Fijian Paradise

Trip Start Nov 23, 2009
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Trip End Jun 10, 2010


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Where I stayed
Blue Water Lodge, Stoney Creek Resort

Flag of Fiji  , Western,
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Well, we finally left US soil and flying 11 hours over the great blue Pacific, we made it to our first destination, Fiji! A small hitch in the travel plans appeared last minute as our flight from L.A. was delayed 12 hours. This forced us stay an unplanned extra night in the big city before another flight would take us the next morning. The seemingly bad circumstance actually proved very beneficial! Air Pacific not only paid for our night in Los Angeles, but for our dinner and breakfast the next morning, plus instead of taking the Red Eye flight overnight and arriving in Fiji at 5am, we arrived at 10 pm ready for a great nights rest.
The warm, humid Fijian air hits you as you disembark the plane, a welcoming relief for your dry skin and burning red eyes, a result of the stale air of the airplane you just spent the last 11 hours sitting in. In a semi zombie state you wait in line for customs and immigration, then take your bags through the last xray machine. We were meet by the owner of the Blue Water Lodge, the first hostel we would stay in, and he quickly drove us to the lodge while teaching us some basic Fijian history and common traditional greetings. Before heading to sleep they thankfully re-opened the kitchen for us to devour a delicious chicken curry dish. The next day we planned out the precious couple days we had on the island. First, we decided we not only wanted to see the postcard picture blue water and snow white beaches, but the lush, mountainous, sugar cane filled inner part of the main island and to do that we went on a guided mountain bike tour.
The guide, a 3 time Iron Man contestant, marathon running, motocross racing, and professional dive photographer, Rob Rabotot, gave us the workout of a lifetime! Blazing up and down steep valleys and winding around dusty dirt roads, through small villages, we explored some of the most beautiful back country I've ever seen. Atop a towering ridge you simply cannot believe the sight before your eyes. Rolling sugar cane fields back right up against steep, jagged mountains all in a very slight haze from the nostril tingling wild fire smoke scattered throughout the landscape. Some areas look like Martha's Vineyard, with some African trees and some Australian flavor thrown in the mix too. Austin and I under estimated the power of the blistering Fijian sun and half way through we were already pretty red. 2 highlights stick out in my mind from the ride and the first was the stop at a small bridge. We stripped off our shoes and shirts and leaped off the structure in the muddy river flowing 15 feet below and it felt unbelievable. The 2nd was the stop at a villagers house. After saying hello, "Bula!", and meeting his family he proceeded to chop open a fresh coconut and offer the juice for us as a gift. We passed it around and with the newly present sugar rush flowing in our veins we conquered the rest of the trail.
For our third day we booked a day sail to the Mamanuca island chain, a series of islands just west of Nadi. The huge 100 foot sailboat took us and about 35 other passengers to a private island, filled with lots of Tiki hut structures, boats, and snorkel gear. The sail over was real relaxing as we were offered breakfast and champagne to start and for some reason the crew kept pushing and pushing the alcohol! Every 10 minutes a crew member would pop out of nowhere repeating, "More drink, more drink?" Don't worry mom we behaved..haha. Snorkeling was the first activity once we got to the island and although it wasn't one of the best spots in Fiji, it still looked great, The drop off of the ocean floor was unreal! It went from 3 to 5 feet, 5 to 15, then 15 to 60 and beyond. Lots of fun just trying to see how deep we could dive before running out of air and racing towards the surface again. We finished and once back at the main Tiki Hut the whole group took part in a traditional Kava Ceremony. They say you can't leave Fiji without trying the mouth numbing traditional kava drink and so Austin and I were really excited to have the experience. After some Fijian chants they began passing around coconut carved Kava bowls and we drank the cloudy juice mixture and awaited the effects! Yes, your mouth does go slightly numb and it is a pretty neat feeling that lasts for a couple minutes. With more bowls of the juice one is said to have feelings of euphoria, etc. Austin and I kept it to just one. After a delicious buffet, we headed to a glass bottomed boat for reef fishing and Austin successfully pulled one in. So neat to actually see down through the water from the boat of the glass platted floor and watch the fish bite the metal lure. Lastly, before sailing back, we got to jump off the top deck of the ship giving the older crowd a good show.
The other days in Fiji were really low key. Cruising through downtown Nadi, exploring some beaches, and relaxing up in the Sabeto Mountains at our second hostel, Stoney Creek Resort. This place took some getting used to as the showers were cold and the bedrooms were not air conditioned, Real soon though, you start noticing how refreshing the cold water was and how neat the outdoor shower aspect is. I found myself staring up through the large opening of the shower room to a star filled sky and a full moon, the light from which, was lighting the whole stall. The property was arranged so that there were all these peaceful areas cut off by thick vegetation offering incredible panoramic views of the mountain landscape. As you walk up the dirt path of the hostel entrance, you're met with a huge open area, chairs and tables all around, with a tent like structure covering it, and an old remodeled southwest tavern behind. Dinners were great social events where everyone sat at the same table and told their own adventure stories throughout the night. Staying here really was almost a meditative experience. So awesome
Well, I just realized we wrote an awful lot! Just really excited. I hope you enjoyed the entry and stay tuned for pictures! Until next time,
Brayden and Austin
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Comments

Dad on

Awesom start I love seeing the pictures and your blog love Dad

Bryant on

Ooooh man. Looks amazing!

Handegan on

Looks like fun guys! Stay safe and continue taking tons of video and pictures!

PAC

Jared on

Wow guys, sounds like the trip is starting off pretty amazing. The picures are incredible! I bet it's better to actually see it though.

JASON on

SOUNDS LIKE YOUR HAVING A GREAT TIME! LOVE THE NARITIVE AND KEEP THEM COMING.

Uncle Greg on

Hey Guys, looks like great times! stay safe and keep the pics coming.

Brother Pitcairn on

Pictures look awesome guys! Keep up the great descriptive entries, can't wait to see more! - Michael

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