The Fiji Project

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Leading on from the previous entry about Fallon and I’s trek around New Zealand, here’s the itinerary for my whirlwind two week tour of Fiji. I start the tour with Fallon and come home from it without her. That sucks and it’s sad, but it’s life and it’s been a blast.

December 29th-31st: Robinson Crusoe Island

Fire twirling on Robinson Crusoe Island. Photo by Alfredi

Fallon and I are going to ring in the New Year and share a New Year’s kiss on Robinson Crusoe Island. We contemplated a number of options for our Fiji time including Waya Lailai and the legendary Beachcomber. Alright, I contemplated Beachcomber – not her.

In the true spirit of a couple’s last few nights together, we’ll be spending our nights in a romantic location – specifically a beach bure. You can’t exactly say your goodbyes in a crowded dorm now, can you?

We won’t just be having bittersweet goodbyes though. There’s amazing snorkeling to be done, spear fishing lessons, jungle walks, kayaking, Polynesian dance lessons, and the all important happy hour and night club that’ll make the nights a whole lot of fun.

And given we’ve got our PADI Open Water licenses now, a few scuba dives on the reef aren’t out of the question. Fallon’s even suggested we up the risk factor with a shark dive through Beqa Adventures.

January 1st – Smuggler’s Cove

Sad moment at Smugglers Cove

With Fallon’s flight back to the US leaving from Nadi on the mainland, we have to come back for our last night together. We’ll be spending our final night together as a couple at Smuggler’s Cove. Since it’s basically just the one night there, we won’t be getting up to a lot. Sad goodbyes, final kisses, and all of that somber stuff. You don’t want to read about it, and I don’t really want to write about it.

We may hit a zip line tour on our final day, but that will all come down to budget.

January 2nd – 6th: Mango Bay

Fallon and I will say our goodbyes on the morning of the 2nd. I won’t dwell on that right now.

After she’s left and I’ve checked out of the hotel, I’m headed up to Nadi to meet my brothers and the third member of our party at the airport. From there it’s a private shuttle down to our base of operations for my first five nights as a single man.

The Mango Bay lagoon pool. Photo by goldfoot

 

A day trip to do some shopping in one of the nearby cities is also on the cards. After all, we’ve got a girl in our party and she’s been told she needs to bring back gifts for her friends.

 

When researching backpacker resorts in Fiji, the one that seemed to get the most universally good reviews was the Mango Bay. The place seems to have the right combination of the party atmosphere (courtesy of the Bamboo Bar and the Tadra night club) and the down to earth ‘real Fiji’ stuff you want to check out such as village visits, kayaking, a welcome kava ceremony, and all that jazz.

The majority of reviews paint a picture of a very laid back place. There’s a lot of activities but they run at the whim of the staff, and I’m fine with that. I’ll be hurting just a little bit, so I think a few nights of drinking and a few days of solitary snorkeling and exploring the area with my brothers is going to be just what the doctor ordered.

I’m also giving some serious thought to taking a white water rafting tour of the Upper Navua Gorge. It’s a tad pricey at $190 US, but when am I going to get another opportunity to explore Fiji’s steamy interior and do something exciting.

January 7th-9th: Manta Ray

The sun sets over Manta Ray. Photo by echo26

I’d originally wanted to hit Beachcomber at this point. One of the world’s premier party spots, I couldn’t imagine a better place for a slightly lovesick, newly single guy to go in search of some solace. But the exorbitant price for a dorm and the seedy reputation of the place didn’t suit my wallet or the rest of my travel party.

The general consensus on another good party island was Manta Ray, and so that’s where I decided to go. With some gorgeous kayaking and snorkeling spots (and the opportunity to swim with manta ray, although it’s unlikely in January) – the place also has a reputation as a good party venue. There’s also the opportunity to scuba dive, pay a visit to a village, or even catch a day booze cruise out to Beachcomber Island and a few of the other noted party spots.

January 10th-12th: Waya Lailai Eco Resort

Stunning Waya Lailai. Photo by Simon.

After eight nights of partying and nine days of sun and surf, we’ll all be in dire need of some R&R. The Waya Lailai Eco Resort is a little less party and a little more relaxation while we get in touch with ‘real’ Fiji. With village tours, kava ceremonies, kayaking, snorkeling, jungle walks, and sailing with the locals – it’s sure to be a nice way to unwind before heading back to the real world.

The resort is run by a local Fijian tribe, and that means it’s going to be just a little different to the backpacker hotspots we’ll have been frequenting for most of our trip.

January 13th – Smuggler’s Cove (Again)

The view from Smugglers Cove. Photo by andrewdp

Our final night in Fiji sees us back at Smuggler’s Cove where we’ll do our final packing and souvenir shopping, slam down our last bolts of kava, and bid farewell to the sun and sand that will have been our constant companions for almost two weeks. Our flights back to Australia and the real world are the following day and, after a month on the road, I’m sure I’ll look forward to a little privacy, a long shower, and plenty of time to catch up on Facebook and my blogs.

Any Advice?

There’s a fair few days unaccounted for in the Fiji itinerary, so if you’ve been or know somebody who has been and you have some tips – let me have them! I’ve got to entertain my two twenty something brothers, a 17 year old girl, and my housemate. Their happiness depends on me!

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