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June 6th 2006
Published: July 6th 2006
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Bula, that is the one phrase that you hear all over Fiji. It means cheers or hello or anything really. You soon get used to just hearing it shouted to you all the time even from complete strangers. So Bula to you all!

We had a few problems with the plane we caught from LA to Nadi. The first problem started before take off. There was something wrong with the internal lights, this was rectified within twenty minutes or so and after waiting for the next take off window we were up and away in the air with no hindrances. The flight itself was fine, a bit bumpy at times but I really like that (strange I know!). They were also playing some good moves that I had been waiting to see for ages, The Chronicles of Narania was one! We probably should have got some sleep though. We lost the whole of the 4th of June whilst on the flight due to crossing the date line at the time we did. So we landed at Nadi airport at roughly 6am on the 5th. There was another problem with the plane, they could not attached the walkway to the craft, after 30ins they managed to get it on and all the passengers started to disembark. I was hoping we would have to jump down the emergence shoot, no such luck! Once we had picked up our luggage we had a long hour wait to get our bags scanned. Because it took us so long to get off the plane we were waiting with the passengers from a couple of other planes too. The one good thing about the wait was that I had time to buy some very cheap alcohol and some sunscreen, they were the same price, a small bottle of sunscreen and a litre of alcohol, doesn’t seem right to me! Also we totally lost a day when crossing the date line! Lost forever!!

Once through all the security checks we managed to find someone to take us to the resort I had book us into for the first few nights in the wonderful country of Fiji. We were really impressed with the Nadi Bay Resort Hotel. It is a backpackers place but is really top end of the market. The rooms were spacious and really clean, even fresh white towel everyday! The facilities are good too,
Thommo and SarahThommo and SarahThommo and Sarah

On the ferry to the island, took over four hours to get to Nanaya Lialia
two different restaurants to choose from and two pools to lie around plus a massage salon. We only had two nights booked here and no idea what to do with the rest of our time in this amazing country. So one the first day I went to arrange a trip to some Islands, they have a travel desk in the hotel. I booked us 9 nights on 5 different Islands with the Awesome Adventures company. That day we ventured into Nadi town centre to get some cash. I really liked this experience, we saw some real Fijian life. I really did not know that Fiji has such a large Indian population, naïve maybe, I would say that most of the population of Nadi appeared to be from an Indian origin. We visited a few shops in search of some gifts and souvenirs for back home, we also tried some Kava. This is the national drink of Fiji, it just tasted like grainy water to be honest. If enough of it is consumed it is meant to have some kind of calming effect. The men we had a ceremony with insisted that the Queen had tried it and they showed us several newspaper clippings about it, some saying that Kava helps in the fight against certain cancers. On our return from town we turned down a handful of men trying to get us to ride in their taxi’s in order to experience the local buses. We asked the driver if we were on the correct bus to take us back to near where we were staying, with a quick nod o the head he confirmed we were on the right one. However five minutes down the main road he turned off! We were staying just of the main road about another ten minutes down the road. It turned out that this bus serviced all the little dwellings on the back roads along the way! 45minutes later he pulled up right in front of the hotel and informed us this was our stop! This was our first real experience of ‘Fiji Time’, where everything happens later than expected! But the ride was great after the worry of getting back had subsided! The buses are very old and people pack onto them so that every little bit of free space is taken up. There are no windows so the view is right there, plus several flies that end their life by flying straight into your eyes/mouth!

The next day we boarded the coach on the way to the port to catch the ferry to our first Island adventure. Two nights on Nanaya Lia lia, one of the most northerly Islands in the Yasawas group. We stayed at a resort called Sunrise. This place was unlike any other I have every seen or been to. It was quite basic but not as much as I was expecting. There was running water, although be in cold. For some reason we also got upgraded from the shared dorm to a bure (traditional Fiji style hut) right on the beach, no way we were complaining! The island was so beautiful and the views were uninterrupted beaches and the ocean. It was possible to see a few other islands also. We were lucky enough to meet some really nice fellow travellers on this Island, many of whom we saw time and time again on other islands. One day four of us took the track to the other side of the Island, area is known as the Blue Lagoon, yes the one from the film. This was a
Keith and ChristineKeith and ChristineKeith and Christine

Great guys that we met on Nanaya Lialia and then again on Southsea.
picture perfect place, the sea was flat and pristine and the beach was so unpolluted and clean. Most of our time on this island was spent chilling out and socialising with the fellow visitors to the Island. The people working on the Island were so friendly and accommodating. I loved the fact that they all sing when new people arrive and when people leave. The only bad thing was that I lost my torch! The second one on this trip, am not sure I shall bother to purchase another one, all I do is loose them! We took a fascinating trip to some caves, they were massive and so impressive! We took a short boat ride to the other Island and then jumped into the caves, where we had to swim under for about two metres until we were inside the caves. It was such a great experience, even though everyone was kicking the hell out of each other. The short boat ride there and back was also interesting, even though they made sure everyone got soaked through, this didn’t matter much though as we were going to all get wet anyway!

Another trip off the island involved going to a traditional village. It was very interesting to see some real Fijian ways of life. However we didn’t manage to meet the chief as he was out at his plantation! But we did get to meet his daughter and ask questions. We also got the opportunity to buy some locally made bracelets and other hand made crafts.

One of the most funny and entertaining things I have ever witnessed was the drag act that two local Fijians put on as the evenings entertainment. One was performing Britney Spears songs and the other did a variety of song and dances to go with them. Seriously I thought I was going to wet myself at one point. And a large amount of the locals turned up to have a loud giggle at them!

Our next move was to another island resort on Naviti, Korovou Eco Beach Resort This resort was larger and even had a swimming pool. The beach was lovely here, nice golden sand which was a bit finer than that on Nanaya Lialia. We spent two nights here and were lucky to catch up with some people we had meet on the main land. Hi girls, hope you all feel better now? I went on a snorkelling trip in search of some mantra ray’s, unfortunately we didn’t come across any but we did manage to see some fabulous fish and even purple star fish! Thommo didn’t join me on this adventure. Lying around all day is not my thing so I was pleased that this island had lots of activates to offer. On one of the mornings I went down to the sea front to watch the fish get fed, vicious little critters, they bite your fingers along with the bread! We were also lucky enough to watch the England game! The locals very kindly put on the small generator to please about 20 Brits. Shame the game was pants but it certainly was an experience sitting outside the managers house at 3 in the morning watching it.

The next place we went to was South sea Island. This is the smallest Island we visited, you could walk around it in four minutes! All the activities at this island were free so had to indulge in some snorkelling and kayaking around (thank you Christine for joining me on our brief trip!). We meet some great people
Children in the VillageChildren in the VillageChildren in the Village

They really liked having their photo's taken and then looking at it on the camera.
on this island and also meet up with some of the people we had meet on the first Island. One of the resorts hosts got about 14 of us to play drinking games for quite a while. I think that everyone was wasted as we all ended up naked and half of us, the losing team had to jump into the pool either naked or partially clothed! This was a night to remember and will not be forgotten or matched easily! Thanks to everyone who made the night so good.

Our next move was to the gorgeous Bounty Island, but you will have to wait till the next instalment to hear about this one. Time is limited, New Zealand does not have many wireless spots and the network appears to be quite basic! A bit of a shock when we were so used to the USA’s brilliant internet access!

Hopefully I can tell you the rest soon!

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


View from the shoreView from the shore
View from the shore

On Nanaya Lialia
Ratu up the coconut treeRatu up the coconut tree
Ratu up the coconut tree

He climbed the tree with such ease!
Leaving Nanaya LialiaLeaving Nanaya Lialia
Leaving Nanaya Lialia

This boy was so sweet and shouted BUlA all the time.
Fire DancersFire Dancers
Fire Dancers

This was so impressive
Perfect dayPerfect day
Perfect day

View from Naviti
The losersThe losers
The losers

We are the mad ones that had to jump in the cold pool late at night!
Cute KidCute Kid
Cute Kid

She was quite shy

6th July 2006

I'm soooo jealous!!!!!!!!!
Glad that you are both having a good time, though. Take care
9th July 2006

Perfect Bliss
The Islands look gorgeous, clear blue waters blah blah blah. Humm.....reading your journals always cheer me up :) be good xx

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