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Rhianna’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 05 Jun 2008

Location: FIJI!!, New Zealand


long time no speak, really sorry, have been ultra busy and i guess a bit lazy :s

fiji was AMAZING!! the most incredible experience yet, i think. when we arrived, first thing i did on the mainland was have a curry, (i know my priorities) which was a major disappointment and we also had to wait for about an hour for it. we would soon discover that this is because everyone is working on "fiji time", my new fave expression (mum-a bit like GMT-greek maaaaabeh time!!)
the next morning, i had set my alarm from hannah's watch for 6.30 because we had to book our boat so managed, just, to get up and wake han. we left our 36 person dorm (!) and it was then i realised that it wasn't yet 6am. hannah's watch had LIED to us and we had got up unnecessarily early especially considering that we had had NO sleep the night before because our flight was SO DAMN EARLY!!! so not a good start to our first day in fiji...and it gets worse...we got a catamaran (my heart sank when i saw it) all the way to the top island of the yasawaras. i was right to be nervous as i was SO seasick it was unreal, eventually had to sit outside with the crew who got me a sick bag and some napkins (bless). thank god i didnt actually need them but i had tears rolling down my face and couldnt really chat to the group of guys from essex who we met on he boat, who are not particularly relevent until later in my story...the plot thickens!

anyway, we were supposed to be meeting some guys who had been on our oz experience from the very beginning but who we didnt actually manage to properly chat to until maggy island. so we had arranged to meet them on long beach but seeing as there is no internet on the islands, we were going to be hard pushed to find them...!

we arrived at long beach about 5 hours later, a small island, with basic food but nice, lots of carbs and a slice of paw paw with each meal for desert. me and han were supposed to go and get cake at 4 but were so exhausted from our strenuous journey that we fell asleep for hours! when we finally made an appearance at dinner, we met an older couple, carol and tony, who became our NBFs (new best friends) for basically the rest of fiji! but the boys we were supposed to be meeting were nowehere to be seen. hmmmm. by now it had started raining. yep raining. in fiji. BAD TIMES! so we played a LOT of cards, not only that evening but all the next morning too. i am now an expert at shit-head (hey, i didnt make up the name!)

our first night on long beach was also the first time wewere introduced to...CAVA!!! and no, i dont mean the rather nice, sparkling wine which you alcoholics are so accustomed to! its a drink made for the roots of a pepper tree and tastes uncannily like mud. bears a striking resemblence to it too. its a "natural narcotic" and is supposed to relax you and make you sleep. well, my card playing became noticeably worse ("whats trumps again?" "what are we playing...?") but i couldnt sleep for hours so i'm not sure that the fijians werent lying and feeding us pond water and laughing behind our backs!

the next afternoon, the sun finally decided to show its face and taking full advantage, i went for my first fijian swim (alone-han was practising her new favourite hobby-lying in a hammock!) and tried to pretend that it hadnt started raining again. then, in the distance, i saw a boat!! with people in!! so i ran in, told han, which was enough to dislodge her, and sure enough the boys were striding towards us!! cavey, seb, dan and mole #2 (seriously, who meets TWO different people on their travels called MOLE?!)

we all went swimming again, until we really couldnt ignore the fact that we were nearly drowning from the water coming from ABOVE and our flip flops nearly got washed away, only just saved by cavey, my hero. that night, we were taught the flick game by the boys who played it on whichever island they had been on. its a fijian game, a mixture of pool and air hockey except you have to flick the puck at little pieces and get them in one of the four holes (see pictures). was being coached by dan who even managed to turn my negative shots (like potting the puck) into positive comments (its really hard to do that actually, well done!) the flick game became a big part of our lives from that day forward (i'm going to make one when i get home-it'll be a great uni game!)

next day, we got shipped to beachcomber, mainly because..THE BIG MATCH WAS ON!!! the boys were going to watch it and we only got booked in at the very last minute-tense times! we also got upgraded to twin rooms with an ensuite instead of the 90+ dorm that was being done up!! thank GOD! the boys taught us the BULA dance! which is the fijian version of the macarena-soooooo funny, we all got up and did it on the dance floor, nearly wet myself laughing at cavey rolling his hands in the air, head flung back as far as it could go! there's a video but you kind of had to be there! couldnt afford any alcohol (lots of you will be pleased to hear) but bought lots of drinks from dans fake bar-fake tequila is much nicer and has less of a kick that the real deal! found a couple of bed bugs later-not nice!

6 am-get woken up by seb poking my knee-time for MAN U vs chelsea. i wont bore you with the results (YES MAN UNITED WINNING ON PENALTIES!! NO JOHN TERRY MISSING HIS AND CRYING FOR AN HOUR!!!) but i dont think ive ever been so tense! we all celebrated (cavey and seb also man u fans) by playing kkkkrrrrrazy golf, which i didnt suck at as much as i thought! found a blue star fish on our attemt to swim in the 10cm deep sea. finished the day with a crab race-we (the boys) entered an auction to buy a crab and got bula-the fijian crab. we didnt win which was a suprise, we thought they'd have pumped bula with steroids or something!

the next day, we were very sad to say goodbye to the boys for good but soon cheered up when we randomly bumped into...NICKI and CHLOE!! very exciting and we arranged to meet on long beach as they were going to be there for a week. on the little boat to sunset waya, our next destination, we got chatting to another group of 3 boys-oli, tom and fred and found out that they were from brighton too!! and later (and this IS weird) i found out that oli knows jade from the saltdean tavern!! we all went to another village on another island which connects to sunset when the tide is out and watched an inter-village rugby match, which wasnt that thrilling i have to admit. beforehand though, we wandered past some kiddies playing rugby with a water bottle, the passion, excitement and VIOLENCE was astounding! kids as young as 4 were lpaying with 12 year olds, jumping on top of each other and were fine! if only english children were so robust!
later that night, we played cards and watched tom do an impossible trick, which he promised he'd show us if we ever bumped into each other in brighton!! also threatened oli with a machete because he kept screwing me over in shit-head. i know how to earn respect!!

next day we wove our own bracelets, which i was very proud of and i also did an anklet! i'm clearly a natural for threading pineapple leaves together! they guys built a hut and we had a bonfire in the evening, which a couple of fijian guys doing fire dancing (badly-they dropped the fire sticks SO many times!). the next day, despite an offer from a random guy that i could stay on sunset if i swept the beach for 1 hour then give him a massage, we headed to bay of plenty. best thing i have EVER done. will finish this soon cos am knackered now but hope ive given an insight into fiji!!

lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx