Bula from Fiji

January 31, 2019

Thursday 31st January 

Nadi Fiji. 

Laying in the sun with the pool one side and the South Pacific Ocean on the other. I mean like 20 paces either way. The sea qualifies as slightly warmer than the pool but both are nice and warm/hot. We have just had our first drink of the day. 11am cocktails at the pool ‘swim up’ bar. Lush. 

      Yesterday we left Perth at 10.55pm and flew to Sydney.. strange that we followed the Kelly’s back to Sydney later in the same day. Unplanned. This was our stop over to catch our next flight to Fiji. It was an unusual combination of flights. Four hours internal domestic flight across the mass of Australia then on arrival in Sydney catch a bus several miles across to the International Terminal 1 for our next Virgin Australia flight. Our hold bags made their own way as the whole trip was Virgin and was booked as one trip. Both flights were about 4 hours each with a couple of hours stopover. We are continually amazed at how easy all these airports are to travel through. We understand they are not quite as tight with security as these countries are not generally a target for terrorism in the air but they still have to go through the systems. So much easier than we expected …so far. Also..our hand baggage is a little oversize (well mine particularly) and way overweight (mine definitely!). No airlines have checked, stressed or got anal like they do in Europe. 

Has anyone ever been on a scheduled airline flight with a row of seats without a window? Well seats 9A and B on this Boeing 787-800 should be avoided. We had those.! First time I have ever seen this. Can’t see in front or behind outside and can only see across to 9DEFs window if they all bend down to tie their shoe laces at the same time..! You get the picture? (Which is more than we did!)

Thankfully the flight was only half full so we had three seats each on the ‘long legroom’ exit row nearby. Disappointingly though we HAD to return to our ‘dark room’ for landing so missed the entry view into Fiji. Mind you it was raining. ! 

Immigration in Fiji was equally straightforward. Our plane was half full and the only flight landing but there were still 8 immigration officers. Real quick. Still professional but plenty of staff and technology. I visited Fiji 13 years ago for Kelly and Cristian’s wedding and note how much of an improvement Nadi airport is. Much less hot and stressy. 

It rained all the way to the hotel (Radisson Blu-Denarau Island (don’t think it’s actually an island-just a peninsula attached to the main land..(which is actually just an island anyway-Got it?! ))) in the little yellow 1974 Toyota taxi. The driver was really helpful and informative as ever and smiled as I reached in my pocket to hand him a tip. Who knew that $2 was only 60p..!? I am sure I heard him mutter ‘Tight Northern Bast**d’ under his breath as he roared away..

So our room was great. Booked the day before through booking.com it was discounted by 44% but still cost approx £100 per night. On arrival we were upgraded to a suite ( charm…!) which had.. well everything. Bedroom, kitchen, dining room, walk-in shower etc. Won’t bore you again with details but..terrific. 

Some of you may remember me saying how we wanted to get more ‘earthy’ and away from the ‘resort’ holidays. Well it’s hard… we started off well in Thailand but keep dragging ourselves up market. Must try harder..! 

So.. last evening the rain had stopped and was well dried out. It was still a little cloudy but it developed into one of those terrific sunsets we all love. We stuck with our principles and grabbed ‘happy hour’ local ‘gold’ lagers – taste great and just F$22 for three bottles (£8-cheap here) and watched the sun set for over an hour. Still very warm at 28 degrees or so. Bloody lovely. We agreed we could do that every night. Sooooo peaceful. 

We managed a little walk around the ‘Island’ and then Coconut Seafood Curry in the restaurant outside with the sound of the sea alongside. Early night as we only slept an hour is so in the last 36 hours. 

Back to today. Sun pool… anyway. So far so very, very good. 

Did you know…Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which 110 are permanently inhabited. 

The International Date Line bends around Fiji. We are that close. ..

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