A Travellerspoint blog

Island Hopping - Fiji Tiiiiiiime

sunny 29 °C

Who'd of thought WiFi on a boat in the middle of the South Pacific?! Here's what we've been up to in Fiji!  

It took us a long time to decide what sort of island hopping we wanted to do. There were so many options! In the end we went for a 7 day, 6 night everything included package. It's 1100 Fijian dollars and the conversion rate is about 1: 2.75 so way more expensive than we'd hoped. We had planned on island hopping for longer but didn't think it would be worth the money and someone said it could get a bit boring after a while. The day before we left we headed into Nadi centre to look for a frisbee. When we were obviously looking a little lost a friendly Fijian man asked if he could help us, we told him what we were looking for and he waved his hand for us to follow him so we did. We started walking down a dodgy looking alley and Will and I were starting to feel a bit unsafe. He said 'first I give you my business card then we get frisbee.' Right okay so that's how it works. He led us up some stairs and into a shop with lots of beautiful wood carvings and jewelry so we thought this isn't so bad! He then told us that we had to have a traditional Fijian welcome ceremony which meant we had to sit on the floor, clap every now and then and drink what they call Kava. I thought it tasted a bit like cold tea without milk but it's a tree root that they chop, dryout and grind. It didn't taste great. So once we drank that Will got up to have a look around and the man said ' No no no you can't  leave we haven't closed the ceremony yet. This is fiji time!' so Will sat back down. Fiji time is basically the time they run on which is so chilled out and they are never in a hurry. Then they started handing us brochures which were all about how Fijians used to be cannibals and how they used to fight. Talk about freaky! I thought we were going to be thrown into a pan right there and then after that! After a short while later and some more clapping and drinking Kava they said we were allowed to leave thank God! He never did show us where we could find a frisbee either!
sunset on mainland

sunset on mainland


  Day 1 & 2 - Wayalailai Island, Ecohaven Resort  

The alarm went off at 6.15am, we grabbed some toast and a coffee for breakfast, packed our suncream and swimmers and hopped on the bus that took us to the marina. We boarded the Yasawa Flyer, a big yellow boat with about 200 other island visitors aboard. The boat takes you all around the yasawa islands to all the different resorts and communities, our first stop was Wayalailai Island. A small fisherman boat took us off from the Yasawa Flyer to the island but the sea was very choppy and a couple of people got soaking wet from the waves. Fortunately I was sitting on the right side of the boat. We had time for a quick half hour sunbathe before they served lunch which was amazing! Fresh fish and chips, lots of veg and lots of fruit for pudding. That set us up for an afternoon of sunbathing and swimming in the sea. It was really windy so the sand kept whipping us in the face which was a little annoying. If it hadn't been windy though we would of absolutely roasted so it wasn't all bad! Dinner was interesting. It was Fijian night so all the food was sourced locally from the island, there were a few things we hadn't heard of and that I couldn't even attempt to spell, and we were under strict instruction to only eat with our fingers. I personally think that was just to save on the washing up. After dinner the locals provided us with some fabulous entertainment. Lots of singing, dancing with spears and guitar playing! They were all dressed in traditional Fijian clothes. It was really cool. At the end we had to split into our nationalities and sing our own national anthem. Thankfully for Will and I there were 5 other brits with much better singing vocals and more knowledge of God Save the Queen.  

We got a hearty breakfast of fried eggs on pancakes, bread, fruit and cereal at 7.30am. We really can't make any complaints about the food it's so good so far. No plans for today. It's lucky we brought a frisbee as there's not an awful lot to do other than sunbathe! A big group of american youths arrived in the morning and we managed to get a game of volleyball going. Pretty tricky with 9 a side but good fun! Then we got another big lunch of rice, spaghetti, pineapple, (that comes with everything and anything) fresh fish and veg. We haven't eaten this well since we left my aunt and uncles in Rio! In the afternoon we borrowed some snorkelling gear and saw loads of cool fish, a blue starfish and 3 big oysters, no pearls though. Pretty amazing!
swimming in Wayalailai

swimming in Wayalailai

wayalailai beach

wayalailai beach


  Day 3 & 4 - Naviti Island, White Sandy Beach Resort  

The Yasawa Flyer picked us up at 10.30am and we headed further north to Naviti Island where we are staying at White Sandy Beach Resort. The sea was much calmer this time and we saw dolphins jumping right next to the boat! It was so cool! Every resort has a volleyball court so we played that for a while until we got too hot and had to jump in the sea. It's much less windy here which means it's bloody roasting but easier to play frisbee. Our room is right on the beach and has a decking looking out to sea and we watched the sun set from there. We had a nice dinner of mussels, chicken and veg including something called sea grapes which were small circle things that popped in your mouth. So strange! Haha!Ready for bed now and mosquitoes are buzzing about everywhere so god knows what i'll wake up looking like tomorrow!  
spot of sunbathing

spot of sunbathing


The sun was raising and we were on the fishing boat heading out to do some snorkelling with manta rays. It was an early morning with the alarm going off at 5.50 but definitley worth it. They were huuuge! The first one was black and then we saw a white and black one. When I first saw it I thought it was a shark with its jaws open so I quickly did a u-turn and swam away as fast as possible until I saw people swimming towards it. It was pretty funny as the Fijian guy on the boat would shout 'manta ray over there! Swim quick!' So all 10 of us would turn a round and swim which ever way he was pointing. It really was a crazy free for all. Flippers in faces and people barging by trying to get a good pic. Great fun! It was very exhausting as we were swimming against the current most the time and trying to keep up with the Manta Rays. We were back in time for breakfast and had a nap on the beach. There are lots of cool little crabs on the beach that run so fast and then dig themselves into the sand. Will has tried to find them but hasn't suceeded yet. Volleyball tornament in the afternoon as per usual and some more napping on the beach with a bit of frisbee inbetween. All the days are starting to merge into one. Playing cards with our roomies and getting packed up for our next island in the morning.  
roomies in white sandy

roomies in white sandy

white sandy boat

white sandy boat


Days 5 & 6 - Nanuya Lailai Island, Gold Coast Resort

  Third island and we're starting to be pretty pleased about island hopping for 7 days rather than 11. The scenery is stunning it's just a bit boring lying on the beach all day. Even frisbee is getting a little tedious! More dolphins on the way over to this island. Will got a better view than I did. Apparently there were 12+! Eveytime we leave an island the staff get their guitars out and sing us a leaving song in Fijian and the same happens as we arrive on a new island with a welcome song. They are all so friendly always shouting 'Bula' which means welcome and always laughing. It's really nice to see. There are only 3 of us on this island so it's very quiet. It is very small but so beautiful with the most turquoise water we have seen and so many palm trees. Our last island seemed to be infested with ants and lots of flies but this one doesn't seem to have many at all. Will has found Shane Warnes autobiography to read and I've found some sort of ridiculoualy scary murder story which will give me nightmares for the next couple of nights. It's always a bit spooky going to bed anyway, especially here as there's only 3 of us, because we're always in a little hut in the middle of nowhere and they switch off the electricity at 10pm and you wait for your eyes to adjust to the darkness but they just don't, it's too dark!
fijian fisherboats

fijian fisherboats


  Pancakes for breakfast, what a treat! Will' s got a bit of a funny stomach. We think it's from the chicken at the other island as apparently there are a couple of people who aren't feeling well. Another chilled out day planned bit of swimming and sunbathing. The wind is picking up so it's nice and cool. There is a tea shop at the end of the beach so we headed there for a slice of banana cake. Not that we needed it, the portions here are huge! Five more people arrived today so it got a bit busier. The locals lit us a bonfire on the beach after tea and they played there guitars. Then they led all 8 of us up a hill to a decking where we lay down and looked for shooting stars. It was really cool. The walk there was pretty hard as we had limited lighting and the track was very narrow. Frogs were jumping about everywhere! The stars were beautiful and we lay there for about half an hour until some clouds covered them. It was such a nice evening!
sunrise at gold coast

sunrise at gold coast


  Day 7 - Back to Nadi  

So our last day on the islands! It's pretty sad as we've had a really nice chilled out time and we probably will never come back here. We still have 10 days on the mainland. God knows what we'll do in all that time, we're going to try and move our flight forward so we can go to Oz sooner. Final day of catching some rays on this beautiful island then the boat comes and picks us up at midday and we have 5 hours on there.

great time on the islands!

great time on the islands!

Posted by amcara91 19:22 Archived in Fiji Comments (2)

Fiji Bound

sunny 27 °C

We arrived in Fiji yesterday evening and somehow managed to spend 3 hours in the airport going through security and getting harrassed by travel agents. WE finally got out though and are in a hostel right on the beach. Perfect! It's ridiculously expensive like way expensive than either of us imagined and a lot of other travellers have said the same. Bit of a shock really but it's fine!

We're staying in this hostel for 2 more nights and then are off to do some island hopping! Can't wait. We've watched the sunset on the beach while doing some tough mudder training! Stunning! Just writing here really to say that there doesn't seem to be much interenet around so I probably won't be able to update this for 3 weeks but we are safe and sound in Fiji and loving the hot weather!

Posted by amcara91 00:33 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

6 Month Mark

  So it's been just over 6 months since we left home. It's gone ridiculously fast! I wouldn't be able to tell you our favourite country but favourite cities so far have to be San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Cusco, Rio, Iquique and Queenstown. NZ is definitley up there for most beautiful country.

  I think we could have done with a bit longer here as we would of liked to visit a few more places in the South Island but apparently flights aren't too expensive from Australia so who knows we may be back soon. As we'd been in Queenstown for about 12 days we settled down and made a few friends so it was sad leaving them behind but got us excited to start work  and living in Oz.

  Today we are off to Fiji for 3 weeks! Woohoo! A time to chill out, get a tan and have fun before we start our job hunt. I did check the weather forecast though and it seems to be raining quite a bit there at the moment.. It better not rain that much!

leaving on a jet plane

leaving on a jet plane

Posted by amcara91 16:20 Archived in New Zealand Tagged flying Comments (0)

Fun in Queenstown

snow 2 °C

I recovered well from my limbo incident and now only feel a twang in my hip every now and again so I'm pretty sure it'll be back to normal in no time. On Saturday I did the canyon swing with our Aussie pal Matt. It involved jumping off the side of a cliff, freefalling 60m and then swinging 160m. It was so scary! The guy was like all you have to do is step off the edge, easier said than done! I sort of just crumbled off the edge not really being able to jump or step. It was a crazy feeling of just falling and a split second of thinking that maybe I was falling to my death but then whoosh I was swinging and that was the best feeling ever! It was really amazing!
canyon swing

canyon swing


  We've also been up the Remarkables mountain range, named after a guy who looked out his window and said 'wow isn't that view remarkable', which was brilliant. I mean obviously it's nothing compared to Whistler or the Alps but still we're in New Zealand and managed to go snowboarding so we're pretty happy! It had been snowing heaps and the day we went up it was pretty clear so perfect conditions. The resort did only have 3 chairlifts though so pretty small.   Will's been practicing his culinary skills. The other day he made an amazing beef stew which he has renamed 'Big Man Broth'... it was perfect for when we had just come off the mountain, his next aim is a curry. Not too spicy I hope!
snowboarding in Queenstown

snowboarding in Queenstown


  Queenstown is very expensive and there is not a lot to do unless you're spending lots of money so we're looking forward to moving on on Saturday and even more excited for the hot weather of Fiji on Sunday! We've been on a couple of walks and seen some amazing views it really is stunning here!

teeing off on our walk haha!

teeing off on our walk haha!


nice views on our walk

nice views on our walk

Posted by amcara91 16:07 Archived in New Zealand Tagged snow walks cold canyonswing Comments (0)

Queenstown, Snow and some Extreme Limbo

snow 3 °C

Franz Josef was really nice but very small. We had planned on doing a helicopter tour to the glacier but the weather was pretty bad and we were running out of time so we just walked to it instead. It wasn't a great view of it to be honest as they don't let you get very close because it can be dangerous, rocks falling off an all sorts. We kind of wished we'd just gone for the flight. Its shrunk by 80m in height and 300m in length in the last 2 years which is crazy!! So it's not going to be about forever.  
Reflective lake near the glacier

Reflective lake near the glacier


  We then got the bus to Queenstown. It was an 8 hour journey but our driver was very friendly and stopped off at all the tourist spots and places with nice views he was more of a tour guide to be honest giving us the whole history of NZ. Quite interesting but a bit annoying when you just want to fall asleep.    
nice views on our journey

nice views on our journey

stop off at lake Wanaka

stop off at lake Wanaka


Queenstown is stunning! As soon as we arrived Will and I both said it's like a little European ski town as its surrounded by mountains with loads of young skiers and boarders. More beautiful though with a huge lake and snowy mountains in the background. We're definitley going to have to go snowboarding while we're here. The great thing as well is that Winterfest is starting today which is a big, week long festival with loads of free things going on during the week and fireworks and all sorts! Came here at such good timing! It was pretty lucky really.    

The other night, as we hadn't been on a proper night out in a while, decided to go on a pub crawl. It was ace, we met loads of people and went to a bar that's minus 5 degrees and made out completley of ice! So cool! After a few free shots and a few more drinks I got fairly confident in a limbo competition. Anyone who knows me knows I'm one of the least flexible people ever, struggling to get past my knees when I try and touch my toes. This however was different! With some sort of new found flexibility I sailed into the final and had people asking if I was a gymnast... wow! As I was going under the cue I felt and heard this big pop in my hip and fell to the ground and lost the final. I was quite happy with the beverages I had had as I imagine it would've been excruciatingly painful otherwise. We enjoyed the rest of the night dancing and drinking. The morning was a different matter. Struggling to roll over in bed I remembered what happened. I was in soo much pain all day really struggling to move without it being so painful. Stairs were the worst! We had to have a chilled out day watching The Two Towers and The Return of the King. I thought I was going to have to go to the doctors but decided to leave it one more night to see how it is today and so far it feels much better so I will be able to go snowboarding in a couple days! Phewf! Safe to say I won't be doing the limbo again for a while!

Posted by amcara91 14:43 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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