Jumping with glee in Feejeeee
So arriving in Fiji a day late wasn’t exactly what i’d intended! Since my fellow backpackingbananas had arrived earlier in the week, they had started their own adventure exploring the north island; so I was left to my own devices to plan my own Fiji adventure. Being the retard I am, I figured it would most likely be best for me to book a completely inclusive package to make things as straight-forward as possible. Before starting my tour of the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands I spent 2 days in Nadi. Whilst walking to the supermarket me and a friend were approached by a Fijian man who noticing we were foreign asked if he could put on a ceremony for us. It sounded bizarre but with nothing better we sat down on these very small stools and he started telling us all about Fiji, he then started praying for us before giving us the traditional Fijian drink kava in little coconut cups. There was a special way of drinking it – clapping once before, three times during and three times after. You had to clap for everyone else too so me and Leo found ourselves just cluelessly clapping at random times without any idea of what was really supposed to be going on!
First Island stop was Nabua Lodge. Whilst there, we took trips to the Sawailau caves and snorkelled in the Blue Lagoon – which is probably the most beautiful place I have been on earth to date! If you were to picture a tropical beach paradise in your head, the Blue Lagoon is what you would imagine, amazing!! Standard island life isn’t too bad either I guess, welcomed onto
the island by staff singing and clapping; served gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner; watching the sunset over the clear blue ocean whilst softly swinging in a hammock… We also attended church on the Sunday. The priest preached the entire ceremony at the top of his lungs and ended his performance in tears! I was a bit confused as the whole thing was in Fijian, but the ceremony was definitely spiced up by a massive spider crawling through the congregration half way through!
The next island resort was White Sandy Beach. Island life was the same as before but better! Everyday we’d play beach volleyball getting absolutely thrashed by the Fijians and every evening would end with group games on the beach followed by tipsy guitar led songs around a campfire going on until the early hours. Both days on this island, we went on morning trips to Mantaray Bay in the hope of swimming with some mantarays but unfortunately we never saw one, but we did see a whole lot of fish and a few sharks which kept us amused!
The final island was South Sea Island, the smallest in the Yasawa group (you could literally walk around the whole thing in 2 minutes). We arrived in the evening and throughout dinner we could see lightening flashes in the far distance every 20 seconds or so. This didn’t bother me at all until that night… The storm grew larger and closer to the island, it got to the point where it was raining so much the windows were closed and I was still getting wet, the thunder was so strong all the bunk beds were rattling and it was so loud I don’t think anybody got much sleep at all. This really wasn’t the ideal situation considering a billionaire rented the island and kicked us all off at 7am!! However that day most certainly made up for it, a day long sailing adventure with unlimited alcohol and unlimited BBQ buffet – AMAZING!
As I was getting suitably tipsy we visited the island from the movie ‘Castaway’ and got very abused by sea lice whilst snorkelling in the crystal clear waters.
We also visited a village on one of the remote islands to meet some of the lovely local. My new friend Eric was chosen as chief as it was his birthday and I was chosen as his leading lady! I wasn’t sure what this role would entail until the kava ceremony. We were led into a room confronted with 5 dressed up Fijian men looking very serious indeed. Eric and I were right at the front having to obey all the traditional rules while the other 30 in our group sat casually behind in a huddle. We were served kava in the traditional way once again, but this time I had to drink it infront of an audience! The Fijians then said it was tradition for the leading lady to make a speech on behalf of everyone! Talk about being put on the spot! In a panic I sheepishly announced that we were very grateful to be welcomed onto their beautiful island and that we were all extremely happy to be there. Very short and simple but thank God it seemed to have done the trick as they were smiling. I then got a bit carried away buying souvenirs, of course…
It was sad to then say goodbye to the islands and be back on the mainland but all was well as I was reunited with the Alice’s of New Zealand! The next day the reunions continued as I finally found my fellow backpacking bananas!! Later than intended but better late than never, and now we’re off to Hawaii!!!
So Fiji has basically been nothing but chilled out nothingness in paradise, absolute bliss :)
Lots of love