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I was flying out of NZ this morning for Fiji before heading back to the States. Last night, while sleeping in my van in some residential neighborhood, I was awoken at 2am. About 6 cop cars came racing by and scared the crap out of me. Then 10 minutes later they were all stopped outside my van with lights blaring. This seemed a bit excessive for illegally parking and sleeping in your car. Then they all took off again. I assume someone was on the loose and they kept getting new information as to which street they were heading down. It took me a bit to process all this, and there was no way I could fall back asleep now as I thought about an escaped convict trying to get into my van and hide.
Around 7 am I found my way to the rental company but drove past and set up shop in a supermarket parking lot. I had to pack up my stuff, wash up and make myself presentable for the flight. It was an attractive sight, seeing this man in his boxers washing up while you go into the grocery store.
I dropped off the van and tried to avoid them getting inside to investigate the foul odor of my domicile for the last 2 weeks. It turns out they were retiring my vehicle. A good decision.
I landed in Fiji’s capital city of Nadi about 6pm. My bags arrived with me; always a good thing. I had reserved a room at hotel before I left NZ. They picked me up at the airport and we proceeded to drive around running errands and getting gas. I was now on "Fiji Time” which meant we are gunna do things slow and you will deal with it.
The place, Smuggler’s Cove” was a hostel, but also had decent private rooms for about $100 US dollars. The Fiji dollar is about half the US so $200 Fiji is $100 US.
I showered and dropped my bags, heading downstairs to catch a tribal fire ceremony on the beach
I walked the beach a bit before some bald guy from Denmark approached me. Get away! You cant have 2 bald guys this close too each other! I hesitantly engaged in conversation trying to feel him out to see if he wanted to hook up with me or just wanted to talk. We shared a few drinks and shared travel stories. I peppered him with questions about the history of Denmark. And he thought he was here to relax.
The next day I was up at 6am. I was here for one full day then flying home tomorrow. That is about all the time I need on a beach.
I planned to head to the local market via city buses, but both buses and market were closed on Sunday. So I called a taxi and asked him to take me to the most expensive resort and drop me off for the day. It was kinda weird as I told him I needed to buy some local crap to take home. He drove me to this place Jacks. He just drops me off and says he will come back later.
I buy some goods and sure enough he shows up an hour later. We drive to the resort and he tells me he will just hold all the stuff I bought and see me later. It really is a different vibe here. You try to determine times and locations for meeting and he just interrupts, “I will find you later, no worries”
Here is the marina area where resort is. I just walked in with towel and head to pool and beach
I spent the day just relaxing and swimming. After a few hours I walked down to the marina for some lunch
I stopped at a traditional Fijian restaurant and dropped $50 on some Tiger Prawns
It was ok, nothing special.
My taxi found me and took me back to hotel for the night. Here is a shot of him and my finger. He charged me about $30 US for the day. He said he makes about $75 US a week because he does not own the taxi.
I stayed in bed and did not head down to the bars as it rained most of the night. I realized that I was not flying out until 9pm the following night but I had to check out by 11am. What the hell was I to do all day?
I got up around 9am and asked downstairs if there was anything I could do for 8 hours. They said that a private island cruise was leaving the marina in 20 minutes. It was interesting watching the laidback people try to shuffle paperwork and make calls to taxis and the cruise in order to get me there immediately. It was not a well oiled machine but it got the job done.
Here is a link to the cruise
A map of some of the chain of islands off the mainland
I boarded in time and we were off
They had little events set up throughout the day. Below I participated in some ceremony where we drank Kava. It is found in pill form in the US and people use it as a herbal remedy for depression or anxiety. It just made my mouth numb.
After an hour we spotted the island
We boarded a landing craft and got a tour of some of the reefs
It was pretty sad as most of the corals were dead with a couple spots of life. The tourists, boats, hurricanes, etc have destroyed a majority of reefs around the world
After landing We all went snorkeling. That was a cluster bleep. The boat consisted of 30 Asian tourists and me. They did not understand English and not a clue how to put a mask and fins on. When I was coming in from 1 hour snorkeling they were still standing in 2 feet of water still trying to figure out how to breathe underwater. It boggles the mind.
They had some traditional meal for us and unlimited beer. I met some couple from San Diego and hung out on the beach with them until 3pm and it was time to head back on the boat.
I got a cab back to hotel, grabbed my gear and headed to airport. This was gunna be a great trip now that I was drunk, sunburned, tired and had to spend the next 30 hours travelling. We got stuck in traffic and I barely made my flight
I made it home with no hiccups. A pretty successful trip. I saw everything I came to see and felt it was worth the time and money. The next few trips will be a little closer to home.
Until Next Time