Home > Travel > Fiji fresh – 1

Fiji fresh – 1

18 Oct. My Polynesian Blue flight is at 9.15am. Of all the troubles I have created, getting up early is the worst. Madhan and Sudar had to get ready by 6.45 so we are in the airport on time. We stopped over at Muthu’s place to grab him and breakfast. Brisbane’s roads are being worked on and there are traffic delays on all the main roads. Madhan teases me that he has never seen anyone miss an international flight. Anxiety starts. It is 7.45 when we are in Coronation Drive and there seem to be heaps of cars stuck ahead of us. Slowly, we get out of the Drive and after that, it is a quick drive to the airport which we reached at 8.15. A 1hour gap does not get me the window seat, but everything else is smooth.

2.30pm. I arrive at Nadi (pronounced Nan-dee), the tourist capital of Fiji. As always, there seems to be a longer time at Immigration with my Indian passport. I get a visa for 4 months. But once I pass that, it is a breeze to walk to my free pick-up shuttle. The Afghan bus driver for Nadi Bay Resort (the name is confusing, it is also a backpackers’ place) makes me aware of Fijian time (almost like Indian time – relaxing, semi-punctual). The shops are glowing with Diwali special sales. The buses are open and remind me of India. I arrive at my dorm bed. Very soon, I catch a bus with the friendly receptionist to Nadi town (just 50c). More sarees and salwars on the way. Loud Hindi music announces the arrival of the town. Diwali is a national holiday and so the town is abuzz with shopping. At the town, I plan my next 3 days with a travel agent. I exchange the AUD Madhan had given me. I also get a picture post card to send to Appa. I buy some fruits at the local supermarket. I take a bus back, but this time I get a VIP fare (65c). I meet my Kiwi hosts in another hotel, who are also on a longer holiday in Fiji. It feels nice to meet some one you know in a strange country. I get back to my room, read Jax’s author’s “The Name of the Rose” (borrowed from the Uni of Queensland courtesy Madhan) and sleep early.

19 Oct. By 6.30am, I am ready for my first trip in Fiji. The Awesome Adventures bus takes us to Port Denarau Marina. Port Denarau Island is a charming island home to many fine hotels like Sheraton and is the base for most(?) ship/boat trips out of Nadi. After an easy check-in, I board the boat. Very soon, we are out of Denarau and the majestic Pacific Ocean pleases us. Plenty of idyllic islands await us. I opt to stay at the smallest of them all, the South Sea island, the boat’s first stop. The first glimpse of the island is tempting indeed. Blue waters and white sand beaches make for a perfect island holiday. The island is very small that in 5 minutes ANYone can walk around it. It is a thrill to get onto the water taxi and onto the island. Stay and food at the islands are expensive compared to on the mainland. Tanning time for a lot of ‘white’ girls. I grab a bed for the night and strip to my shorts. The sun is right, but I am tired and rest on a hammock by the sea, a good view of the beach and the babes. There is a batch of Koreans who arrive on a day trip and seem to be everywhere on the island. The first activity is on a semi-submersible to see the coral reefs around the island. After seeing similar things in the Sydney Aquarium and Gold Coast Sea World, the real thing is not very attractive. Back to sleeping in the hammock on getting back!

Lunchtime peps me up. Lots of chicken, fish and salads save my appetite. The currents are strong and the tides look threatening. I am scared of water thrills (jinx) and so I just step by the edges of the ocean. It feels refreshing to dip and have a shame of a swim. Snorkelling and kayaking are free on most of these island resorts and I am determined to have a go at them. The island hosts are very friendly too and spoil you. I have a long chat with a Korean manager, just after the lazy swim. As I look for a shower, an Aussie exchanges pleasantries with me. He compliments(??!!) me on my hairy chest. “Have you a gf?”. “No, not yet”. “Bf? You can have me, if you want”(!!!!!!!!????) I feel a chill in my bones, but I am at my nicest mood and talk some inanities to dismiss him. Should I call it my first proposal? The first bad experience of my travel does not deter me from my snorkelling wish. I do it in the pool to get a feel of it, before I jump in the ocean after a loooong delay. The fins are hard to put on the first time. Of course, I have a life jacket. But luckily, there is a Jamaican who helps me with the snorkelling. Snorkelling is fun. I go out just a little above the coral reefs. The Jamaican and later an Aussie show me live corals and some colourful fish. My dream for the day is done. I have been snorkelling for less than an hour, but I call it quits and look for the fresh water shower. Every water tastes salty here. The last of the boats leaves the island by 5.30 and all the house guests are left for a charming night stay in the island. I chat with a German, who’s here to get his diving licence and watch the beautiful sunset, lying on the beach.

Soon, it is time for supper. Today’s menu is Indian, what a whammy! Chicken curry, rice and appalam are my idea of a great dinner. I heartily feast on it. It is time for a few games. The first of them is a crab race, with fresh crabs picked on the island. It is very funny, with 3 rounds. 2 Canadians and 2 Brits in the last round. Our host makes them sing their National Anthem. The Canadians do it in style, but the Brits only can make do with our Fijian host singing the British anthem very rightly. It is a shame to the Brits, but I guess I can sing our Vande Mataram (caught!) with plenty of practice in school. The next is a quiz on Fiji and our team wins it with the prize being a wine bottle. The sea breeze now gets real cold and I have to get a shirt. I gaze at the dark waters for an hour, pondering over my future. I love to sit at the beach, with nothing to do. It is 10pm, when I get back to the bar where I compliment the Afghan chef on the great Indian food. I join him and a Fijian girl for a game of cards. The game is based on Uno cards, though called Last card. I am lucky not to lose a single game. I get back to bed by 10.45pm after a great day on one of the Pacific islands.

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Categories: Travel
  1. A
    25 October 2006 at 1:27 pm

    Brits only can make do with our Fijian host singing the British anthem very rightly. It is a shame to the Brits, but I guess I can sing our Vande Mataram with plenty of practice in school.

    Quick question: since when did Vande Mataram become India’s national anthem :-P? Will read the post in detail and come back with more comments later!

    Nalla irukku new template!

  2. 26 October 2006 at 11:27 am

    Forgive me A dear, I sinned. I’m worse than the Brits! it was a subconscious manifestation of my stupidity. but dont worry, i do check most of my posts for typos and facts. 😦

  1. 28 October 2006 at 8:23 pm

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