10th October 2012

Yes there you have it. I finally left New Zealand after an epic 7 weeks. It seems to me New Zealand in itself was a total trip alone in its own right and my Rexy Edventures in Australia and SE Asia seems miles behind. But as they say, onwards and upwards.

So where would I be going to next after boarding on the plane in Auckland?

Well say Bula to Fiji!!!!!!!!!!!!

This I could not wait. Especially for glorious HOT sun. I’ve spent the last 4 months in South Hemisphere’s winter and I neeeeeed hotness to replenish my levels of looking hot. I mean, I nearly killed myself in the cold especially the time I was utterly frozen in my campervan at Surfer’s Paradise in Australia. And the wintery blustery season definitely shook me at the Great Ocean Road and Melbourne. Even my regular dipping in the glacial waters of New Zealand was starting to take its toll.

So as I flew over the islands of Fiji, I gasped at the wondrous of it all. It truly felt like a whole new experience again. Also, this would be my holiday after all this travelling. Snort all you like and mutter at me that the last 7 months was a holiday in its own right, but it’s been a long ardous journey full of anticipation of what may happen next. This, I could just relax by the sun and perv at the beauties on the beach.

Landing at Nadi, I stepped out to a big greeting of Bula! And a band of ukelele playing Fijians dressed in their tradtional garb. Unbeknownst to me, I actually arrived in Fiji on a special day. It’s Fiji day hence why I was lost why everyone seemed to be partying in the airport.

Turning up at the Awesome Adventures Office at the airport, I was dealt with utmost efficency as they sorted out my passes, accommodation and boat cruises. Ahhhh, it’s so nice having someone else deal with my plans for a change. Led to my waiting minibus, we left and turned back. The driver left some passengers behind…oops. Roaring with laughter with the driver, we picked them up and hightailed it to my first night’s accommodation, Smuggler’s Cove. The sun was already setting but the sunset didn’t distract me. I was already horrified.

Looking outside the window of the minibus, the view of the country was not as I thought it would be. I thought it was all going to be exotic trees, sand, people dancing in the street and everywhere was going to be hot. But it was not to be. All I saw was a darkening cloudy sky, some grassy wasteland and sullen people in the streets. Oh crikey, I knew I didn’t know much about Fiji when I arrived but surely there’s a generic view?

Soon, I arrived and I was pretty pleased with Smuggler’s Cove. From the entrance, I could right down the hall leading out to the veranda and the beach. Bring me the beach! With impeccable service, I was shown to my dorm room (upgraded from a 32 bed to a 4 bed) and promptly met an almost unconscious Argentinian in the bunk below me. He had a few to drink that afternoon. He soon registered my presence and began talking to me in halting english. He seemed a nice guy and it wasn’t until he asked me where I was from that he became really upset and stormed out. ‘England’ I only replied. Yes, the Falklands Issue is still going on but surely this can’t be the sole reason why he would now refuse to talk to me. Ah well, his loss.

In my shorts and shirt, I meandered down to the beach with a cocktail in hand stuffed of over large fruit slices and observed the area. I was a little let down. There still wasn’t that wow factor of being on a paradise beach. The water was very sandy and murky, not the clear crystalline waters I was expecting. I didn’t feel the need to swim. The beach didn’t have much to show. It wasn’t the nicest beach I’ve ever seen. I began to fear that my stay in Fiji was going to be quite an anti-climax to my travels.

But I needn’t fear. As soon as I walked back to the veranda, I was greeted by the waitresses who shouted Bula (means Hello) and began asking me all sorts of questions with huge smiles. I mean, they are very friendly here. Touching my arms and shoulders and calling me ‘friend’. That’s good. A few cocktails later, I met again a couple I talked to on the minibus and we settled down on the veranda to enjoy a scrumpticious fishy dinner together and watched an amazing fire dance show, also with traditional Fijian dances. Apologies, but I didn’t take any photos of that night. Particularly when I was asked to join in the tradtional Fijian Conga dance that involves crawling between people’s legs…yes I know!

But the night had to be called to an end as I needed to get to sleep seeing as I will be getting up extremely early the next morning to head into the Yasawas Islands. And please, let it be paradise.