A holiday to Fiji

Trip Start Aug 15, 2008
1
18
22
Trip End ??? ??, 2009


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Monday, November 10, 2008

So after a few months travelling we decided that we needed a holiday, especially since Naomi hadn't taken any annual leave for near on 12 months. With her friend Sarah due to fly to Fiji with her boyfriend in November, we decided it would be a perfect opportunity to get away from it all and visit paradise. Though I had already visited Fiji many years prior to this holiday, my past experience of the country was not great...well that is unless you like having people drop down dead in front of you after they had just poured you a morning orange juice, having food poisoning or finding a cockroach in your plane meal on leaving the country. It surely had to be better this time around - and indeed it was.

The first few days were spent on the main island of Vitu Levu acclimitising, before we hired a car and headed along the south coast to Beqa Lagoon to shark dive- thats right....you heard me correctly SHARK DIVE. That is diving with sharks - you know...the ones that kill people quite frequently off the coast of Australia and sometimes make an appearance in the film Jaws - which most likely can be found in your local Blockbusters under the`horror' section. Did I also mention the fact that we did not have a protection of a cage!

Like many of our car rental journeys to date, this one obvioulsy had its fair share of problems. The main one being that we cracked the windshield within moments of hiring the vehicle...oops - what have I done to this country to deserve this! Luckily when we returned the car Naomi managed to argue our way out of paying for the damage. As the car was not meant to be driven on unsealed roads, and they had dropped the car off on the shoreline on the beach next to our hotel, thats right the beach...not a road, they let us off on a minor technically...phew.

So anyway back to the shark diving. On the morning of the dive, I must admit breakfast was quite a quiet afare between Naomi and I. There were five tourists (including us) that would dive that day plus the nutters, sorry I meant to say experienced guides that would join us on the boat. Though both Naomi and I are qualified divers, neither of us had dived for many years a much needed refresher course in the hotel swimming pool was necessary. Hoping this familarisation and safety breifing would last a couple of hours ..ten minutes later we were stepping on to the boat ready to embark on the 30metres descent to the bottom of the ocean - great.
We carried out two 30minute dives and saw a whole variety of sharks and other massive fish. The visual display was truely amazing and though it was indeed a mass frenzy it did feel safe and controlled - well as safe as it could possibly be. I did have a shark hit me with its tail at one point which was a bit unnerving.
We saw about 6 different varieties of shark, with the biggest measuring as long as six metres.

The following web address will give you an idea as to the size of these animals:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8myV-3R8sc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mY5XtoKRD8&feature=related

After leaving Beqa Lagoon with all limbs intact we headed further along the coast and met up with Naomi`s friend Sarah and her Fijian boyfriend also called Mark. We were invited to Marks brothers home in a remote village somewhere where we were luckily enough to experience a traditonal Fijian meal which is cooked in the ground. It was truely great night with great company.

It was always our plan to spend the majority of the holiday resting and relaxing, so whst better place than the Yasawa`s - a group of islands off the coast of Nadi. Hopping on a ferry we were whisked away to a couple of islands. Out of the couple of islands that we visited we were very much taken with Manta Ray island - so called becuase of the manta rays that can be found off the beach. The island was everything that we had hoped. It was very basic but had enough luxurys not too feel fake and against everything you expect from a desert island. The people were very friendly both staff and tourist crowd, the food was great, the beach was beautiful, the weather was incredible and the snorkelling was out of this world. More varieties than I had ever seen whilst snorkelling - even scuba diving for that matter. I even got to see a Manta Ray even though it was out of season for them - but it did involve me snokelling for near on 7 hours.

Over all.....the best holiday ever!
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