Day 25 - Paradise awaits, or so we thought

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July 31st 2011
Published: July 31st 2011
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Today started with a 5AM wake-up call to catch our flight from Brisbane to Fiji. We were graciously thanked for our stay by the Australia telecoms company by charging us $50 for 6 local phone calls, each call was less than 2 minutes. We had called around the find a fishing charter from the hotel phones after we had called reception to inquiry if there was a charge for this. Well there was not a charge for local calls, but a ridiculous charge for calls to mobile phones which are different than local calls. Not something the hotel would want to tell you when you specifically call to ask. We had a quick buffet breakfast and drove the hour plus to Brisbane. We arrived to a mother of all lines at the airport. After the Disneyland maze there was a double loop out into the main walkway. There were easily 400 people in line with about 8 agents working. That is what happens when you have 4 international flights leaving all within 1 hour of each other. We were almost 2 hours early for check-in and still were the last ones to board and almost missed it. Kirsten had a master plan for not paying any excess luggage fees which as we have previously said are outrageous. Chester hung back with the 2 roll on suitcases. Although she was very nervous she took Kirsten’s direction very well and stashed the 2 small suitcases behind a wall and came over to check-in just as Kirsten got to the counter. This took about 30 minutes because we had “foreign” passports, and they had to verify our return flights out of Fiji. Apparently there are tons of Americans going to Fiji and never leaving and sucking off their 3rd world welfare system. We finally get our boarding passes and head to the just as long security line. Get through there and there is another line for immigration that is again just as long. At this point we asked to cut as they were making the final boarding calls. We made it in time with a few minutes to spare before they shut the door. Chester calls that being late. Kirsten calls it perfect timing.

As we sit down the gentleman behind Chester (of which he was not) asked her to not have her hair on the back/top of her seat. Chester is much nicer than Kirsten and she said OK. Which is ironic as this guy’s kid kicked the back of Kirsten’s chair the entire flight and had at least 2 complete screaming and kicking meltdowns. But he was not alone as there were at least 8-10 babies in the last 10 rows of the plane that we were in. At one point before we were landing we are pretty sure all of them were screaming at the same time. But what we realized is that the babies are not half as annoying as their parents who talk constantly like babies to try and calm them but are really just stressing them out and driving us nuts.

We finally arrived to Nadi, Fiji, the largest city and guess what…there was sun and it was warm. We got our bags and made it through customs with 1KG of Tim Tams in tow that they did not confiscate from us. Thank goodness. Johnny was there to meet us and we were escorted to an early 80’s small sedan similar to a K-car if you remember them. We had a 2.5 hour drive to our resort. The drive reminded us of Nicaragua and was very green and tropical. We saw at least 3-4 beautiful rainbows. But you know what it means when you see rainbows. Yes day 25 did not let us down. It rained most of the way to the resort. We now know why it took 2.5 hours. The car could only go above 40 when it was going down a hill and there were a number of hills and numerous speed bumps and little villages.

The longer we traveled the more we hoped that the better hotels were on this side. Let’s just say we are now even more disappointed with our travel agent. We specifically said we wanted a place with A/C and nothing too native. Well, the Uprising Beach Resort is quite native. We were greeted very nicely with the standard Fiji saying, “Bula”. The receptionist is very nice and as the bell hop took us to our room, our hopes dashed that it was going to be a nice room with A/C and no bugs. First off, they don’t have a key for our room for some reason. We have the house-keeping key and when we return to our room tonight, we need to return the key to them. The bell hop opened our room and the first aspect we noticed about the place was that our shower and toilet are outside of our hut and the shower has not ceiling. Now this would have been awesome had we experienced this on our African Safari that we were camping on, but we are at the end of our trip and want to be pampered and lazy a little. The room is big with a twin and double bed. Chester knows what bed she gets, the twin. It has a sink and fridge and a small sitting area, oh yeah, and a ceiling fan. No A/C. There is also no breeze going through our place and we have those small slats of glass for windows. At night we are going to have to keep the curtains closed to keep out the morning sun but that also means no air circulation as well. Now, to all our friends with small kids, don’t get us wrong, we love you all and your children, we just don’t choose to travel with them. When we went back to our room after dinner, we could very clearly hear the toddler in the next hut screaming his lungs out. Awesome.

Dinner was good, dessert was better. We are looking forward to diving tomorrow with the sharks, at least Kirsten is, Chester will be a Nervous Nancy as always. These last few days will hopefully be as relaxing and fun as we had planned in our head to be.


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