So I'm finally posting my journal from Fiji. It's a lot though. I write about everything....
We arrived in Fiji at 5am on September 10th after about a 10 hour direct flight from LAX. By the time we collected our bags and passed through customs it was daylight.
We were greeted by our driver with seashell leis. Then it was off on a 2 Ĺ hour bus ride to Wananavu. The drive was quite scenic. We passed a LOT of sugar cane fields and about 3 or 4 villages. Along the sides of the road were children catching the bus for school. Each group of little girls were wearing the same outfit but in different colors. Some were bright pink; some were wearing purple others green. We were told that the color was based on which school they went to and even though they lived in the same village they may go to different schools. Indian children will only go to Indian schools but the Fijian children will go to whatever is closest. We also discovered that men wear skirts, or what they call pocket sulus. Some wear pants but most wear the sulus. All of the women are very modestly dressed.
We arrived at the resort around 8:45am just in time to catch breakfast. We decided to be a little adventurous and try what they call chicken chipolatas which was a chicken sausage. I was not a fan. It tasted like bad sausage to me and wasnít white like chicken sausage in the U.S. All of the fresh fruit was delicious though and the bread was definitely freshly baked. The dining area is open air and outdoors and has a beautiful view of the resort and ocean.
Our bure is gorgeous!!!!!! Absolutely the best place we have ever stayed. It is set up on the hill at the top of the resort with a 180 degree ocean view. We have a huge deck with a private pool, lounge chairs, and a bar table under a tiki thatch hut. There are two large rooms. The main entrance is to the living area with a sofa, table, and bar. The other room is a large room with a king bed and canopy. Both rooms have huge doors that open up to an ocean view. The bathroom is huge and has a little window that opens up to the bedroom. The best part is the indoor/outdoor shower. Part of the shower is inside and there is a glass door that opens up to an outdoor shower that has a glass wall with views of the ocean.
For lunch I ordered a chicken salad and I have to say that I was entirely underwhelmed and the soup I got had the consistency of gravy. Cody got the Kovodo (??) from the all day menu and he loved it. It is a tradiational Fiji dish of fish ceviche style but with coconut milk added. All of their chicken here is dark meat so I think Iíll have fish for 7 days.
After lunch we sat in on the Cultural talk with Evoluni. We learned that the province of Ra, where we are, is the origin of Fijian culture. Everyone in Ra greets others with ďyandraĒ instead of Bula. Yandra means good morning but they believe that they should always use the first greeting of the day to anyone they meet. However, only Evoluni has said Yandra to us. All of the other staff has been saying Bula. We also learned that the men of Ra will not say the names of their brothers spouse. So if Evoluniís brotherís wife is Mary, Evoluni will not say the name Mary and will even skip any chapters of the bible if heís reading that say Mary in them.
We also learned that Fijians donít knock on doors. Before they get to the house they yell out ďdua dua duaĒ and then the friend will yell back a greeting. They think that if you wait to knock you have already trespassed on their property.
We also learned that you donít sit under coconut trees and you always look up first for brown coconuts. While we were sitting there a large palm frawn fell and Iím sure it would have knocked me out if I had been sitting there.
For dinner Thursday evening we had tandori Walu (fish) and that was definitely better than lunch. It was very yummy but the soup was still very gravy like. Cody sampled the entire Fiji beer list with dinner and I had a Maitai and a Ya Sawa which were both delicious and strong.
We crashed early last night to a very good nightís sleep. The wind continued to howl into the night and it was a bit chilly. We were not expecting the cool weather and we hope the winds die down soon.
Friday, September 11, 2009
We started out our day with a nice breakfast of fruit, eggs, and potatoes. We learned from our chicken chipolata experience and skipped the meat.
Then it was off to the dive boat. The dive master came up to the lobby and carried our bag down to the boat which was awesome. Iím not exactly sure what his name was but he said if we forgot it just to say Bula.
The waves were rather choppy today but that didnít keep us from diving.
Dive 1: Dragonís Tail
We descended to about 75 feet and there really wasnít anything too exciting to see. But at about 20-30 feet the dive was awesome. Tons of soft and hard coral. Tons of little fish and a number of clown fish. There were a ton of cute gobies. We saw our first Zenia and big leather toadstools. We saw a HUGE Star Puffer. He must have been 3 feet. I think he could have bitten my hand off if he wanted to. Cody saw a lionfish hiding under a coral.
Dive 2: Breathtaker
I found a Nudi, I found a Nudi! Oh wait, I saw a Shark, I saw a shark! Yippee! This dive definitely earned its name. On our way down I spotted my first nudi of the trip. I have to figure out what type it was. We went down to about 84 feet and spotted 2 sharks; a white tip reef shark and a grey reef shark. We didnít get to see them too close but it was still cool. We then ascended onto several large coral heads. There were gobs of corals and little fish. I also saw a Mahe briefly. I got some good shots of a few large clown fish. There were huge amazing anemones flowing in the current.
For dinner I had a prawn salad and wahoo again. Iím loving the fish! We topped that off with a banana tart. We dined with our new friends Bob and Pat. They are full of great stories about how they met and life in general since they have been together for 43 years!
Saturday September 12th
We started our day with the typical breakfast which was oh so yummy. We practiced our Fijian with Vulo. Thavo chicka manda! (snap!) Meli (or Lisha!) thinks this is pretty funny. (Apparently Fiji and Long Beach have a lot in common.)
The winds calmed down a little bit today so the dives were fantastic!
Dive 1: Neptuneís Rhapsody and Corals
This was a gorgeous dive! Little fish everywhere! It was multiple coral heads with a max depth of about 60-70. There was this beautiful green hard coral everywhere! It had little dark green polyps all over it but we have no idea what it is.
Dive 2: Golden Crown (I think?)í
Another beautiful dive. Several coral heads covered in life. Huge gorgonias, beautiful golden corals all over the place. Awesome awesome awesome anemones and anemonefish, oh my!
Sunday September 13th
Dive 1: Black Magic Mountain
Beautiful dive! Absolutely beautiful! Turtle!!!! We found the little guy snoozing in a crack in the reef. We just sat back and observed for a while until he decided it was time to go for a swim. He was fairly small and cute as could be. Saw some neat trigger fish on this dive. Much more colorful than the trigger fish in the carribean. Saw a really pretty blue and orange filefish but they apparently arenít too photogenic. I think I got his tail in the shot. Then I got in a fight with a damsel. I was trying to get a picture of the filefish but I was apparently in the damsels turf because he kept coming out of his coral and getting in my grill. That fish thinks heís a shark. Not so much! This whole reef was covered in corals and so many fish. Just memorizing. There were also two remoras swimming just out in the blue and it was almost like they were following us. A little bit freaky. Saw a really pretty speckled grouper of some sort and a cute pointy nosed puffer of some kind. You know I love the puffers! Oh and I found a beautiful nudi. It was black with a these little ruffles that had bright orange on this edges. He must be what the divemaster was referring to as a peacock nudi. I need to check that out because it was awesome!
Dive 2: Wheat Field
Started out the dive with a shark out in the blue. And then the dive lived up to itís name. It looked like a wheat field. Just wheat colored soft coral as far as you could see. I did find a little crab in one of the corals which was cute. But other than that this dive was very lackluster. We think the DMs were punishing us for bitching over not have a 3 tank dive day. (Did I mention that we weren't big fans of the DMs?)
We tagged the boat with some DMX love