Rotarua, Auckland and Fiji

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Oceania » Fiji » Mamanuca Islands » Mana Island
September 18th 2011
Published: September 18th 2011
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Hello Everybody,

I’m going to start this blog with a few shout outs to various people who I know have been reading. So Hi Dad, Mum and Nan, looking forward to seeing you all. Nan I saw a boat the other day called ‘Frisky Freda’ in Fiji, haha made me laugh. Uncle Clive and Keith, not sure if you are still reading but if you are a big hello. Warnay, hope your good, not heard much from you but trust all is well. Get in touch! Last but by no means least, hello Sanchez, Megan and Sanchez are getting married in 3 weeks, going to be the best day ever and the highlight of 2011. Hope all is well my son, I’ve just woke up to find out Arsenal got beat 4-3 by Blackburn, so you can imagine my mood!

Right, so on with the blog. I left Lake Taupo and headed to a town called Rotarua. There is loads of geothermal activity, as there are lots of volcanos in the area, so there are lots of areas where steam rises in the air, mud bubbles, which makes the whole place stink of egg! Haha, not good. I arrived and checked into Base hostel. I had had a few quiet days and was not having an amazing time like on the south Island! When I got to Rotarua I met loads of people in Base which was cool, we all sat in the swimming pool, which was hot like a bath, geothermal activity good for something! We watched the opening ceremony and the opening game of the rugby world cup, the whole of New Zealand was buzzing because of the rugby. On the Saturday a load of us from the hostel went to watch the Fiji V Namibia game, it was really cool. The game was really good and was easily the best game of the tournament in the first round of games. It was a lovely sunny day and the atmosphere was good. Namibia were actually not too bad at rugby, so the game was quite interesting. Not very good defence, but lots of tries, drop goals and penalties. In the evening it was the England game, not so good, England did not play very well at all and were lucky to win.

On Sunday I decided to stay in Rotarua for an extra night and travel to Auckland on the Monday because accommodation there was really expensive at the weekend and I had met a cool group of people in the hostel. Spent the day in the pool, it was raining but the pool was still boiling, so we didn’t do much apart from that. Oh yeah, went for a run as I have started that up again. In the evening Wales played South Africa and got beat. They totally deserved to win, but even though the Welsh spanked them I always knew South Africa would win. I guess some teams know how to win; hopefully the same applies to England.

Monday, I travelled up to Auckland and met some sound girls on the bus. Also met a load of people in the Nomads hostel where I was staying. A sound American guy called Nick, Irish guy called Chris and a few others. There was a Jacuzzi on the rooftop of the hostel, sat in there chatting for a couple of hours, quite surreal to be sat looking at sky scrapers in the bath! Before that I had wandered around Auckland looking in some of the 2nd hand bookshops, not much in Auckland, it’s a concrete jungle, but ok for a couple of nights! Not much really to say about the place, I guess Auckland compared to all of the beautiful places in New Zealand hasn’t really got much of a chance! Got an early night that night as was knackered, but moved rooms in the night as some knob head Aussie kept everybody up all night in our dorm!

Tuesday went for a big long run in the pouring down rain, not so good! Spent a few hours in the library using the free internet to apply for some jobs and sort stuff out for Fiji. I also read some books on Fiji and got an idea of where and what I wanted to do. In the evening a group of us in the hostel went for a couple of drinks, was ok, nothing special. Got a good nights sleep and then caught the bus to the airport for my flight on Wednesday morning. One of the girls Kerry off of the bus on the way to Auckland was on the same flight as me, so that was cool. Auckland airport was well nice, went on the internet and treated myself to some burger king fries. I also invested in a bottle of rum to take to the Islands, as they are expensive. Some Fiji guy in the duty free convinced me to buy the strong Captain Morgan, red label. Its 55% so you obviously don’t drink very much of it! I got a litre bottle, so think I will be bringing some back to England!!! Had a meal on the plane and a power nap and then we got to our hostel Smugglers Cove in Fiji. The hostel was totally amazing. Had a pool, right on the beach and was sooooo cool. Really nice and only a fiver a night! I checked in and headed straight for the laundry, as had pretty much ran out of clean clothes and underwear, haha! Spent the evening chilling and had a couple of rums and watched some rugby as the 2 day break of games was over. All the staff in the hostel knew me and called me Lukey. Was quite funny, Fijian people are so nice and very friendly. I have noticed that after a few days in Fiji, all the staff in the places you stay make an effort to remember your name, it’s a very good idea and gives off a good vibe.

Decided to stay an extra night in the hostel and spent the day sitting on the beach reading! I started another Jack Reacher (Lee Child) book; I now have read pretty much every book in the series and only have 1 to go, not good! At about 3pm me, Kerry and a German girls got the bus into Nadi, which is the town centre. The buses are so cool, they have no windows and there are no bus stops, you just stand on the side of the road and it stops, funny. Fiji is such a cool place, exactly like the Caribbean is, hot and very chilled out. We bought some supplier in the town, water and coke to take to the Island that we had booked to go to. I worked out that I could afford to do 1 island, but no more than that because I have spent a fortune. I decided to go to the Island of ‘Mana’ and booked the boat and the resort in Smugglers. The boat is 20 quid one way and the accom is the same price, but includes all of your food. In the evening, we sat outside on the veranda at the hostel and listened to a live band called the Carvaholics. Carva is a local drink, non alcoholic, made from Peppermint leaves and mixed into water. They all drink it; it is supposed to relax you. The band played music all night, everybody sat round in a circle with them and drank Carva with them aswell, was a fun evening. I tried the Carva, was quite nice, but stuck to the rum! Haha…Got an early night as was very hot in the dorm the night before and slept very well…

On Friday morning, we left on the boat at about 10am. Kerry was also going to the same Island, which was cool. She is an Arsenal fan aswell and lives in Islington, so we have lots to talk about. (Or not at the moment!) The boat took just over an hour, was a fast speedboat, the captain let me sit on the front for a bit which was cool. We went past the Island where the filmed Casterway and Robinson Crusoe Island aswell. The crew on the boat called me Tala Tala (means Priest), as I told them I didn’t drink and was a virgin, had them going for a while before I showed them my rum, so they gave me the nickname. Was quite funny as they come to the Island everyday and saw them yesterday and they were all shouting Tala Tala to me as I was chilling with my book, haha…The Island is so lovely, such a beautiful place. The hostel is right on the beach, proper cool. There are 3 hostels next to each other and 1 posh massive resort that you are not supposed to walk through. I have walked around and explored most of the Island so far, I spent the afternoon on Sunset Beach at the west of the island. Total paradise and I had the whole beach to myself aswell, just me and Reacher, all good. The sand is white and golden and the sea is blue and clear as anything, you can see right to the bottom, no trouble at all. Had beef stew for dinner, which was gorgeous and chilled on the veranda in the evening….

Yesterday, had brekkie and spent the morning on the beach by the hostel reading again. I have turned into a reader again on this trip, which I am very pleased about, it can be my new hobby. I walked round to Sunset beach again though in the afternoon, after lunch as it is much nicer. There is an airstrip on the Island, which is pretty cool, proper cut out of the trees and like you would imagine it to be on a remote small paradise island. I went for a run at about 5pm, really hot and very hard work. Ran up onto the hills to the lookouts and then back down and all around the airfield. Some amazing views from the top, so I will be walking back up there at some point with my broken camera. I cracked the screen on the Frans Joseph glacier in the pothole John and I went through, so I can’t see the pictures that I am taking. Then we watched the Fiji game on TV at 6pm, as Rugby is huge here and their national sport. Dinner was a bit late as the chef was watching the rugby. I have met some really cool people in the hostel and there is a good group of us here and the staff are cool. We all went to the other hostel in the evening and had some drinks and watched the end of the game and the Irish beat the Aussie’s, haha, get in there.

So today, so far is not good. Hungover and Arsenal got beat, bad times…! Woke up to a lovely text from Carl, total idiot…Just had my haircut by Sophie, one of the girls in the hostel. She has done a well good job, so I’m all set for the wedding! Just been doing nothing today, we have all been sitting around chatting in the shade. Its spag bol for lunch, so about to go and eat that! This afternoon we are all walking over to sunset beach and taking some snorkels and going around the reef, should be pretty good! Dinner tonight is steak and then an early night. The food is pretty tasty and the cook is good, so all good!

So I have 2 more nights on Mana Island then back to the Mainland, as it is much cheaper. Going to travel around the south coast of the main Island for a bit. Fiji is really nice and so relaxed, so all good. Weather is hot, which is a good bonus.

Love you all

Luke x x x


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