I finally made it to Fiji from LA. The flight was much longer than I expected, and we arrived at 5.00am to Nadi (pronounced Nandi). I met up with 4 others there who were staying at the Horizon hostel too.
I was planning to stay there for a few days to get my bearings, but the first day there we discovered a) the beach there sucks (all brown silty sand) and b) it’s really dull. So we all sorted out a trip to the islands, finally settling (randomly) on one of the further-out islands in the Yasawas (which are the popular ones to the northeast.
We stayed on Tavewa, a small island which I managed to kayak round in about 2 hours. Not much to do there, it seems that the place is more for couples or people looking for a quiet time. Dull, in other words.
But, the snorkelling was amazing – loads of different types of coral and loads of fish. I spent most of the 2 days there just flying over large corals, dodging between fishes – feeding them bread etc. In the evening, (after the incredibly small meal), we sat around and drank Kava.
Kava is what they drink there – it seems very important to the Fijians. It’s a root they grind up and mix with water in a big bowl. They then serve it in a coconut shell. It’s a mild narcotic apparently, and you can feel your teeth go a bit numb but not much else. Looks and tastes like muddy water.
There is a certain ceremony to the matter as well. When presented with the Kava, you must clap once, say Bula! (cheers), drink it in one, then clap three times in appreciation. The tourist take this more seriously than the Fijians though. Was fun, but don’t see it catching on in England.
Unfortuantely, my camera had left itself on somehow in my bag and when I got to the islands I had no power and, rats, no charger. You’ll have to imagine what the islands look like. If you left your address, you should get a postcard some time.
The last night out in the islands we stayed on Beachcomber, which is the party island. It has a dorm room with about 200 beds in it, but had power and fans, which was cool. It also had a huge bar hut built on the beach, they had crab racing and draught beers. It looked like one of those paradise islands. Just tiny. I walked round it in about 8 minutes. Really cool.
Then I went back on the boat to Nadi, and flew to New Zealand…