Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fiji: One year on...

It’s been nearly a year since our little posse went to Fiji. (‘cos it’s nearly the mid year school holidays. Rock On!!!) Thanks to Richard’s fab travel organisational skills (and my bank manager), Richard, Kirsten, Anna, Sam and I got to spend ten days in the magical Yasawa Islands off the coast of Fiji.

Our trip was kinda ‘backpacker-y’, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the poolside resorts in the world. Compare a stay on your local Marae with ‘The RotoVegas Experience’ and I think you’ll know what I mean :).

We met some weird and wonderful friends on our trip. Some have emailed us since – some haven’t. Funny how you all promise to keep in touch but then it becomes a huge effort.

I don’t have the lyrical genius of Sam, so I will tell the story mostly in pictures instead. Enjoy.

Rich, Anna, Kirsten and Sam on the bus waiting to be driven to our hotel in Nadi. Entering the terminal, we were greeted by a bunch of Fijians singing to us while we queued at Customs. Somewhat tacky but also kinda cool. The temperature was just wonderful - note we all look quite hot as we had left Wellington in trousers and warm tops. We couldn't wait to get to the hotel and change.

That night, the Oasis fan club (read: bunch of drunk Poms) in the dorm above us kept us awake.
With their rendition of "Don't look back in anger".
Just the chorus.
For about an hour.

I joked about going upstairs and doing a haka outside their door, but of course girls aren't supposed to do haka. Sam eventually went upstairs and earned the respect of the 9 people in our dorm by asking politely for them to go to bed. It was 3am, after all.

After visiting Nadi in the morning (where a guy offered to sell Sam some marajuana), we came back and lazed by the pool all afternoon. I had a meal of raw fish called kokoda. It was YUMMY. I swam at least once an hour till about 7pm.

The next day, we started the actual tour. We were booked on this catamaran that travels up and down the Yasawa Islands every day, stopping at each island to load and unload happy travellers. The trip up and back takes a full day. Our first stop was right at the top of the trip, and so it was that we arrived at Sunrise Lagoon Resort.

At Sunrise, we met the inimitable Tui, the 'camp mum' person who taught me how to ask for a beer in Fijian (see fact #49), and over the next two days met Ann from Ireland, Steve, Claire, Charlie and Dino from England, Johannes and Eva from Germany, and Michelle, Rawiri and his girfriend Carina from Aussie. Actually, Ra was a Kiwi and his girlfriend was Swedish I think, but they lived in Aussie. I tasted Kava for the first time at Sunrise. Tasted but mud, but it grows on you.

This is my absolute favourite shot of the whole trip. It's also one of the only photos of all five of us. Ra took it on the afternoon that we left Sunrise for Botaira. Don't we look relaxed :).

More to come. It seems this is going to be a LONG STORY as my Dad would say...

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