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Travel blog I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast, but I'm intercontinental and I eat French toast (Beastie Boys) | | | Photos available at www.istockphoto.com/georgeclerk

Bula! from Fiji (and NZ)

FIJI | Tuesday, 28 October 2008 | Views [4820] | Comments [3]

I hadn't planned to go to Fiji after Australia, but when Mum and Dad decided to go there with my sister Julia and family for a holiday, a 'free' week in the sun sounded like a great idea.   

I got there a week before them, and was quite pleased with myself when I waited until a day before a swanky 'Blue Lagoon' cruise set off to the Yasawa Islands (where 'The Blue Lagoon' was made) departed, phoned them up and got a bottom cabin deal at half price.  Quite pleased, until I found out that as long as you book the cruise in Fiji you always get 50% off, so if anyone reading this is going to Fiji, have a look at their website and then you can get half that price.  It was still the most expensive four days of my travels so far, but really good.

The crew were a laugh, and we had a diverse group of passengers, including a Russian couple about to get married, and an Aussie couple who had just got married.  The 'cruise director' (yes, it was that posh!) broke the ice, and seriously embarrassed Emma the Aussie bride, by saying "If you find that the boat is rocking, please don't blame the captain's skills or the weather - these two lovebirds are here on honeymoon!"

We motored up through the Yasawas, catching the odd Spanish Mackerel as we went, and stopped on several islands for Fiji vs the rest of the world volleyball, snorkelling, cava ceremonies and to visit a traditional village on Malakati, where we were expertly entertained by Fijian style missionary music, conga dancing and a spot of football with the kids, then got the chance to buy shells and necklaces from the local women.  

The major embarrassment for me was a competition on the last night, where we had to represent our countries with some form of entertainment.  Several people were there from each country represented with the exception of Scotland, so I had to go it alone and borrow a guitar to murder '500 miles' by The Proclaimers, but at least most people knew it, and had drunk enough cava and beer to sing along!

The small but brilliant infinity pool at the house we rented

After a week on Fiji the family cavalry arrived, and we were off to our rented house for the week on Vuda Point, near Nadi on Vitu Levu, the biggest of the Fiji's 330 islands.  It was great to see everyone again, but unfortunately Billy, my nine month old nephew and godson kept staring at me with wide open eyes, then bursting out crying, unusual for someone who spends most of his time smiling and cooing.

It was trimmed and tidy, but still scared him!

It was decided that the problem was my beard, and once I shaved that off, he was nothing but sweetness and light, just like his big sister Emily.

After every time Emily was thrown in the air she shouted 'Throw me again, up up up HIGHER!!'

We spent most of the time messing around by the pool and watching the sugar cane trains rumble slowly by, but did take a boat trip to nearby Bounty Island, which was great. 

Apparently it was the location for the UK's Celebrity Love Island, but when we were there it was just us and some backpackers.

Emily told me she'd found some 'sparkly bugs' in a corner of the garden, and sure enough, there were loads of them on one particular plant.

I got to sit next to 3 year old Emily on the flight to NZ.  She's full of surprises, and had baggsied the window seat to watch as we took off.  Rising over the clouds, I told her that when we were little, Jules and I used to think they were made of cotton wool.  She looked wisely at me and said, "Yes, uncle George, it's true that some clouds are made of cotton wool, but the others are made of aeroplane shit!".  You can take the girl out of the farm...!!

Because I couldn't fly direct from Fiji to Japan, I then came to stay with Jules and Steve in New Zealand for a week of wholesome things like home cooked food, making Jules a birthday cake with Emily, wearing jeans which I haven't got space for in my rucksack, and getting a golden shower from Billy!  Tomorrow I'm heading to Japan - after ten great months in the Southern Hemisphere, don't know why I thought the end of October would be a good time to head up to the Northern one!

Tags: cruise, fiji, new zealand, yasawas



George, I have two jobs!! I am a sedate government directory typesetter during the week and a wild milkshake making waitress during the weekend. Am exhausted the whole rest of the time, but generally am enjoying my first foray into regular employment. They give me money! Which I then exchange for goods and services (mostly shoes). What a fantastic system. I can't believe I never tried it before.

If you come to NZ again without saying hi I will be deeply wounded. There might be tears.

  Amber Nov 1, 2008 6:35 AM


Hi Amber, don't worry - you'll get bored of gainful employment pretty quickly I reckon. If all goes according to plan, I'll be back in NZ pretty soon actually - should be down in Wellington in Jan to get a visa for going to India.

  George Nov 3, 2008 10:19 PM


Hey! You had a AWESOME TIME I can tell! Happy, Happy Joy, Joy!!!.A really nice & beaitful time. AMAN******

  Clare Jun 15, 2009 1:53 PM



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