I would never presume to attempt a post as entertaining as John’s, but the task of relating the wonders of Fiji has fallen upon me, so I will do my best.
I began composing this update lounging in a hammock on the beach of our second residence in Fiji, a “luxury backpacker’s resort” called The Beachouse. As I swing here bathed in the glow of the setting sun and cooled by a gentle island breeze, the only blemish on an otherwise perfect moment is the incessant barking of Molly, the local dog. Compared to our first hotel, near the Nadi airport, this place is paradise, and I suspect it will compare favorably to everywhere else we visit on this trip as well.
For F$25/night (approx $15US) we are sleeping in a 5 person room in a little beachfront bungalow. The Ritz this isn’t, but it has decent beds and a private beach. The resort is packed, so we are sharing our room with a kid from Colorado on his way back from study abroad in New Zealand. Everyone here is under 30, and the environment is that of a perpetual, but incredibly laid back, spring break. That kind of thinking is certainly fostered by the F$2.75 (~$1.25US) beers during happy hour.
We have spent the majority of our time during the day basking in the sun, reading, and throwing a frisbee around on the beach. At night (the sun goes down around 6pm) we move to the Coconut Cafe (the social hub of the resort) for dinner, drinks, card games, and conversation with the Aussies, Kiwis and Brits who have us far outnumbered here. Surprisingly, we have not been made pariahs, and apart from two unprovoked attacks on John and I on two separate occasions for “bastardizing the English language,” it has been great to spend time with non-Americans and get inundated with advice from fellow travelers on what we need to do for the rest of our journey. For more on that, see John’s earlier post about advice… It’s all the same.
Highlights of The Beachouse so far:
1) I am finally (for the second time) a certified diver! The diving here is not as good as in Hawaii or the Bahamas, but I did see a pod of dolphins today, which was great.
2) The other guys went on a hike to a waterfall further inland that they really enjoyed, but I was diving so I missed out.
3) For the first time in the lifetime of our friendship, I have seen John actually apalled by something. For any of you who may need to upset him in the future, just bring up the use of dead babies in drug smuggling, he was on the verge of tears. (Disclaimer: This conversation was initiated and perpetuated by a group of Brits sitting near us at the bar. I swear it did not originate in any of our imaginations.)
Honorable Mention: Kava was a disappointment, but I feel like I should mention it. Imagine drinking muddy water mixed with lidocaine out of half a coconut and you have a good idea what kava was like.
Pictures will follow as soon as we get to Auckland. Fiji (the entire country) is only allocated 6Mbits of throughput (probably less than that of Ketchum, ID), so internet here is painfully slow and makes even checking email an arduous task, and posting any sort of pictures an impossibility.