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Published: December 18th 2014
Bula Bula, Bula Bula Bula - that's Fijian for...well, anything you want it to be really! - They seem to say it at any and every occasion possible
The first long stop of my trip by myself had arrived - I had a week to spend in Fiji before crossing the dateline and making my way back home, and it was time for relaxation!
Unfortunately the weather decided it didn't want to let me enjoy Fiji at its best, and gave me only 3 of 7 days with nice weather, but I made the most of them
Arriving at the airport I was collected by the owners of the hostel I was staying in, before eventually getting to my huge room! Paying just £25 a night, I had my own room with three beds, on a beachfront property with swimming pool and occasional evening entertainment.
However this was where the problem of Fiji began - it is impossible to enjoy Fiji on a budget - the cheap hotels and hostels are all located in the backpacker resort that is located a 40 minute walk from the nearest shop, with medium hotels
located nearer the town - but therefore at least half an hour from the beach, whilst the most expensive hotels are located in a luxury resort in which locals are barred from entry. This therefore meant I was stuck in the backer resort, and with it came resort prices - a meal costing at least £5, when it should have cost less than £1. Despite this, I still tried to make the most of my time, and after my first day I made my first travel friends!
All the hotels in the backpacker resort of Nadi Bay encouraged business from each others' guests, and on this one night I ended up getting a curry from the Horizon Beach hotel, it was here that I met a Belgian and her Venezuelan boyfriend, who instantly recognised I was British as she had "bought him that T-Shirt from Primark too"...that's certainly one way to break the ice!
Getting chatting to them, they had also thought Fiji would be cheaper, and gave me pieces of advice as well as telling me about their stay so far - remarking that the hotel they stayed in was joined to the
posher one next door, and was the centre of the entertainment. They invited me to join them for the evening's Fire Show, which despite me staying at neither hotel didn't seem to be a problem, as the staff were convinced they were also staying at the main hotel - despite her claims that with her dirty clothes she couldn't possibly be wealthy enough to stay there!
It was a brilliant evening seeing some of the local culture (as false as it probably really was - think Flamenco performances in Spanish resorts), and I even ended up joining in the stupid dance!
The folowing day I had decided to visit the supermarket as I was running out of food, and on my walk down the road my new friends drove past in their hire car - they then gave me a lift and I changed my plans to visit Nadi Town itself, which at 1hr30m walk away was too far to walk there and back to, but one way would be fine (yes, there were buses, but running on 'Fiji Time' (read: any time), and at just 6 times per day, this wasn't to be
relied upon). I then walked down the main street, where I was of course hassled by every single person who wanted me in their shop. Stopping at the main supermarket I bought enough pot noodle for the rest of my trip, and thus did not need to be ripped off with tourist prices.
The following day I had booked myself an excursion to visit South Sea Island, and get my tropical/coral experience - something essentially summing up Fiji in my mind. I had also luckily planned it as such, that this would take place on the best day weather wise, making the experience even more enjoyable. After taking off from the excluisive resort and having to change to a small boat from a big one in the middle of the bay, we finally arrived on the island in time for Lunch, where we were also given free drinks all day, and were given opportunities to scuba dive, swim in the pool or the sea, view coral reefs, or relax - I had opted for the latter 2. However the coral reefs were a mild disappointment, with the sea being rough and the coral being destroyed by the
very submersive we were viewing it from - but there were still a few active bits, so it wasn't completely a waste of time. The island itself was beautiful, a real paradise, and well worth the visit.
The rest of my trip, the final 4 days, consisted of me relaxing at the resort, and the final 2 days were the two nicest I spent there - however this came to bite me back as after spending 4 hours on the penultimate day sunbathing, smothering myself in sun cream, I still ended up epically burned!
All in all, Fiji was interesting and I'm pleased I visited, but the hassling and overpriced resort nature of the destination did make the trip less enjoyable than it could have been
Next stop: Yesterday in California!
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