Bula Fiji

Our time in Fiji was considerably shorter than we first expected it to be. Our original plan was to hang out there for 6 weeks and soak up as much sun before hitting New Zealand’s colder climate. However, we didn’t realise how expensive this beautiful country is and so we only stayed for 2 weeks.

The way things work in Fiji is you check in to your "backpackers hotel" where  no self catering facilities exist,  so you are forced to either eat at your hotels restaurant or eat at another restaurant in another resort. Either way you are  spending $50 a night on food, not something a backpacker is comfortable with! Once you tire of the mainland you can take trips and stay on the outer islands, the most popular being the Yasawa group. Here the cost shoots up even more as the only thing on these islands are resorts ranging from backpacker to flash packer. It cost us $140 a night to stay in a double bure, which was quite comfortable if not a little basic for the cost. Food however is included with the cost of your room, 3 square meals a day which is executed with military precision: 8am, the drum sounds, you get up and march to the dining hall to eat a breakfast of cereals, fruit and sweet bread washed down with tea or coffee. 12pm, drum sounds, you march to the dining hall and usually eat a mish mash of the night before’s dinner all mixed up and fried with rice (quite tasty!). 4pm, drum sounds, march to dining hall to receive afternoon tea and a cake for just $1. 7pm, drum sounds, march to the dining hall in the dark and eat a hearty meal of fish or chicken with rice and vegetable’s, this is usually followed by the evenings entertainment of all the staff singing and then dragging everyone up to dance the bula dance, which is strangely similar to the macarainer! This routine is repeated everyday.

We had a great time in Fiji (minus the dodgy guts) and we saw and stayed on some beautiful islands when we journeyed out to the Yasawa Group. In total we stayed out on the islands for 7 days. Our first island resort was called Coral View which was quite far north from the mainland. It took us around 4 hours to reach it on the Yasawa Flyer, a huge yellow catamaran that makes the 8 hour round trip everyday, stopping off at at least 15 different islands within the Yasawa group and not the mention the Wanna Taki Cruise. Coral View resort was a peaceful place where the staff tried to make you feel welcome whenever possible. It wasn’t quite what we expected when we first landed on the island, we had conjured up thoughts of a 5 star resort with a pool etc, simply because we were paying $140 a night. Although it wasn’t how I imagined it was a very beautiful place with a quaint feel to it and the cold outdoor sea water showers were very exilerating! Our next island resort was Coconut Bay, this place was similar to Coral View in terms of staff and the friendly atmosphere but our double bure was a little bigger and we had an en-suite cold sea water shower! Very posh! The thing that made this journey out to the islands a bit special was spending the night aboard the Wanna Taki Cruise. This catamaran is a similar size to the Yasawa Flyer but it is built for living upon. The middle deck caters for 34 people in bunk beds and 3 couples shacked up in double beds (which we were one of), this deck also had a TV room and HOT fresh water showers, it was the most luxurious place we stayed in over 5 days! The top deck was where the galley was and where ate our food which was really really tasty. It was also the place where you could dive off into the sea. At a height of 7 metres it wasn’t a big leap of faith but it was high enough for me to think twice of diving head first. It was also high enough for Bobbie to be so scared that her body refused to allow her to make that leap. Eventually however she made that jump and I got photo evidence (photo up soon hopefully), so big round of applause for Bobbie!!! We also gave kayaking a whirl, we met a great couple called Oyster and Shaz from Oz who wanted to have a kayak and a snorkel and we though we would tag along. So the journey from the cruiser to the beach in the kayak was a little slow but we made it OK and we got a good snorkel once we landed on the beach. It was whilst snorkeling that we noticed the weather take a turn for the worst. So Oyster and Shaz suggested we take the kayaks back to the cruiser. This proved more difficult for us than we expected because we found it hard to paddle with 2 foot waves hitting us straight on and driving rain trying to blind us! After about 10 minutes of paddling we noticed Shaz and Oyster had made it to the cruiser whereas we were only half way there! This made us more determined to make it but the more we paddled the less ground we covered. Eventually the crew aboard the Wanna Taki decided that maybe we needed some help and they sent out a rescue boat to pick us up. This was rather embarrassing especially when we got back to the cruiser because a cheer rose up from our spectators! We may not be kayaking again for a while!

The same day of the kayaking incident we boarded the Yasawa Flyer for the journey back to the mainland. Once on it we noticed the waves growing in size from 2 ft to at least 8 ft. It was a bumpy ride to say the least! The crew were handing out sick bags, huge waves were crashing over the front of the boat and at one point we even submerged under the water slightly!! It was the most horrendous sea journey I have ever been on and not something I want to repeat anytime soon.

My conclusion of Fiji is that it’s a beautiful place but that beauty is in danger of being ruined by tourism and too many resorts. I may be biased in the fact that we spent a month in the Cook Islands and I am comparing these beautiful islands to Fiji, but once you stay in the Cook Islands nothing comes close. If you plan to come to Fiji make sure you have enough cash to last your stay otherwise you may find you’ll have to cut it short.

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2 Responses

  1. hey dudes!! u look so brown!! god i look like a ghost compared to u!! hope all is well, did mum tell u thta aunt shelia died?? me tanyone famous yet? im off to nequay, i no its nots fiji but watever! gtg now bye luv ya em xxx

  2. Hi Em, Yep we are pretty brown but we expect to lose it now we are in NZ! Yeah mum told me about Aunt Sheila, crazy shizzle! Have fun in NEWQUAY, and be careful!!!

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