Back to Fiji

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
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Flag of Fiji  ,
Sunday, January 14, 2007

One of the good things about Australia is its closeness to the Pacific Island Group.  With the insurgence of low cost air carriers, in 4 hours you can be touching down in Samoa, Vanu Auto or Fiji for as little as 100 pounds each way!  So when me and Jo got an invite to a wedding in Fiji, it was hard to say no.

Now most of you know if there was a sport in losing property, then I would be Olympic champion. Camera's, watches, wallets, glasses, ive lost them all, but I had never succumbed to the holy grail... The passport, well now I can tick this box to!

Of course I didn't actually realise this until the day before I was due to fly to Sydney.  So Friday was spent running between the British Consultant in Melbourne, the police station and the Chemist (to get the photos!)  It has got to have been the most stressful day of my life.  I knew that If I didn't get an emergency one printed that day I would miss the whole holiday and probably lose another thing, my relationship with Jo!

Luckily by 5pm I had collected to passport - albeit  $300 lighter, and made my way to Sydney to catch the connecting flight.  At the international Customs departure gates I was pulled aside and asked why I didn't have a visa?  To my disbelief I realised I had forgotten that not only did I lose the passport, but also the visa sticker inside.  I was told quite bluntly by the women that I could leave the country with no problem, but I wouldn't be able to get back in.  I would have to go to the British consulate in Fiji and get another printed before I could gain access.

Now by this stage I was so stressed out and need of a holiday I did the only male thing to do, worry about it later!  I jumped straight on that plane and decided just to wait and see at the end of the holiday if this was true... Which of course it was... More about this later!

Anyway we made it! 4 hours later we had touched down in Nadi airport, still familiar from our previous trip in 2004, we did wonder if the band were the same playing in the terminal as last time though!  Jo thinking of her stomach as usual, made us miss the our connecting bus to the Ferry terminal, so we opted for an extortionate taxi ride, but eventually after that and a 2 hour ferry trip we made it to Bounty Island, home of Celebrity Love Island apparently?

To be honest we didn't even know what this show was as it had aired after we had left England, but it didn't look like it had the desired effect on tourism as we were the only people on the island, well us and a few Indian family 's over for the weekend.  We didn't mind, it was much more pleasant just the two of us anyway!

Eventually a few more couples turned up and we spent most of the evenings watching the entertainment provided and drinking Kava.  Although classed as a backpacker island, we loved the fact there was hardly anyone there. We had our only private hammock and beach, and could walk around undisturbed.  It would be interesting to see how different the next island, Malolo would be, as it was classed as 5 star and one night would cost more than 4 days at Bounty!

So after the 4 days we hoped onto our island transfer and sailed into Malolo.  We were met with about 10 singers and dancers, given a free cocktail and taken to our very luxurious Bure.  Although the biggest on the island, the agent had messed up and put me and Jo in an open plan room with 2 others.  So it looked like all the 'romance' would have to stay at Bounty!  After a lot of moaning by the girls, we actually realised that we had had got the best one (even better than the bride and Groom) so they shut up!

So for the next 5 days we lazed around like before, did a few more dives and dined on 5 star cuisine.  Although 30 other people had made it over for the wedding, we got a surprising amount of privacy.  For most of the day the pool would be completely empty.  So if we wanted to get away from everyone we would just head there.

And then came the Wedding.  Well, not before we went out deep sea fishing for Tuna.  Now you wont find many brides to be fishing on the morning of their wedding, but that's exactly what Paula did, much to the dismay of her bridal party!  The stress was evident on their faces when we came into port 2 hours later than expected!

But at least we came home with a bounty!  About 25 yellow fin tuna to be exact.  It was a brilliant 4 hours, we would cast out and in no time flat, we would have a biter! We kept 6 of the biggest which were cooked up for dinner that evening by the hotels chef's!

So then the wedding came, right outside our bure underneath the beautiful red tree.  I've never really considered a beach wedding, but after seeing it for real, I could never see myself getting married in Southend Registry Office any more! They finished the evening underneath the palm trees toasting the happy couple.  What a brilliant way to end a brilliant (but very Expensive) holiday!

*   *   *

Now you might remember me saying about my visa earlier on - well as you would expect from me, I just hoped that it would work!  Well it didn't and after trying to check in, the guy behind the desk showed me his computer screen.  The words "DO NOT BOARD" flashed up!  It was only now that I started to realise I might be in a bit of a pickle!  Long story short, Jo checked in anyway, leaving me to fend for myself, and I was left waiting until 10mins before the flight was about to leave before given clearance.  The guy had had to ring Canberra (on a Sunday) to get the visa transferred onto my new passport, and then ring Washington to make sure I wasn't a terrorist!  This was one time I hated hearing "Fiji time"!

But to his credit he did it and with a minute to spare, I managed to make the flight!  That's the last time I lose my passport.
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