2 weeks on 'Fiji time'

Trip Start Feb 14, 2010
Trip End Jun 20, 2010

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Flag of Fiji  , Viti Levu,
Saturday, April 24, 2010

BULA! from Fiji :)

Our flight from Hawaii to Fiji across the international time line was 8 hours long with a fuel stop in Samoa. When we arrived at Nadi (pronounced Nandi) airport it was very warm but overcast, we caught the free shuttle to 'Smugglers Cove' hotel. Although the weather in Nadi for the first two days was miserable - we were really lucky with the weather for the rest of two weeks as it was just coming out of the rainy season!

We spent our first 2 days in Fiji in Nadi - our hotel was fine and right on Nadi bay - right on the beach with a nice pool. We also went into Nadi town one day to have a look at the market and the shops - did some souvenir shopping sure. We were definately ready for our stay at Octopus resort!

Octopus resort is on Waya Island (one of the Yasawa islands) north west of mainland Fiji. To get there we had to get a shuttle bus from the hotel to Vuda Marina and then a 1 hour speed boat journey to the island. Thankfully neither Sally or I get sea sick because it was a bumpy ride! The view from the boat was great and we saw a group of islands called the 'Mamanuca islands' where the film 'Castaway' was filmed. When we arrived the staff at Octopus Resort were on the beach singing us in! We had to shout "Bula!!" when they finished. We were given welcome drinks and taken to our private bungalow by the beach. We also experienced a traditional 'Kava' ceremony in the evening, where I (Sach) was the Chief's spokesperson and ended up having a couple of bowls of kava each. How it works: Clap, Drink the Kava in one, Clap three times. Kava is a natural anaesthetic made from pulverized pepper roots (makes your lips numb!) - our verdict: it tasted and looked like muddy water but we enjoyed experiencing some fijian culture!
We absolutely loved Octopus resort - we had booked in advance and we weren't dissapointed. All meals were included for our 7 night stay. The food was amazing with buffet breakfasts, huge plates of food for lunch and three course meals for dinner :D so mums there is no need to worry we have been eating like kings! Definately the best we've eaten since we have been away. The resort was right on 'Likuliku beach' and had a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. They also arranged loads of activities - including village trips, snorkle trips and hikes. Sally got involved with the jewlery making one day - I (sach) decided not to take part in this one!
Over the week we chilled on the beach, saw the sunsets from the hammocks, swam a lot, ate a lot, swam a bit more, ate a bit more. We actually moved from the beach one day and went on the village trip - a small hike over the hill to Nalawauki village - the village supported by the resort. We were greeted at the kindergarten by the kids singing nursery rhymes - they were very excited and there were a lot of high-fives! Afterwards the village ladies put on a craft market where we had the chance to buy fijian tapa cloth, jewelery and masks etc. Was nice to see the village and the people there - Sally was snap happy!
As the evening meals were communal seating we met lots of really nice people - lots of whom were traveling round the world too. Got loads of tips for our onward journey and an invite to melbourne! On the Saturday we were all entertained by the staff and people from the village in a traditional island meke (song and dance) and we were all up dancing round the swimming pool! Good times.
We spent our last couple of nights on Denarau Isand at the Radisson resort - which was great! Lovely swimming pools, restaurants and a nice end to our time in Fiji. Next time we come to Fiji we will definitely be visiting a few more Islands! :D The Fijians are the friendliest people we've met and it really is paradise with the white sandy beaches, palm trees and cocktails - definitely easy to slip into 'fiji time'!
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Grandparents on

Glad to know you are having a wonderful time. Grandad is delighted you are not going to Thailand, he was hyperventilating every time he read the newspapers. I told him that you both are sensible and that you read the papers too! Enjoy the rest of your journey, you will have a lot to show and tell us when we see you. Lots of love, Grandad and Grandma Heath.

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