When I went there: January 2014
Bula (hello in Fijian, something that’s said ALOT)
So I’ll start from the beginning of my Fiji adventure. My friend came out for 2 months at the start of my travels to travel with me, we left Sydney then headed for Fiji.
We got to Fiji late afternoon and stayed a night on the main island in Nadi. The first night we had dinner at a near by hostel and watched the sunset. Our first night was of many to come with no air conditioning! It switched off half way through the night and I woke up feeling like a duck in an oven.
We got up early the next day and boarded the Awesome adventures Fiji catamaran that would take us to the Yasawas Islands where we would stay at resorts owned by Fijians. Our first stop was Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort. In Fiji when you go to an island the Fijians who live there always welcome you by singing and clapping, they are so happy and always laughing. We stayed in a dorm that was a hut with a straw roof. We had a toilet and a shower in our dorm and lighting from 7pm for a few hours. We could see the beach and hear the sea from our hut. We next had lunch, when it was ready the Fijians would bang a drum for us all to gather. The first meal we had was horrendous, we came to realise that plain rice was served at almost every meal. After lunch we met some welsh girls and an American boy and sunbathed. The night was so hot, we slept with all windows open and inside a mosquito net.
Our second day we went kayaking in the morning, we went from the opposite island back to our own where me and my friend were supplied with one paddle for the two of us… Later that night we all sat with the locals and drank Kava. It’s a drink Fijians make from a certain plant. It’s brown in colour and tastes horrible. It tastes like mud, that’s the only way I can describe it. Kava makes your lips and tongue tingle and makes you relaxed. The Dutch boys started singing after drinking many bowls of it. We spent two nights at Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort and it was really nice.
The next resort we went to was further up north, White Sandy Beach. The food was much better here but the facility’s weren’t. There was absolutely no lighting in the dorms or showers/toilets and the toilets were outside down stairs. The shower was a hose pipe sticking out the wall, no hot water, we were learning there was no hot water on any of the islands. The Fijians here were a lot younger here so a lot more up to date and fun. The first day they took me snorkelling and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! It was like swimming in Finding Nemo. The coral was amazing colours and the fish were incredible. They also did spear fishing which I wasn’t good at and I didn’t want to kill such beautiful fish. Swimming through the water was like swimming through a jacuzzi. The first night we sat up with with one of the Fijians. He sat singing on his guitar, he had an amazing voice. The second day we made jewellery from Palm leaves then lay in hammocks reading. That night we did the Bula dance and games with a bonfire which was hilarious. We slept a little better as there was some rain so that meant a large breeze.
The next place we went to was again further up north and was called Gold Coast. In the brochure it looked lovely so we had high hopes. We were picked up on the catamaran and taken there to then not greeted or welcomed by anyone, unlike the other resorts who welcomed us with ‘Bula’ and a Fijian song. We were told they weren’t expecting us and told us to sit while they prepared a lunch and our dorm. We had no introduction to the resort and realised we were the only ones staying there. We got in our dorm and the water wasn’t on. We got angry and started preparing ourselves to complain that we had had no welcome or introduction to the resort. We slept in the dorm then went for dinner. Dinner was okay, we chatted to the Fijians and we thought the experience was getting better. Then we went back to our dorm when I heard it. I heard something moving in the leaves of our dorm so I looked up and saw a giant black spider. We ran out, got the torch and ran back to the Fijians. They removed it and buried it. We then found another spider so went back to them again! The woman then admitted she put them in there to eat the Mosquitos! I was not impressed being told this. That night was horrendous sleeping in there. The second day more people arrived so we asked the Fijians if we could do the caves trip with them, they informed us that we couldn’t do it on Sundays. We were again not impressed as we left the next day and were never told this when we arrived.
We returned to the main land and stayed in a really nice hostel. Our dorm smelled like cabbage but other than that it was fine. We hung out our last night with the two Dutch guys we had met with some beer and a girl I had seen sitting on her own at the beach who was lovely.
Verdict: I loved Fiji, it was so relaxing and the Fijians don’t have a care in the world. The islands are beautiful. Staying there is definitely back to basics so if you like luxury island hopping is not for you. I would return but to stay in a hotel! Go back? Yes