Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Sunday, December 22, 2013

One Week In Fiji

This is the boat we used to go snorkeling on my 2nd day in Taveuni.
Different than way that the cold air hit me the first time I stepped off the plane in Antarctica, the hot humid air in Fiji stuck to my skin creating a dampness that hasn't left yet.  I've gotten used to this feeling in the last 8 days, but it doesn't make it too much more comfortable.

Sunset in Taveuni
Before flying to the smaller island of Taveuni I spent a few days in the city of Nadi (pronounced Nandy) on Fiji's largest island.  I've spent most of my time in Nadi at my hostel on the beach.  There really hasn't been much reason to leave.  I did go into the city center to visit the farmer's market, but I didn't stay much longer since I was tired of being hassled by the locals.  Fijians are known for being some of the friendliest people in the world, but in the city it is a little different.  Their "friendliness" turns annoying really quickly as every third person on the streets stops to introduce themselves and inquires to make sure I've visited the local Fijian market and not the Indian markets.  There is a large Indian (from India) population in Nadi and the locals aren't the biggest fans of them.  A bunch of white people took the bus into town yesterday and ended up all walking down the same street toward the fruit and vegetable market and the group got smaller and smaller as each of us was eventually enticed to visit one of the local Fijian shops.

Fire Dancing!
1.5 seconds of fire dancing.

This trip was supposed to be relaxing so I soon got too fed up with this and headed to catch the bus back to the beach hostel. Walking down the last block to the bus station I couldn't take more than a few steps without being stopped.  There were a few times I would say goodbye to someone and turn around to start walking and not even make a step before someone else came up to me.

My first time snorkeling.

It is such a different world.
From Nadi I got on a small twin otter airplane to fly an hour and a half to the island of Taveuni.  The last time I was on a twin otter I was at the South Pole.  Flying over tropical islands was a lot nicer than flying over that cold, flat, white landscape.  The door of this twin otter didn't quite seal, which freaked some people out, but I was happy to have a little extra breeze in the heat.

Bali was our guide on most day trips around Taveuni.
The van that picked me up from the airport was in even worse shape than the plane.  The first bench seat in the back wasn't attached to the floor so it rocked back and forth with every bump in the road.  But it got me to the hostel.  Not the hostel I originally booked…that one was closed, but the same people opened up another one and simply transferred the reservations from the old hostel to the new one.  The website for the old one is still up and currently taking reservations….oh Fiji.

An hour after I arrived in Taveuni I headed up to some local waterfalls with a few people that were also staying in the hostel.  The heat was killer, but we were rewarded with cool water to swim in at each waterfall.  There were also purple crabs high up in the rain forest.  Later that evening we had a bonfire on the beach and watched some Fijian fire dancing.  The rest of my days in Fiji have been just as amazing.
The grass was covered in these things every night.
I have thousands of photos to go through, but I was able to quickly find a few for this post.  I'll also try to get some more stories up in the next few days.

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