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Published: December 6th 2006
Well hello there, long time no blog!
We're just getting ready to leave Fiji after almost 2 weeks of bliss. We arrived here about 12 days ago to be greeted by Fijians serenading us and bringing us coral necklaces, a lovely way to start a really lovely holiday!
A hot and bothered night in Nadi with plenty of cockroaches, mostiquitos and lizards wasn't the nicest start but things sure picked up! Nambua Lodge, Nacula
Nacula, one of the most Northern islands in Fiji's Yasawa's became our home for 7 nights, being so north meant we were very near the equator and lets just say after day 1 it was clear that factor 45 wasn't enough to protect my Irish skin!
With the nearest town a four and a half hour ferry ride away and only 2 hours of electricity a night we were pretty much as far away from "civilization" as we'll ever be! eaches, hammocks and our straw bure's were where we spent pretty much all day ever day with our Nambua "family". With most people only staying there for two or three nights at a time we saw a lot of comings and
goings and met a lot of new people-it was almost like we changed resort every few days. Amazing snorkling spots, fabulous sunsets, fishing trips (I caught the most fish!), kava (their local and leathal root drink) and swims by moonlight were the height of our entertainment in Nambua but boy did we love every minuet of it!
It was so nice to settle down for a while and have a bed to call our own and as we were seperated into two small bures (me, Lynn and Emer C in one) it meant I got a boy-free room which as it turns out really limits your headaches! :-) I picked up a nice colour but its nothing compared to Lynns (b!tch) and we're all looking forward to getting up on the weighing scales after our twice daily feeds of usually meat free rice dinners!
That Sunday, our last day, I got myself all covered up and ventured into the local vialleg to attend their church service. It was particularly nice for me coz that was the weekend all the Higgins's were coming together in Roscommon for Grandma's anniversary mass. The service was like nothing I'd seen before, all
preaching and angry screaming and lots of gospel choir style singing but boy was it hot! Island Hopping
It was a welcome relief to board the Flyer boat and take full advantage of the sea breeze on the top deck that afternoon. We felt like locals on the ferry as with only one sailing a day its pretty much everyone's only mode of transport and we ran into so many people we'd met on our travels. The 3 Scots men we'd befriended in Nambua were staying in Beachcomber our stop over before our little boat to Mana was due to pick us up so we were delighted to be able to squeeze in a drink with them there. Trouble was (it being stormy season here) the weather took a turn and as it got darker and the sea got rougher we begun to worry would a powered sea kyak make it across the waters. Luckily our seaman was as worried and decided to put us up on Beachcomber (Fii's party island) for the night. I was ecstatic, don't get me wrong I'd loved experiencing the basicness of Nambua but wow a bar and a hot shower and
drinking water!!! A great night was had by all - swimming under the stars, drinking by the sea and dancing in the sand!
On to Mana the next morning (after a hot breakfast I might add!) where we lounged around for two days on a beach. The weather wasn't as humid in Mana as it had been in Nacula so we were able to get in a few nice walks on the beach too. It was sooo different to Nacula, a lot more modern and far more familiar. Now we're back in Nadi on the mainland-internet and phone and newspapers!! Fiji In General
A military coup started at midnight the night before last in Suva. The Oz government is taking the situation very seriously but I think itsover hyping things, its calling for evacuation of Australian citizens and asking people not to travel to Fiji which seems like a bit of an overreaction as the situation is contained and limited to Suva the capital, as far away from the touristy islands as you can get really. Most people, and I don't just mean tourists, seem oblivious to the coup (which is still in the inital stages
- police HQ have been raided and their weapons confiscated by the military who in an unconstitutional move are trying to oust the prime minister). The Fijians I spoke to about it seem opposed to the coup but also to the government whixh based in Suva seem to do little governing and plenty of feeding off the tourism and mining industries concentrated in the western region of Fiji. Apparently the chiefs of the western islands are all uniting to try and get some sort of seperate rule but I imagine that's easier said than negotiated.
By and large there seem to be two types of Fijians - the simple lifers and the ambitous ones. Content with kava, hammocks, coconut bonfires, siesta's, pottery and fishing are those who lead a truely simple Fijian life. Others focus their attention on rugby (almost as big here as it is in NZ) or schooling and try to use them as a way to either get a scholarship in Oz/NZ or join the British army...basically a one way ticket out of the country which although beginning to prosper under the flourishing tourism industry is still very backward.
The three islands we visited were
each so different in their own way. Nacual was as basuc as they come but sooo sooo beautiful. It was such a great experience to live there for the week and you really felt you lived there. It's definitely how I'll remember Fiji! Perhaps my best memory will be our fishing with Lynn, Ian and the 3 Scottish guys (we first had to go digging for crabs to use as bait!), just sitting there with our feet dangling into the amazingly clear blue water (like nothing you've ever seen!) under a hot sun masked by a nice sea breeze wondering what I'd be doing if I were at home! hat for me pretty much sums up Mabua Lodge and in many ways Fiji! Beachcomber was far more touristy with imported water in the taps and an actual sewage system but it was nice to experience the party isladn side of things. Great to experience, great to leave! Mana was a nice inbetween, very popular with honey mooners (in fact a whole resort there for the more wealthy traveller refuses to serve backpackers in the shop/bar!). Nadi is fine, very hot and sticky and overrun with creepy crawlies, nice all the
same but not the paradise I'll remember Fiji as!! A really unique and relaxing holiday before we head across to Sydney in the morning!
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