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Oceania » Fiji » Mamanuca Islands » Mana Island
February 12th 2010
Published: February 12th 2010
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Right so this about the 10th time I've tried to write this god damn blog, I think it’s official that I am the world’s worst blogger ever!!! After going on about it for ages before leaving I have failed to keep you updated so I’m going to do my best to fill you in and make more effort in future! I've had to borrow a laptop off one of my new pals so I didn't have to waste valuable internet time typing coz this is gona be a long one!!! As I mentioned in my last blog there was v little internet access on the islands in Fiji, which it would appear can't spell?! (thanks Caspar/Laura!) Not sure what thats about but I looked back through my journal and realised I've been spelling in FIGI instead of FIJI the whole time?! Strange considering I've had a copy of the Lonely Planet with FIJI staring at me from the front cover for the last 3 months?!! I’m blaming it on the blonde, always a good get out I find!

Ok so I'll go back to where I left off which feels about 5 years ago..........the USA! I made it to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon fine after leaving Phoenix, I was crapping myself about driving alone
but my trusty sense of direction got me there and I managed to survive my first hostel experience in Flagstaff too! It was bloody freezing there which was a bit of a shocker, there was snow piled high at the sides of the road........I thought I’d left that back in the UK?! I got chatting to a few people at the hostel and even managed to befriend a couple of New Zealanders who ended up tagging along with me on my journey to the Grand Canyon! This was my first of the 7 natural wonders of the world ad I have to say it was a good starting point because it was absolutely spectacular! It’s too hard to describe how vast and monstrous it is, it was extremely surreal! It was so quiet, the only noise was that coming from the other visitors and the odd bird and it almost felt like I was stood looking at a picture?!

So after my second almost sleepless night in Flag, thanks to the evil mile long trains hurtling through every 20 mins, I headed back to the McReynolds in Phoenix ready to catch my flight that night to LA and onto Fiji! After Ruth so very kindly did my washing we all went out for food and they dropped me off at the airport. I felt so sad saying goodbye to them all, little John and Christina had kept me well entertained and the whole family made me feel so welcome! It was also at this point that it hit me I was on my own from now on! I could have burst into tears as I walked through the doors of Phoenix airport but on the flight I got chatting to an American guy who spotted my Fiji book and asked when I was going! He was so excited for my trip and kept saying how I was going to have such an adventure, he could obviously tell I was feeling apprehensive to say the least! We chatted about friends and family and he reminded me that even though you guys are far away right now I still have my memories and the values we share to take around the world with me........this did make me feel a little better! LA airport was madness and that bloody rucksack was giving me some right jip plus at check-in the evil lady made me put it in a giant plastic bag?? When I questioned this she just said it was ‘procedure’........what procedure? I later discovered it was because of the loose straps so why she couldn’t just say that I’ll never know but she watched me struggle to shove it in the bag and then I had to drag it across the terminal to have it specially scanned?! I was convinced that was the last I’d see of it!

I decided to sleep most of the flight to Fiji but with about 2 hours to go I woke up for breakfast and could hardly eat a thing coz I felt so sick! I really did question what the hell I was doing, here I am at the age of 29 pissing off around the world on my own, leaving behind my wonderful boyfriend, fabulous family and amazing friends not to mention my car and job (albeit a bit crap right now!) Am I mental?? Silly question perhaps! I had a good cry the remainder of the flight but as soon as we landed and I stepped off the plane the warm air of Fiji hit me and I felt a little better........paradise here I come!

As I mentioned before I befriended a girl called Mairi in the shuttle bus to the hostel from the airport and decided to spend a couple of days with her on the mainland, after all I did have 16 days to kill in Fiji!! I then made my way out onto the islands, I ended up spending 12 nights hopping between them and managed to visit 9 and stay on 7 in that time which I thought was quite impressive! When I arrived on the first island of Mana the boat pulled up and it truly did look like paradise.............or so I thought?! The accommodation was pretty poor, my bed was practically in a corridor through to the bathroom and was directly next to the bar which was no fun on the first night when a load of young Brits were playing drinking games til 4am!! Also the shower didn’t really work, it was more of a trickle and this meant I couldn’t was my hair for 4 days!  I felt like such a skank, you all know what a girly girl I am so I wasn’t best pleased plus I was stuck on there for 4 nights! Although looking back I think that was probably my fave island, I met some great people and all the staff were so friendly!

I know you all said I would meet loads of people while I’m away and its not that I didn’t believe I would I just never imagined I would meet so many and how easy it would be! I soon realised though that everyone has their own plan and route so you usually only stay with them for a few days and I’ve been getting very attached to people! I met a fab couple on Mana called Nikki and Carlus who were from Reading, I almost cried when they left...........this does not bode well for an already emotional Caz having to say bye to people all the time!! I am doing much better though now it has to be said!

After Mana I moved onto an island called Bounty which is where they filmed Celebrity Love Island and it was much nicer, there was air con in the dorm, hot showers and the internet was pretty goof too..............not too shabby for Caz!! I also visited the Island where Tom Hanks filmed Castaway, no sign of Wilson though! It was a very relaxing 2 weeks filled with reading, plenty of snorkelling and sunbathing, although no too much of that in the end! I can’t believe how strong the sun is down in the southern hemisphere, after that initial burn fiasco I was super careful and even more so when I saw this young English guy on Mana............I’ve never seen burn like it, it was almost 3rd degree and made me feel a bit sick so I was super good after that and only went in the sun before 11am and after 3pm! I’ve also seen some amazing sunsets, think I’ve taken about 100 photos just of them on the various islands (Cocky - it was reminiscent of our Ibiza sunsets!!) On Mana one of the entertainment guys took a group of us up a hill to see the sunset, it was just beautiful!

Fiji really is paradise and I had an amazing time but the problem with paradise is, it doesn’t change! I think if I’d been travelling with Mark or a friend it might have been more enjoyable because after a week of sun, sea and sand I was a bit fed up  and still had another week to go! By the time I got back to the mainland I was quite pleased to be almost on my way to New Zealand where I could have some real adventures! I’d met a couple of girls in my last week on the islands, Emma from Northern Ireland and Karen from Kent! We got on great and spent most of our time together including our last couple of nights in Nadi on the mainland but they were at the end of their travels so I had to bid them farewell, again more sadness!

So on Wednesday 3rd Feb I made my way to the airport at Nadi ready to fly to New Zealand and I was certainly feeling a hell of a lot more positive than I was the last time I flew! I won’t tell you about NZ just yet coz there’s lots to tell but so far I’m having an amazing time and again have met some great people! Please can you all email me or message me on here to let me know what you are all up to, my email address is snazzycaz1@yahoo.co.uk if you don’t already have it! As much as I love telling my travel tales it would be lovely to hear what you are all up to back home, I feel so far away and haven’t a clue what’s happening with you all! That would be fab!

Ok that’s it for now but I promise to update you all soon! So far there’s a lot to tell about New Zealand and everyday has been really busy so I’ll do my best in the next week to fill you in on everything! I’m also going to try and upload some pics onto Facebook asap but please don’t laugh at my hair, it looks hideous...........god bless ghd’s (secretly wishing I’d brought them with me now!!!)

Solo Simmons signing off xxxx

Cocky - there was a German girl I met on an island called Kuata, when she got pissed off she kept saying ‘Ah for f**ks sake!’, it made me laugh every time and I thought of you on my uni vid!! Lol!

Jen - the weirdest things happened on one of the islands, I was sitting in the sun and they were playing some music in the bar, they had your 2 wedding songs on one after the other..............spooky or what?! It freaked me out a bit!

Allie - your bumbag from Thailand has been my saviour, I use it every day and would be totally lost without it so thanks..........not sure what state it’ll be in by the time I get back though?!

Mum & Dad - you would love New Zealand, every place I go to I say to whoever I’m with ‘my folks would love it here’............get yourselves retired and get out here asap!!

Dave - you were right about Fiji, a week would have been plenty!



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Me at the Korovou resortMe at the Korovou resort
Me at the Korovou resort

Another beautiful beach


12th February 2010

Wow its sounds awesome!!!
hey sweetie, great to hear from you!!! i got your email too, ill get it sorted dont worry, works gone mental which is whay i havent had a chance to respond! sent your paycheck to mark too. love hearing everything youve been doing sounds ace!!! work is picking up so looking good for when youre back! ill drop you a proper email but love you lots!!!
12th February 2010

Great news!
Ah babe, its great to hear from you too, good news about work! Are you guys back on full time yet and whats happening with the old company change over thing?! I really hope I can come back, I'm spending far too much money on all these adventure activities...........you'll be so proud of me! Miss you, email me all your goss asap! Love you lots too xxx
13th February 2010

Sold your car!!
Your the wonderful one babe!! I'm so proud of you for sticking with your travelling plans even though you miss home so much. The memories will all be worth it in the end - so keep being the strong and determined (some would say stuborn - but not me of course) girl I know and love. Miss u more and more every day but it's lovely to hear that you're now enjoying yourself. Let the good times roll!!! Love K xxxxx Ps - you already know what I'm upto so I won't bore everyone else by typing it on here. Right must go, got to get back to my hangover from celebrating quitting work to realize my dream...
15th February 2010

You're making me jealous!!!!
Hiya Caz It's great to read your blogs we are all reading them at work, luckily we can get on at work, i know why we get on you tell every details like i do hee!!!. Your mum is fine, a little worried when she hadn't heard from you but she was keeping her cool and then when she got your text last week her face lit up!!! Can't wait to hear all about your sky dive and everything you're doing in NZ. It's still freezing here so you're not missing much believe me!!!! Keep positive and smiling, you will look back on these 4 months and realise they will be one of the best times of your life and you will be so glad you did it, i still wish i hadn't bottled it when my friends did it!!!! Take care hun Love Kath xxxxxxx

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