Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bula!

Back from Fiji and it was fabulous! Such a beautiful place with beautiful people.

Tan? Check.
Cocktails? Check.
Relax to the max? Check.

The people really are so genuinely friendly. Bula! can never be said enough, and everyone wants to shake hands for new year. They make very little money, and dream of travelling to your country, and you wish they could. But they are happy, and this happiness is infectuous.

Friday - arrived in the afternoon to warm rain. The Naviti is a great hotel, albeit very family (there was one other couple, and we were the only other duo there). Quite fatigued so had cocktails then buffet dinner which was island-themed. Many servings of kokoda - raw fish/seafood cooked in lime and coconut milk. Absolutely delicious.
Saturday - went to Sigatoka, the local town, to browse the Saturday morning markets. The town is small and bustling but not in a pleasant way, but the markets had some interesting produce. Lots of never-seen-before chillies - miniscule red ones, some that looked like cherry tomatoes, green misshapen balls - plus purple eggplants and all the root vegetables - but no coconuts! Young coconut is one of my favourite ever things (the jelly-like flesh! the juice!) and tropical island = coconut. The place is lined with coconut trees, as well as mango, papaya, paw paw, but there were no coconuts (and very few mangos) for sale or served in any restaurants.
This being New Year's Eve, our hotel and it's sister The Warwick (ten-minutes drive east) were putting on the usual expensive buffet dinners, so Natalie and I had the kid's buffet early in the evening - cold macaroni, fish and chips, the opposite to gourmet - but they forgot to charge us. We headed off to The Warwick to dance and cocktail the night away. Lots of fun, on this dot in the ink ocean hours ahead of the rest of the world.
Sunday - a glorious day. Back to The Warwick for sea, sand and sun. Then sunstroke. More cocktails.
Monday - we did a tour to the centre of the island. With Nadi being a 1.5 hour drive to our hotel I felt like we'd seen enough of the coast so this was the perfect way to explore more of the main island. The bus took us 1.5 hours inland then we all hopped on canoe-type boats for a one hour ride up the Navau River, through lush green rainforest, mountains and waterfalls. The warm rain fell as we glided through water that was like jade glass. Spectacular. We were taken to a village of 200 people, sure it was a little touristy but still interesting and the guide was fun, with a lovely lunch (taro leaves cooked with small diced carrot and coconut milk - divine). Back at the hotel, it was cocktails and a lighter dinner at the Chinese restaurant at the hotel - after all the heavy breakfasts and lunches we were craving some vegetables.
Tuesday - another postcard-perfect day, spent at The Warwick on the beach. I went snorkelling and was dazzled by all the colourful fish, big and small, that were right on the beach. So addictive. That evening we wanted to try a local restaurant and were given the thumbs up by our taxi driver Sam for the seafood restaurant, Vilisite's, near our hotel. The two ladies working there were just so lovely - as everyone is - and we had the garlic prawns and a whole lobster each ($60 each for both). I bought a sulu, their name for a sarong, which I adore.
Wednesday - we left at 10.30am and dropped our bags off at the airport, then headed to Nadi for a look around. Nothing to catch our eye, but lunch at one of the many ho-hum looking cafes was delightful. I felt like a curry but was convinced to have an authentic Fijian dish as my last meal in the country. It was fried cubes of snapper in a light coconut broth, along with sliced beans, carrots, onion and tomato, served with rice, taro and cassava. So flavoursome, I can't wait to cook this myself. The flight home was next to a Vince Neil lookalike, alas, a more Aussie bogan version of Vince Neil, and not the bad boy I know and lust.

Books read: The second half of Shopgirl, Who Moved My Blackberry and A Year In The Merde.


There were cocktails.



And cocktails.


Tall, creamy cocktails...


Short, creamy cocktails...


In fact, cocktails of all shapes and sizes...


The beautiful beach at The Warwick - postcard perfect.


Village on the Navau River.


There was even pool-side Scrabble (with cocktails). Look - FUG!


Gorgeous sunsets (with cocktails).


One more.


Lucky last.


View from our hotel room of the mountains.


View from our hotel room of the coconut trees.


Lobster at Vilisite's restaurant.


The delicious Fijian dish I fell in love with in Nadi.


Goodbye - from the plane.

8 Comments:

Blogger Jules said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time - yay! for drinking lots of cocktails and eating lots of fantastic food. Fantastic way to start the new year.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Mabs said...

Love the cocktails!

Glad you had a fab time :)

3:27 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

Loved the cocktails too. Less than $AUD10, big glasses and old school flavours, none of this fancy schmany baked poached apple in cumquat-infused vodka nonsense.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

This was a perfect blog entry in my opinion! Sometimes they go on and on and on when people write about a trip, but yours was short enough to be read, interesting enough to keep my attention, and delicious enough to drink! I want to go there now!

4:41 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

Oh, what a wonderful holiday. And thanks for the pictures!!!

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Vanessa said...

Glad you had such a spectacular time. And the pictures are fabulous, love the variety of cocktails and the views! Stunning!

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Agathe said...

Sounds like the perfect holiday. I could so need some cocktails in a country far far away!

9:15 PM  

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