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Claire’s Travel Diary

Friday, 22 Jun 2007

Location: New Zealand

MapSorry guys that you may not have heard from me in a while but there is no phone connections therefore no internet on most of the islands i was on in Fiji, which was fantastic, great to be out of contact with the real world for a few days!!

Fiji was fantastic, as good as i'd hoped, some of the islands were so incredibly small you could walk round them in less than 10 minutes, and the only reason it took us that long was cause there was coral in the sand that hurt our feet. so much fun, so much sun and generally so relaxing i'd highly recommend it to anyone! and when people say the fijians are the friendliest people in the world they are not lying, you turn up at just about any of the resorts and are welcomed usually by all the staff singing the bula song at you, (bula is a general greeting i think, sometimes meaning hello but generally just used continuously with people shouting "BULA" fantastic) with a drink and a wee chat with one of the people who works there, then they take your bags to your room. a lot of the resorts were family run and they seriously made and effort to make you feel like you were a friend coming to stay, we did dancing (largely walking backwards and forwards swinging your hips a bit) and they sang to us and generally it was all fabulous.

Another fantastic thing is that they put all the lights and electricity off about 10.30 on some of the more remote islands but to be honest most of the time we were asleep well before then, up with the sun and bed about 9, so good!!!! one night a group of us were up till i think almost 10 and everyone else was long gone to bed, fiji time!

met some great people too, always good to have some beach buddies, altough as lazy as i became lying on beaches i did actually do some things. i did a bit of snorkeling, saw some mini sharks (about a metre in length maybe) swimming about the reefs. had a fish fly over our boat, mad i know but dead cool! was very angelic and went to the church on sunday, was nice quite a few of us went from the resort and because we didn't quite have the correct dress to wear to the church the ladies from the resort lent us some proper floral fijian dresses, fantastic! i'd have to say not the best i'd ever looked but it was fun, slightly too hot though no idea how they do it this being the coolest season. i also did a day cruise which was great, we went to a village and had kava with the chief (a muddy water type drink made out of the root of some plant that they drink that makes your tounge go a little numb and is supposed to relax you, to be honest i was pretty relaxed anyway so not sure what difference it made in that respect). then we went to the island where they filmed castaway to do some more snorkeling, was beautiful round there just as you'd hope and imagine an fijian island to be like, quite a few of them didn't have the best sand for beaches but this one was perfect! also did some jumping in off the boat, much fun although i managed to lose my newly purchased bracelet to the bottom of the sea but andy one of the guys on the boat did the heroic act of not only locating it at the bottom of the sea but also diving down the 9 or so metres to retrieve it so i'd best be careful to not lose it now!

All in all it was fantastic!!!!!!!! if any of you happen to be passing over that area of the world i would definately recommend you check it out. although i did manage to fall over in the airport but i think that was a mixture of it being a wet floor, my head still thinking i was on a boat so swaying slightly and the weight of my backpack making me topple. then the way the weighed our hand luggage was a man picking it up and going, hmmmmm yeah that's ok! fantastic!

i'm now in not quite so sunny new zealand but it's great, the people are as friendly as ever and so far i've won a t shirt and half price bus pass with unlimited travel round and round new zealand (on a set route but still not bad) for the next year (saved myself $600 which is about 200 pounds, sorry no pound sign to speak of) which aint bad!! and all for winning a game of bingo and singing flower of scotland! the sniffer dog seemed interested in my bag on arrival, they checked it and obvioulsy it was fine so then the customs guy kept joking about all the drugs i was aparently smuggling which he seemed to think was very funny although i thought best not to go along with the joke incase they decided to arrest me. not really sure what my plans are for now but i'll keep you posted, hope the chilly world of the british summer is treating you well!!!