Fiji Time (Part 3) - Bitten by Love Island

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
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Trip End Jan 04, 2012


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Where I stayed

Flag of Fiji  , Viti Levu,
Sunday, December 11, 2011

The budget required us to split the trip down in Fiji, but ironically the second half of the trip (at a backpackers hostel/hotel) has turned out more expensive for the actual accommodation than at the Bedarra. It's a lesson for booking early if there ever was one. We got some stunning deals through booking.com from booking months in advance and the Bedarra was one of them. Initially we split the week in two so we didn’t get stale and bored but then changed it recently as the second half of the week required a massive awkward transfer that we didn’t fancy for the sake of 3 nights. We looked into booking the Bedarra for a further 3 nights but the cost had escalated being much closer to rack rate. Our options were to stay in Nadi (near the airport) or pick somewhere else along the Coral Coast and so we ended up at the Beachouse; about half an hour further on from Sigatoka. The Beachouse’s claim to fame is that it was the location of the English, crap, twice tried but never again, Celebrity Love Island (the celebrity bit was dropped for the second poor series). Thankfully there is no Patrick Kielty in sight. Sadly Kelly Brook is nowhere to be seen either, although with the bikinis on show – quite a few wannabees.

One of the things that sleeping in about 45-50 different places in a 4 month period all within the same rough budget of 40-60 quid a night gives; is a sense of perspective. We kind of know what we are going to get. And so when you stay in Fiji in a backpackers hotel/hostel; you know it is likely to within reason, just be a bit shit, just because there is less competition and what do you need out of a beach hostel?

You are in Fiji, so expect bugs (although we barely saw any at the Bedarra) and you are at a backpackers resort in Fiji so expect lots of young ladies wearing bikinis wanting to chill out and sunbathe and lots of young men holding their chests in and up trying to impress the aforementioned girls with their guns. It’s a little sad to see, but quite sweet also.

The Beachouse is no exception. We were quite impressed actually. It might be different if it was a lot busier but for now it is pretty good. There is 'ta da’ free wifi, which is a right shocker. The Bedarra would have cost the budget of a small country for me to upload a blog, and so I gave it a miss. The Beachouse offers included breakfast and an included afternoon tea (which also includes scones and jam) and is not badly layed out.

After arriving on the most frightening of taxi journeys where the driver thought it necessary to endanger our lives on no less than 7 or 8 occasions by swerving violently across the road to avoid potholes at nearly 80 mph we quickly made base in our garden double at the Beachouse. It’s a quite big room with a double bed and 2 singles with an en-suite outdoor toilet and shower (lots of bugs out there – gives you the willies a little thinking of a gecko sliding around under the seat of the toilet). Price isn’t bad at about 50 quid a night. The room lacks air-con but that’s because it is meant to have this ‘at one with nature’ feel. It certainly has that. We have a couple of geckos, an army of ants, a good few spiders and feel very close to nature. When you sit outside on the toilet you are undercover so you don’t get soaked by the near certain rain.

Once settled we lazed about on the hammocks and the couple of loungers that are available and had a bit of a soak in the pool and in the sea. The beach is a much better beach than at the Bedarra (where it is extremely shallow in the lagoon and you are almost certainly going to need something on your feet to walk into the sea to avoid tearing your feet on coral/rocks etc) and has a gently sloping sandy lagoon which goes up to about your waist. It is frighteningly warm; almost like a hot spring. We stood and watched a couple of local stray dogs who appear to be semi-owned by the resort (I won’t mention the names as they are a couple of names I had always considered calling any children we might someday have – and I don’t want anybody due to have a child stealing them!); who during the day seem to plod around the backpackers and also sit lazily in the sea watching fish swim past. They look a little old to catch a fish but you can see it in their eye that that is what they are thinking of. The dogs are lovely and creep around doing no harm whatsoever. They tend to flop onto you a little bit if you are sunbathing and lay right by your head. They also will bark unexpectantly giving you a bit of a shock – but great fun and as I say, do no harm.

It was nice seeing quite of lot of youngish English travelling around but once again we are kind of pleased we don’t have the attitude some travelers have in that they are a bit aimless and clearly not quite with it. We overheard one quite intelligent girl probably of about 23 who intends for the next couple of years to get a job fruit picking or something else towards the bottom of the food chain in order to fund her massively low budget traveling in Australia. She left a good sounding job in the UK to do this. I overheard another young hippy saying something about "good for you, working to live" and I thought myself, “that’s not working to live, that’s working to get by, it’s working to slum it somewhere other than the UK”. I’m not going to pretend we’re hardy travelers or anything like that because we are definatelynot, but at least we are seeing everything we want to without getting into this ridiculous traveler ideal of needing to be poor. Some people feel the need to prove to themselves they can scrape by eating only cheap scraps, carrying everything they own in a plastic bag and hitching lifts over an elongated trip. These trips do not need to be that long, you don’t see anything more, especially if you spend all your time working picking fruit and living in flashpacker hostels with other people just like you. I have no problem with working while you travel – its sensible if you have a low budget in that it can support you for a bit, but doing it for years and wasting a university education on long term fruit picking?

Oh well. It’s not a proper rant because I don’t really know what my point is. I was just saddened a little to see someone very clever clearly throwing away a decent life in the UK to fruitpick and to scrape their way around a country. I will move on as I am getting more and more like a grumpy old man by the minute; there is a reason behind this however.

The Beachouse is relaxed and fun and lives to all the backpacker in Fiji stereotypes. It has a full activities programme for quite cheap. The food is really good. The place is nicely presented. We actually really like it. On the downside, I am writing this blog at about 5am because I haven’t slept at all, all night, because I am itching from the 20 or so bites I sustained from bloody ants or mosquitos (I have picked out the culprit just yet – but when I do there will be consequences) towards the end of the night outside, there are squeeking geckos all round, there are insects throughout the room crawling everywhere including in the bed, the heat is unbearably uncomfortable and the fan chugging away desperately trying to cool us down is depressingly noisy. That being said, we put ourselves here – and as I said at the start, it was to be expected.
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