" Ray Mears eat your heart out!"

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Thursday, November 4, 2004

For a country smaller than London, you wouldn't expect the weather to change as much as it did on the differnt sides of the island. For the first day we travelled from the East to the South, ending the day in Coral Coast, the weather was ideal, sunny, hot, if not a bit windy! Today we were to drive about 100kms from the South, to the capital of Fiji, and the pacific islands biggest city, Suva, in the West where the weather would change dramatically to a much more wet and humid climate.

We were awoken early by our tour guide, and tru to form i was the last to board the bus (Fiji time). There were a lot of tired and hungover people on the bus, so to be told that our first activity was a 4 hour hike through a rainforest wasn't the best news we could have heard, espiecally as it had just started to rain! We did have a choice of not doing it, but i dont think anyone wanted to lose face to evryone on the bus!

We were intorduced to our rainforest guides, our tour guides choosing to sit out this one, and disembarked to start our walk along a very muddy track, everyone trying in vain to keep their shoes clean, something that wouldn't make a difference later on. It was up this track our first guide disappeared into the forest, reapearing 10 minutes later holding a handfull on flowers. We were then instructed to put one behind an ear to siginfy if we were single or married. Not that this should have mattered, as the guide was the campest gay guy we've ever met! So why he wanted to know was beyond us. We did look rather fetching though!

It was about an hour of walking through the undergrowth, following our second guide clodely, who for some reason was barefoot (cant be paying them much!) before we reached the dreaded stream! Now apparently our tour guide did tell us about this the day before, hence why the others bought cheap trainers from the market, but me and Dan didn't have a clue so it looked like we were getting our new, expensive trainers wet then! We did try and stay dry but after a while just gave up and just jumped in!

We spent the next hour following it downstream, stopping now and then to take photo's. It was whilst we stopped we realised that we had actually got separated from the rest of the group! It was then we realised how people must feel when they get lost in other rainforests. There were no roads, it would have taken days to reach us if people didn't know where we were. Could i remember any of the tips Ray Mears had given on his TV show? Er... no. We made for a quicker pace, and eventaully caught up with the group in 15 minutes later, Dean moaning about his blisters once again (see photo).

It was another hour of walking up and down the extreme terrain, holding onto anything that gave us support, including each other, so not to fall over arse over tit, until we reached our final destination Navua River. it was this river we would travel down to be reunited with our bus. Whilst we sat there eating our lunch, we were told by our guide that we wasn't just going to jump in a long boat, that was too easy! instead we would float down on car inner tubes brought upstream by another boat. It was so refreshing to jump in the river after walking for 4 hours, and to make it even more exciting they added a few rapids along the way, much to the horrer of some of the girls!

We ended the night in the Capital city of Fiji, Suva. Someone came up with the great idea of sampling some of Fiji's nightlife, so after a meal at a nearby restuarant, we found ourselves standing very awkwardly in a club that was quite obviously for locals only, as we were the only white people standing there! Trying hard to fit in, Dan and I attempted to dance on the dancefloor to what can only be described as a reggae version of hip hop. All this led to was the complete dancefloor clearing, leaving just us 2 standing there, not the best way to blend in!?

It was at this point a local came up to us and advised us strongly to leave, we'd probably have a better time next door. Realising this was a polite request to leave, we did as he said only to find the next club we walked into being another locals club, but this time of the gay variety. I suppose we should have realised, the club was called the Bird Land! Funny really as all 10 of us strangely became very tired and wanted to call it a night! So we left, not even a minute after we had just arrived!

The sensible thing would have been to go home and cut our loses, but the temptation of a local kareoke bar was just to great! Sods law though as just before we were to step up to belt out a great rendition of "my my delila" it got radied by the police apparently closing the bar down for being open to late! It was now definitely time to call it a night!

For your information, the following morning we checked the guide books about the clubs we went into. The Fiji Lonely Planet stated about the first club:

Tourists must not venture into this nightclub as it isn't safe, it is strictly for locals only,

and our fiji experince guide book stated about Bird Land:

The name sounds intriguing. However, Bird Land does not live up to its name. For a start its filled up with 90% men, it smells of a toilet, and you walk downstairs to a dungeon. The worse thing is that there isn't a fire escape. Perhaps one to avoid!

So verdict on Fiji's nightlife... nil point
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