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Published: August 20th 2008
BULA! As they say in Fiji, not only does this mean hello but seems to encompass all that Fiji stands for; joy, excitement, surprise but most of all happiness something that Fijians seem to have in abundence. Fiji is definitely the most welcoming country I have ever been too.
The flight from LA to Fiji was probably the worst I have ever been on. I later found out from an English guy that lives over here that the Air Pacific planes we traveled on were old Singapore Airline Boeing 747's that had clocked up too many miles so they decided to sell them off cheap to Air Pacific! Cant complain too much, we did make it here in one piece!
At the airport we met two girls from Birmingham (Rachel & Kerry) who had been staying in the same hostel as us in LA. Although from Birmingham neither supported Villa and I have a sneaky suspicion one if not both were Birmingham City supporters! We decided to go to the same hotel as them for the first night in Nadi then head out to the Islands the next day!
The Nadi Bay Hotel gave us our first taste
of Fiji and after a month in
living the high life in California, it was back to reality. We took a taxi into Nadi town, not much to look at there, very run down with most people justing saying the word “taxi” to us over and over again.... I stocked up on food to bring with me to the Islands and also loads of bottled water.
We headed out to the port Denarau early the next morning to catch the Yasawa Flyer to our first Island Beachcomber. Known as the party island it was the perfect way to start our Fijian adventure. Once settled in we headed to the beach, just breathtaking, don think I would ever get bored looking into that blue/green sea. There was a girl in our dorms that looked slightly familiar and after about three hours it dawned on me that she was from my Salsa class in Nass! How mad is that? On the other side of the world, on a random island in Fiji you bump into somebody you know! We had a great laugh catching up exchanging travel stories and of course strutting our stuff on the sand covered dance floor! Grace
remembered the steps from my class better than I did! We exchanged email addresses so hopefully we will meet up in New Zealand!
We moved onto our second Island early the next morning called Waya Lailai, a very different island to Beachcomber. As the boat approached the shore we were greeted with a welcome song by the staff. After the song you have to reply by shouting “BULA” as loud as you can! George and myself are now masters at this! As we were waiting to be shown to our accommodation we had our first realisation that not all aspects of Fiji are that pretty! A little soaked mouse had found its way into one of George's shopping bags to say hello! The rooms weren't much better with a host of Geckos living in our room! My solution was to have a few beers and try and not think about all the creepy crawly s that would be sharing my bed!
Although basic Waya Lailai was one of my favourite Islands, probably down to the fact that the people were so friendly! The next day I went Reef Shark snokeling which was fantastic although it did take me
a while to get used to the snorkel and I probably swallowed a good lot of salt water; it was still worth it! At one point I was swimming with about five reef sharks below me, just incredible. Cute little things altogether! In the afternoon I went on the summit hike up to see the spectacular views of the Islands and to watch the sunset. It was beautiful and also good to get some decent exercise in! The nights entertainment was a mix of traditional Fijian singing and dancing, I loved it!
The next day we moved onto Manta Ray island, hence the name we went there to snorkel with the Manta Ray's, amazing creatures! We also met up with the Brummie girls again too! In the night-time we were dared by two lads from Sligo to drink Kava the traditional drink of Fiji! I did it but it was probably one of the worst tastes ever and literally tasted and looked like muck!
Our 4th Island was Korovou, we liked this place so much that we decided to keep extending our stay here, the addition of a pool and a chef that would whip me up
special meals made it so easy to stay! I knew food was going to be a problem and until Korovou I was on a diet of Pineapple and bread! By this stage I was convinced I was going to turn into a pineapple! The “Bula Boys” were also a welcome distraction from my hungry stomach! On Sunday we went to church, a bit different from home with lots of songs and clapping along. We stayed another three nights here but eventually decided to move on. When you leave an Island you also get a goodbye song and I was genuinely really sad to be leaving Korovou.
What made leaving Korovou even more sad was that our next Island was fairly crap. Coral View had been highly recommended, but the friendly community we had built up in Korovou obviously impacted our judgment in Coral view. They did have a bonfire on the beach which was pretty cool! I also did a trip to the caves where you have to hold your breath under water for a few seconds and swim really low into another cave. What they forgot to mention is when you get inside the cave its pitch black,
I was a little scared but glad I did it! Also tried diving from a few rocks up above into the water which was good too!
We traveled back down south for our final island Bounty! This is where celebrity love island was filmed for anybody who remembers it! A really nice place although I didn't eat much surprise surprise! We chilled out here for two days before heading back to the Nadi Bay Hotel in preparation for our flight to New Zealand!
All in all I loved Fiji a beautiful place to visit, and I left here with a smile, a pretty good tan and one hell of a sand-fly bite on my leg!
Keep up the texts and emails love hearing from you sorry probably cant reply for a few days!
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