance for the full Island to see! mmmmmm.......
There was a lot of Cava drinking! By the way, this isn't Champagne in Fiji. It's a powder from a root, which is drained into a bloody massive bowl..... A ceremony then takes place and the Cava is passed around (sometimes very unevenly! Dan had high tides!?) and you have no option but to drink down in one. This is not helped by the fact that this stuff is very gross. It's a taste that is difficult to describe.... The closest thing to it we imagine, would be the taste of muddy water.....mmmmm! It certainly looks like it as well. The Fijians drink it very often and in large quantities. It is a slight narcotic (legal) and numbs all your mouth and tongue. We have bought some as a souvenir, for some lucky people at home to experience! All in all, lying around in hammocks seemed the only other thing to do. The fun bit was taking a shower.... It was cold water that you fill up in a bucket and place above your head, which had little holes in it to allow the water through. Bloody lovely! This was easily forgotten with all the great things about being in the south pacific. The weather has been almost perfect and things like the stars at night, making it just amazing. We were a bit sad to leave the island, but needed some proper sleep and less partying!
The next few days were spent back in Nadi, just being lazy again. We visited the city of Loutoka, which to be honest was nothing special. The highlight was finding a private club, full of ex-pats from around the world, who seemed very keen on buying the peasant backpackers (us) a fair few drinks. After yet more Veggie curry we decided to hit another island. We took a 4 hour bus ride (always fun when they drive like demented monkeys at the wheel) and a boat to 'Nananu-i-Ra' Island. Dan had already been to the island 3 years ago and wanted to go again. Unfortunately it has gone a bit down hill since the last time. The plague of insects in the place, combined with a lot of unexpected rain, didn't make it the best of places to be! But it had a bar so no worries hey! Next stop was Volivoli. This was an amazing place; the sea was so clear, sand amazing and had another cheap bar!! So a piss up it was with lots of bit though was the amazing view of the sun setting. It was so, amazing.....anyhow we had a wild time and guess what more veggie curry!
The Fiji part of the trip was nearly at an end, up until Lou decided to add a 'special' end to the trip, which did happen to be one of the highlights so far! We were happy to be having a few leisurely drinks with our new pal Scott, when the hostel activities man came around, to get us involved in a few party games. Dan was just content to play a few easy games, but before you could say 'that's all for now...' we were also signed up (included Scott, who hadn't even said a word) by LOU, to do a scuba dive the very next day!! Well this was to cause a fairly sleepless night for Dan. The very next morning didn't do much for Dans confidence, when all the training we received before the forthcoming 11 meter plunge, turned out only to last just over a hour!!! It all turned out great though and we spent 40 minutes going to a maximum depth of nearly 11 metres!! It was not a bad place to do a first dive though, being so clear and warm. All in all, it was a great experience that we hope to repeat soon.
We had a grand finale in Fiji though. How come the drunk you get, you've got to either be up early, or have a flight to catch etc.... Well the one and only night we went to a Fijian night club in our 3 weeks there, happened to be the night before we were due to fly!! The best bit though, was the Italian Rugby (1st team) were some of our fellow drinkers. They were earlier losers against Fiji in a friendly game. Some of the pictures we have added are of some of the team members, most of which were 5 nations players!! Guess what?? It was a rough flight to Auckland the next day!!

Overall, our 3 weeks in Fiji were been brilliant. The people can be so friendly and happy (with the odd exception of course) and everybody just wants to wave and show you their hospitality. The word 'Bula' (meaning hello and life) is used nearly with every new person met. It's certainly a thing that would never occur in most parts of the UK!! The vast majority of this volcanic island is beautiful, with amazing beaches, reefs, rainforests and highlands. Also, you get the mix of native Fijian and the Indian (asian) population, which makes it quiet a diverse experience. There is certainly the poorer side to Fiji, which makes certain areas/towns not a great place to visit, especially at night. But all this doesn't take away the fact that it's a place that can grab you and make you want to re-visit. Its New Zealand next and how the cold weather will be a shock!!?? Talk soon all. Lots of love x
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