A Travellerspoint blog

Fed up in Fiji

Not the paradise we'd expected. Soz in advance for the moans.

30 °C
View Fiji Fun (not) on fcmarshall11's travel map.

After 10 busy days in Sydney we were more than excited to spend the next week horizontal with a few cocktails, naps on the beach and water based activities. Sadly this was not to be...

After a shivery and sweaty final sleep in Sydney I knew something was not quite right with my bod. Defo not a two day hangover that's for sure. We woke up, finished packing then journeyed to the airport by double decker underground train. It's never a great feeling walking about when you're feeling ill, let alone with a 20kg bag on your back. That was not the one.

Anyhoo, we arrived in plenty of time and checked in with the nice lady at the desk (not - to be explained...). I asked her nicely if I could please be seated in an aisle seat and Hannah wanted a window seat so she said she'd managed to sort something out. We thanked our lucky stars and set off through security where everyone was extremely grumpy (I would probably hate my life too if I had to work on 2nd January and watch people set off on their flights to Fiji...)

I think our check-in lady must've been one of those people and thought she'd have a little joke to herself to make her feel better about her life, as when we boarded the plane we were actually put in the worst seats imaginable. The seats were in rows of 3-4-3 and she'd seated us in E and F (the two middle seats in the middle row). What a b*tch. We were right behind the screaming kids at the front as well. With my bad tum, screaming kids and the only decent film to watch being the Polar Express, it's safe to say the flight was less than ideal.

We arrived around evening time and were shuttled to a place called Smugglers Cove in Nadi. Situated right on the beach it was a pretty nice spot to spend a night even if I did feel rubbish and just had some garlic bread for dinner.

The next morning we set off on our journey to the Yasawa islands on the big yellow boat with "Awesome Ndventures" on the outside. It was a 5 hour journey to Blue Lagoon resort where we spent the first two nights of our seven day island hopping. It was beautiful, with hammocks, loungers and huts lining the beach and the staff greeted us with singing and ukuleles which was delightful. We were shown to our room and what a bonus - no bunk beds!!! Joy to the world.

Hannah was feeling pretty rubbish as well by this point so she went straight to bed (it was around 2pm) whereas I tried to eat some lunch but immediately regretted it and ended up napping for 2 hours in bed as well. Another bonus - the toilet was right next to the room! (Too much info...?!)

Anyway the two days we had there were pretty pants and we didn't really eat anything at all. The annoying thing is that you still have to pay a compulsory meal supplement of $100 even if you eat nothing at all, so we paid for the amazing BBQ food that we had to watch everyone else enjoy. Such sad times. At least all we had to do was lie down all day (in the shade, in bed, we liked to mix it up a bit).

There's not a huge amount to say about our time here as when we left after two nights we were still feeling rubbish, but at least the weather wasn't great (rain and cloudy) so it didn't feel like we were missing out too much. After another little singsong and ukulele playing we jumped on board the yellow boat again to take us to our next stop - Mantaray Island.

When we arrived this looked almost as beautiful as the first stop and we were told it was one of the best snorkelling spots to visit. How exciting, I really hoped that I would be feeling better so I could participate. Sadly, this was not the case and we spent our two days here either in bed or on the sofas in the shade by the beach. Again we had to pay the compulsory meal supplement (roughly $100 a day) even though all we ate one day was two slices of dry toast. One evening the chef was really kind and offered to make us something really plain for dinner so we ate dry pasta with tiny bits of spinach and a small amount of parmasan. Probably the least appetising meal I've ever had, especially compared to every else who were wolfing down plates of BBQ ribs.

Ah well, on the day we left I was feeling slightly better so things were looking up, however we decided to cancel our booking to our third island - Beachcomber - as we thought it would be better to be able to access a doctors if we needed to. Also we overheard a couple saying they'd got food poisoning from there so that wasn't very appealing, on top of our current food poisoning!

We arrived back in Nadi, turned up to our booked hostel and discovered there was no air-con and no hot showers in the rooms which is less than ideal at the best of times let alone when you feel like crap. We decided not to stay there so ended up back at Smugglers Cove where we started. I had five nights there which was actually too much time as there's nothing to do around there - no shops that you could walk to or anything. I was feeling almost normal by this time so was getting a bit restless just lying on the beach all day. I met some people at breakfast on my second-to-last day and we all went to visit a Hindu temple, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant (botanical gardens) and a local fruit and veg market. It was really nice to do something different with my time in Fiji so I was happy to chill on the beach for the afternoon. It was Hannah's last night and she was still really unwell so we just had a bit of food and then went to bed.

The next day I waved Hannah off in her taxi and was left to my own devices for the afternoon. It was raining so I decided to splash out on some Wifi and start writing this blog! I watched the fire dancing show for the second time during my stay there and again refused to take part in the ridiculous dancing they do to Cotton Eyed Joe as I wasn't intoxicated or dead, which are the only two states I would have to be in to catch me doing something like that.

I got to the airport the next morning at 7:30am which was far too much time before my 12pm flight (it had been rescheduled) but I managed to meet some interesting people during my time there. A Fijian man named Sarvey started chatting to me with his friend and it turns out he knew or was related to almost everyone in the whole airport. He knew air hostesses, pilots and passengers and they all seemed to be either his brother or sister. He tried to get me a free upgrade but sadly it wasn't to be...however I did get an invite to his villiage the next time I'm "passing through" Fiji which I advised him perhaps wouldn't be for five years, or never, but he said for me to email him anyway. What a guy. We went our separate ways and I met an English girl called Caitlin while checking in, who happened to be staying in the same hostel as me in Auckland so that was nice. I also met an Australian poet called Mark Tredinnick who has his own Wikipedia page. Impressive.

Anyhoo, this message was about Fiji so that is about it from my time there and I was more than happy to board my plane to Auckland to spend the next six weeks in Kiwiland.

Posted by fcmarshall11 02:17 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Goodbye UK!

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye!

30 °C

After a teary goodbye to my parents, sister and boyfriend I waved farewell and passed through security with a combined sense of fear and excitement. I couldn't believe that it was finally happening after about five years of dreaming and two years of saving. The sadness didn't last too long as I'd splashed out on a mega bag of quavers to send me on my way and enjoyed the crispy cheesiness (or cheesy crispiness?!) as I knew I wouldn't be eating them for six whole months. I'm not sure what I was sadder about tbh.

I didn't have a huge amount of time before my gate was displayed so I had a mooch around the shops. I realised that nowhere nowadays sells travel alarm clocks. I wanted to buy one in case anything were to happen to my phone (god forbid) and I would have nothing at all to wake me up, which could lead to disaster when travelling on my own with a morning bus/plane to catch. Ah well, I would just have to rely on my phone...

I arrived at the gate and noticed that two boys standing near me sounded like a cross between Prince Harry and the entire cast of Made in Chelsea and managed to slot "Yah" into about every sentence. I prayed to the plane gods that I wouldn't be seated near them as they sounded like absolute w*nkers. Anyhoo, we started boarding the plane and the first thing I noticed was a massive staircase. A staircase, on a plane, you ask? How and why? Well this clearly wasn't for us peasants so I was escorted on by to my economy seat with surprisingly much more leg room than expected, which was probably nothing compared to the luxury of the top floor. The seat next to me was spare so I prayed to the sweet lord that nobody would sit there. My payers were answered and it remained empty for the duration of the flight. Of course Harry 1 and Harry 2 weren't too far away and I could hear them banging on about 1) drugs in Thailand 2) newspapers (Financial Times and the Telegraph, obvs) and 3) how quirky everyone thought they were by going to Sri Lanka. FML they were going there too. I just about jumped out of my seat from sheer pissed offness. Ah well there was a very slim chance they'd be on my trip so again I prayed to the Sri Lankan god (gods?!) that I'd never see them again as long as I live.

All that praying had tired me out so I tried to find a travel-appropriate film to watch to settle down for the night. I selected Good Morning Vietnam (only because it had Vietnam in the title, #RIPRobin) with my quavers in hand followed by Monsters University. Both great films fyi.
We landed in Dubai where I needed to get my connecting flight to Colombo. This was no airport. This was an entire city in its own right. It took me 20 minutes to get from the plane to the terminal and another 25 minutes to the gate. In a bit of a fluster and another 20 minutes later I boarded my flight, had a window seat with 2 spares next to me, to my delight and not a Harry in sight (didn't mean to rhyme - I'm a lyrical genius). I watched Rio 2 which isn't as good as Rio 1 but still pretty good nonetheless, and napped for most of the flight. As we landed I could see the impact of the recent monsoons on the landscape with rain and mud visible everywhere. At least I could see some palm trees, the sun was out it was 30 °C so good times for me.

After picking up my bag a lovely gent was there to greet me with my name on a placard (felt like a celeb) and I made my way to his car for the transfer to the hotel. A number of things stood out to me on the journey namely 1) giant Jesus statues everywhere and 2) Sri Lanka also has Dominos pizza. Interesting. The only thing on my mind was bed and in my daze I forgot to tip the driver (forgive me please) and I made my way to my "standard" room. Compared to my rat infested boma in Tanzania this was a luxury penthouse suite. All that mattered was that it had a (double) bed, shower and electricity. Nice. I put my earplugs in to drown out the car horn orchestra outside and I then proceeded to have the best nap of my life from 3pm until dinner time. I still woke up knackered but I was hungry (for WiFi and food) so made my way down to the restaurant.

I think the waiter must have noticed I'd been staring at the menu for a good 15 minutes so suggested something Sri Lankan to eat. I agreed to whatever it was and it turns out it was one of the tastiest meals I've had: a mountain of rice surrounded by four small dishes (dhaal, chicken curry, salad and something with beetroot). It did the job alright. The waiter introduced himself as Curly (coincidentally his hair was also Curly - mindblowing) and was very friendly asking where I was from etc etc but tbh I wasn't in a chatty mood and the rest of the night was a jet lagged blur. I tucked myself into my double bed around 9pm and slept all the way through until 11am the next morning.

Posted by fcmarshall11 01:41 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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