Thursday, 16 September 2010

Arrival in Paradise

Monday 13th September 2010

MP3 track of the day: Paradise City– Guns n Roses

Weather: Hot (I think this maybe the same for the whole trip here)

As I went to sleep around 8pm last night (I didn't realize just how tired I was) I got up eleven hours later to get ready for moving on. Just as I was about to leave a new group of travelers arrived in my dorm (I've had the dorm to myself since I got here) and I found out that two out of the three were from the UK (the third was from Holland … there are a lot of people from the UK here) and that they were going island hopping (I really need to do that before I leave). I wished them good luck and off I went to the bus stop.

I had walked for around 5 minutes and already the sun was beating down. I caught the bus to Nadi bus station where I changed to the bus to Mango Bay. The ride was stunning; we went along the southern coastline and it was beautiful, palm trees, blue sky with white fluffy clouds and beautiful crystal clear waters with white sands as far as the eye could see… bliss.

After around two hours the bus dropped me off at the top of the Queens Highway where a hut, with a sign for my resort, was positioned. I waited in here until a car came to pick me up and take me the 20km to the resort. Whilst on the bus we had a beautiful breeze coming through the window and I felt fine. Now off the bus I was starting to get hot again and my pickup was late. I did think about trying to walk the 20km to the resort because in this heat it wasn't viable, instead I had to wait for my pick-up.

About twenty minutes later a car came with a big smiling Fijian. The guy was the resorts security guard and he was going to take me to the resort. When I arrived at the resort I went through reception and the security officer showed me to my dorm. This resort is beautiful; when you close your eyes and think of Fiji this is it. Palm tree lined paths with Fijian huts to stay in and a beautiful beach with crystal clear blue waters five minutes away.

Once I had got to my dorm I put my stuff down and got ready to have a shower. The security officer was chatting to me as I did this (turns out he used to be in the Fijian Navy) and then he shook my hand, gave me a big smile and said enjoy your stay; I went to get a shower as I was totally knackered.

After the shower I returned to my dorm; I was worried that, it being a 17 bed dorm with no air conditioning, it might get a little hot. However there seems to be only six or seven people here and so, with the high sealing and sealing fans, it seems to be okay. I came back to the dorm and picked up my camera and applied suncream; whilst doing so an American guy (who is in Fiji for ten weeks diving) named Lars was putting away his snorkeling gear and we had a chat (he was very nice but said the word 'Awesome' too much). After this I headed out into paradise to take a few photos and visit the reception area. It turns out that as I'm staying four nights I'm entitled to one night free (though I am paying a cheaper rate so we shall have to see how that works out) and $10 at the bar.

Having not had much to eat all day (and yesterday if I'm honest) I went to the bar to spend some of my $10 on a coke and then into the restaurant for lunch. Once at the restaurant I met Lars and I joined him for lunch. Food is quite pricey here (a club sandwich and chips cost me $17 … £7) so tomorrow I think I need to head into town and get some supplies. One word of caution; it's very easy to forget to eat here in this heat; I wasn't going to have any dinner as I didn't feel that hungry, however after thinking what I had eaten the past day I decided that I should eat … when the food came I realized just how hungry I was … top tip, keep eating.

After lunch I just wondered along the beautiful beach at the resort taking photos. It's so hot here that I reckon I might have to change the way I do things; it seems to me that's it's worth getting up early to have a look around, going to sleep in the middle of the day, and then waking up for the later afternoon / evening.

At round 6pm a Fijian started to bang a big wooden drum to announce that the kava ceremony was about to begin. I therefore followed the long line of people all the way to a little hut where a Fijian sat with a large bowl in front of him. We had to take our shoes off and sit on a mat cross legged; two men where picked out of the group to be the 'tribe leader' and the 'tribe elder' and then the Fijian leader told us when kava was drank in the village, why and for how long. As he was telling us this he put the kava (a ground powder made from a root) into a cloth that he then dipped into water. After about 10 minutes he got some (fake) coconut shells and scooped up some of the kava (the water) and gave it to the 'tribe leader'. The 'tribe leader' had to clap once before he took the cup and we all had to clap three times whilst he emptied the coconut shell of the kava in one go; finally after he had given the shell back he had to clap once. This process continued until we had all had a shell full and I have to say that kava is one of the most disgusting things I have ever tasted. Plus drink enough, and your face starts to go dumb (my tongue did). After this we all parted and I spent the rest of the evening chatting to some people from the Fiji Experience, it had been a good day.

Anyway four days here … what am I going to do at this resort for four days? Well tomorrow I will head into town for supplies, the day after I might do a bit of snorkeling and then the day after that who knows; I need to book a couple of nights accommodation in Suva but I think I will be chilling most of these four days by the pool and beach (plus loads of photos) it's a hard life.

Toodle Pip

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