28.02.2010 - 07.03.2010
On the morning that we are due to fly out to Fiji from New Zealand, we awake to some frantic texts warning us not to go to the Pacific, there are tsunami warnings! Not the best thing to hear when flying out, but we are reassured at the airport it should be fine and indeed it is. There were fears a tsunami would sweep across the Pacific as an aftershock of the devastating Chile earthquake and all the nations affected took it seriously, which is good to hear, but even better that there was no need.
Fiji sits just before the international dateline in the Pacific ocean and is made up of 333 islands. It's pouring with rain when we land in Nadi on the mainland. Worse still, we'd spied a forecast that said heavy rain for every day that week. Not ideal. We check into a hostel in Nadi and endure pouring rain all that night continuing into the following morning. We've booked a 6 night pass with a boat company that takes us to a group of islands called the Yasawas and allows us to hop on and off the boat as often as we like and includes accommodation in various places throughout the islands. We start by staying at the furthest island, a 4 hour boat ride through the blanket cloud and rain. When we arrive there though the weather seems to magically clear. It remains clear and sunny for pretty much the whole week! Lucky.
The Yasawas are a line of small volcanic islands. They remain relatively undeveloped, having only been visited by tourist since the 90s. There are resorts, but no bars or restaurants too, you're fed where you stay. They are often run by the villagers. The resorts we stay in are basic, nothing plush and we stay in Bures, traditional Fijian huts. We stay in 3 different places, each one as relaxing as the last. The islands are stunning, a real paradise. Clear seas, soft, swaying palms and dramatic volcanic peaks.
The Fijian people are incredibly friendly and always have a warm smile waiting for you. In the evenings, they often put on shows for us with dancing and singing. They seem to genuinely enjoy doing it and we leave Fiji with their reputation as the friendliest people in the world very much intact.