I am sitting in a bungalow right on the beach using the backpacker's Internet connection. I feel weird using the term backpacker because we have our own rooms and kitchenette. Its quite fantastic actually with a pool by the restaurant and the most amazing view of the beach from our balcony. And to think, we almost didn't make it! My baby brother booked one of our party on the wrong flight (the day before). By the time we had sought everything out and pretty much purchased a new ticket from a sour woman behind the sales desk, we only just made the plane! Having said that, when we arrived it was such a lovely day and everyone was so friendly, it was hard to worry.
When we landed at Nadi, we were approached by a gentleman who instructed us to buy the bus tickets from him. We had no way of knowing if he was associated with the bus company but paid the money anyway (no point starting the holiday being suspicious) and when the bus arrived, no one even checked them. There was nothing on the bus that indicated where it would go so I guess the fact that we arrived safely at our destination (after having to walk into the dark for a bit) about an hour and a half later means we are on a holiday of more luck than planning.
We ended our evening drinking Mai Thais by the pool after a very nice meal. All I have spent in the last 2 days is 100 Fijian dollars (including accommodation!). Perfect!
I woke up this morning and went for a jog along the beach. The sand is mostly bits of coral so quite painful to walk on without shoes. Everyone is so amazingly friendly. The locals all yell "Bula" (hello) as you pass and could not be more helpful. To start with it was a little full on but now I just really like it. As I was jogging down the beach, one of the locals (who was behind a tree for some strange reason) has jumped out of what seemed like nowhere and yelled out to me. I almost had a heart-attack until I realised that he was honestly just trying to be friendly. I got back around 9am and had breakfast with one of the girls in the group. The boys went surfing super early with the security guard from our hotel (another genuinely nice guy who took them and their surf boards to the beach and basically acted the tour guide for them most of the day... for a small fee *laughs*). To be honest, after the drinking from the night before, I didn't think I could cope with that - eating and drinking by the pool... much more my speed. When the boys came back, we went for a walk through the town of Korotoga (we are really close to Sigatoka) and it was fascinating to see livestock just wandering around the houses. There were pigs (which actually walk up to you if you put your hand out), horses, cows and heaps of chickens. I feel like I have been walking all day even though actually it was probably only 5km. Sand walking really takes it out of you. Regardless, I feel like so far I have had an amazing opportunity to really wander and explore. It's very touristy here so I don't know how much of a feel you can get for the real Fiji on this coast. Still there are many more places planned so I am thinking I will get to see more as I go.
xox Love to all