Rest, Relaxation... and Jumping out of a Plane!
Trip Start Sep 09, 2007
33Trip End Ongoing
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After living it up in the posh lounge we were finally put onto a flight to Fiji - although not before Tom had felt the need to steal some beers from the fridge to complete the lounge bounty!
Travelling has turned us both in opportunist scavengers - we pick up whatever freebies (and sometimes not so free things) whenever we can. Toilet rolls being my personal favourite (in fact as we wrote this up on the plane I was asking the woman next to me for her salt and pepper!).
The flight to Fiji was all done in style, up in the sky it was so clear we were surrounded by thousands of stars and given champagne and classic disco to listen to on the inflight radio with smash hits including 'Ring my bell', 'More more more' and to wind down the evening Boyz II Men 'End of the Road'.
We arrived in Fiji to discover our bags were still in Sydney-Great! Business class my arse! We expected them to bring us our bags on a silver platter decorated with rose petals! (2 days in the same clothes - boo!)
We joined up with our tour which turned out to be a big pile of pants - fake traditional villages, set-up ceremonies in school halls and Lino (later renamed Nemo), the most annoying camp tour leader who drove me insane everytime he spoke. We felt like we were members of the 'Groovy Gang' with Nemo getting everyone to shout 'Bula!' in a high-pitched voice and then doing rounds of 'high fives'. When he started reminding full-grown men and women to bring sunhats, glasses, sunscreen and bottles of water every time we left the bus, needless to say we were not impressed and so, after 2 days of the 8-day tour we left, taking 2 American girls from the group with us - mutiny!!
After 3 months traveling on our own: eating, sleeping and doing what we want, when we want and how we want this trip really wasn't for us - Fiji is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we weren't going to waste it with that idiot!!
Having fled like naughty schoolchildren we made the most of our freedom. Firstly we went to an amazing island called Yanuca, on the way we fished for tuna and we both caught whoppers for our dinner (well for Tom's dinner!).
Whilst sailing along all around us were flying fish, which believe it or not do actually fly about 30 metres - we thought they would just 'jump with style'. The snorkeling before we got to Yanuca Island was fantastic (rated in the top ten in the world) - the Coral Coast is teaming with large and small tropical fish, including: clown; zebra; rainbow trout; little electric blue fish; a red and blue fish named 'East Bank' (yes of course by Tom!); and reef sharks all swimming around the rainbow-coloured coral. There were also an array of other tropical fish - I don't have a clue what they are called but they were beautiful!
Rafting in Nepal had obviously plucked up tom's courage in open water, so he decided to be very brave (or stupid?!) and donned a life jacket to get in the open ocean, albeit only for 5 minutes - he got in, splashed about a bit, nearly drowned me by pulling me under, hated every minute of it and then got back onto the boat! I was so proud of him for trying but maybe next time he should take smaller steps...
The next day saw even more lunacy as we prepared to jump out of a perfectly good plane in our early Christmas presents to each other: a 10,000 feet skydive over the Fijian Islands. No words can describe the feeling as you leap out of the tiny aircraft door and drop at 210km/hour with this stunning backdrop below you - simply breathtaking. We parachuted together as well which was great to share the experience (and the fear!). I saw dolphins skimming across the ocean below, whilst Tom saw a rainbow bursting through a cloud and then to top it all off we landed directly onto a beautiful beach. I may've jumped out of the plane first but Tom landed before me - the big lump!!
The photos and DVD of the jump really don't do it justice but here's a little taster of the experience anyhow...
We thought the photo on the flyer showing the views and sheer drop over the islands was super-imposed but we soon discovered it was very real indeed!
After visiting a couple of the islands as well as a few towns and villages on the mainland, it was plain to see all the Fijian people are very friendly and always cheerful and happy (well if I lived here I'm sure I would be too!). The only thing we found a little odd was that most of the time it was difficult to tell if you were speaking to a man or a woman!! There are a lot of overly-camp, mincey men and the women are very 'big boned' with facial hair, sideburns and short afros. The children were also shockingly ugly and 'gender-less'. Oh well, I suppose you can't have it all...
The Islands are stunningly beautiful and so peaceful: most of the time only the sound of the waves lapping on the beach and the light breeze through the palm trees could be heard. The water is also crystal clear that even on a boat in the middle of the ocean you can still see the fish and corals deep below. Amongst the islands we visited was Beachcomber, the so-called 'party island' of Fiji. We did the name proud as it took me 2 full days to recover...
My birthday was spent on Bounty Island, the same island where Celebrity Love Island was filmed for any of you that care. Come on, you must remember this - it featured such famous faces as Lee Sharpe, Beppe from Eastenders and that bird who shagged David Beckham!! Bounty was heaven and so relaxing, we both loved it and spent our last few nights here - why would you move when you're this close to paradise?!
I woke up on my birthday to banners, balloons, hand-picked flowers in shells and presents which were all arranged on the top bunk bed - Tom had been a busy elf in the night!!
After a lovely relaxing day on the hammocks by the beach and a spot of fishing in the afternoon (yes, fishing - my choice... fishing and beer, Tom didn't complain once!) the night was ready to begin. On our return to the resort we were met by a surprise guest, James the 'sex pest' who we'd traveled with in India! It was really nice to see him again and to catch up on our traveling tales.
Snorkeling on Bounty was a real highlight as the reefs were so shallow and you were literally spoilt for choice with the different fish and soft and hard coral in the water. The giant blue tropical starfish (bigger than a steering wheel!) were very special and the flatfish and manta ray were a real treat. I was also told there was an octopus out there one day but we didn't get to see this - I was quite happy about that as I think it would've scared me, especially if I was scared of a tuna!!
We wrote the notes for this as we were stuck in Nadi airport in Fiji having just eaten the free meal given to us due to the flight delay. We're now waiting to board the plane for the second time - oh dear, I can see a pattern emerging...