Bula! B’bye! Back!

It’s been five weeks since I returned from the beautiful paradise that was, Fiji! Lemme tell you, it didn’t take long to feel like I hadn’t been away at all, and now feels forever and a day ago. With my next good stint of a holibob being six months away (Sydney), I thought it best to reminisce and write about the one that was…

Whilst it buckets it down outside.

I didn’t really give the trip I was taking much thought, besides the weekly countdown, until 9pm on the Sunday evening, when I packed my satchel (all 5.7kgs of it), had a(nother) celebratory glass of wine, and set the alarm clock for 5.20am. I stayed up watching movies, and drinking wine, until just after midnight, adamant that I’d be fine on little sleep, as holiday mode would help me power through. Well, I sure as was whistling a different tune when that ruddy siren went off. I dragged my lily white ass to the shower, and possibly probably maybe even managed a further 40 winks in there, before dragging the same aforementioned ass back out, in to the bedroom, fighting hard not to get back into bed, popped some clothes on, opened the curtains, and took one frowny glance at the rain (that hadn’t stopped since the Friday night) and rang for a taxi. My idea of skipping down to the city to get the Airbus was now as likely to happen as me winning the Eurovision Song Contest in years to come.

I have to say, once I got to the airport, checked in, forgot and then managed to fill out the departure card, and got to sit and enjoy my 8:30am beer, holiday excitement was well and truly in my pulsing veins. Fiji baby!!!

The three hour flight was perfect; Foo Fighters doco, Bear Grylls double episode, and ta-da, there I was, delayering in the foot by foot WC, ready to dismount the flying object, and step under the Fijian sun.

After 45 minutes in the arrival queue, in the un-air conditioned queue at that, I was outside in the air and rays. Beautiful! Then en route, to Smugglers Cove. A great choice (if I do say so myself) for accomo bookending the trip. Great customer service, fab food, ice cold beer, comfy beds (even in the 34 bed dorm)…and right on the beach! Which is what I pretty much sat on, supping a few bevvies, whilst waiting for my good chum Nic to arrive. Which she did, two hours later, and then sported the same position as me.

As much as we tried for an early night before our 7am departure the next day, it’s quite difficult when you’re sharing your room with 32 other unshowered folk. Some shut eye was managed, and to be honest, all we wanted was to get on that boat, and head off to our first island!

And if by magic, Island One was greeting our tootsies at 10:30am. We booked our full trip, without looking in to it one bit, via Awesome Adventures Fiji. We choose the number of nights we wanted our trip to be (6) and what level ‘coconut’ we were willing to lodge at (1), then left the rest to them. So all our islands were a surprise. The first island being a good surprise, Kuata Island, Yasawa Island Group. Accomodation: Barefoot Kuata.

It was ruddy stunning! The water – crystal clear, the beach – beautiful cream sand, the welcome – sing songs and guitars, grub – well tasty munch had, the staff – beyond welcoming and mayzeningly smiley and positive, accomo – not bad at all. Good pick AA! Checking in straight away, we were left to buy a beer, and enjoy the beach for two hours before lunch was served. Post lunch, pretty much more beer and beach. It was awesome! You could pretty much lather, rinse and repeat that process for the entire duration of our nine day break.

Now, what you should know is, I can’t swim. So island hopping was a bit of a queer choice, and even more so, was when I jumped at the chance to go snorkelling, with sharks! I love sharks, and have always wanted to see them, but the water aspect kinda gets in the way for me. However, unsquint those eyes and stop repeating “she can’t swim?”, and just understand, I snorkelled with sharks, boo-yeah!

It was. Bloody. Awesome. Loved it. Shark snorkelling kinda sums it up in a coconut shell, so let the pictures do the talking:

More of the sunshine enjoying, beer supping, and making new friends, our two nights on Kuata were up, and back aboard the boat we were once again shipmateys, and off to Island No.2: White Sandy Beach, Naviti Island (Yasawa Island Group). First impressions were VERY different here. Yes the water was beautiful, and the beds were pretty nice, everything else, ABORT MISSION, ABORT ABORT I TELL YOU! The beach was ugly, the food was rotten, there was naff all to do, and the staff…if I was there by myself, I’d have had my photo on a BBC news report backdrop in hours. We couldn’t wait to leave this place, yet still had two nights to ‘enjoy’ here. Luckily, one of the lil leprechauns we’d met the previous night, was joining us here on our second night, so at least there was some giggle worthy moments to keep us going.

Onwards and upwards… Two more sleeps later, at 12 noon, we were back on ships ahoy, and on to our final island: Nabua Lodge, Nacula Island (Yasawa Island Group). St-unning water, small sun sectioned – yet lovely beach, friendly staff (Joe was the main man!), good food, nice accomo, and here, a GREAT social bunch! Here, we pretty much walked, chilled in the sun, ate food, socialised and laughed. It was a good place! Recommended.

Two sleeps later, further new friends gained, 1:30pm was upon us, and we were boarding that boat for the final time, a six hour journey back to the main land, before hitting up Smugglers Cove again. Where we had a feast. Foooood, proper food, not rice, or flies, but actual food! And a gorgeous twin room for us to enjoy. The hot shower, mustn’t forget the hot shower… Due to our air con unit being shot to shit, I can’t say we had much sleep, but the holiday was definitely not ruined so near to the end.

Nic departed at 6am for her flight back to Sydney, whereas I got to enjoy some more ray catching, before heading off to the airport at noon. It saddens me now that I look down at my tan less arms, and think daaaaaang, I was WELL tinted just those five short weeks ago *sad face emoji*.

I had a fab time on this trip, Nic was great company, as was the company of our new found friends, I switched off completely from work, full on relaxed and enjoyed. Would I return to Fiji again? Hmm.. Cook Islands next I think.

Thanks for having me Fiji, but there is room for improvement (NB: remove White Sandy a Beach!) xxx


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