South Sea

Our final few days in Fiji were spent relaxing on the tiny island of South Sea. The island is so small it takes only 5 minutes to walk around!! There is only a one dorm room and an eating area; the floors are all covered in soft sand and the staff are all family.  

South Sea island was also a hot spot for day trippers; throughout the day over 150 people send time on this small piece of paradise. We spent our final days doing not a lot, staying away from the hustle and bustle of the day trippers; although it was lovely to see so many people enjoying the island and what it has to offer it was also sad that the island was so busy, loud and not as peaceful as some of the other resorts.

We found a couple of sun loungers in a quiet spot on the furthest part of the island and soaked up the sun.  We chatted and reminisced about all the trips we have taken not only over the last few weeks but the last couple of months.  It has felt crazy thinking of all the amazing things we have done on this adventure! 

We were entertained every lunch and dinner by the staff with traditional songs, dance and games. It was lovely to see them in their traditional dress and their enthusiasm for games and getting everyone involved was infectious.  We were treated everyday to a buffet feast which was also great to take a little with us to snack on during the day.

It was so nice to just sit back, enjoy the sun and look back on the amazing 2 weeks that we have had.  At the same time strange that at the beginning of our trip we were so worried about the weather and the possibility of constant rain.  There was no need to worry as we were given 2 weeks of beautiful, hot sunshine with only the occasional shower.  We were so blessed to have such a wonderful 2 weeks, meeting amazing people, experiencing some beautiful locations and creating some unforgettable experiences. 

Cloud 9 

Beachcomber Resort offered so many activities, however we had done a lot of the activities whilst at other resorts so we decided to try once again to visit Cloud 9.  After arriving on Fiji mainland we had booked Cloud 9 but had to cancel our trip due to bad weather. We were hoping second time lucky.  So it was up, dressed and off for breakfast; breakfast was an amazing buffet including sausages, beans, hash browns, eggs 3 different ways, pancakes, cereal, toast and fruit! It was such a treat to have so much choice.  

We then packed up and checked out and hired snorkelling gear from the resort and headed out to Cloud 9.  So thankful for a second chance to visit this remote Pacific floating bar. Every one we met had told us it's definitely a must if you get the chance. So we headed out on a small motorboat. The journey lasted about 45 minutes and the sky was cloudy making the journey not too unbearable. We passed Island after Island as we made our way out to sea.

On pulling up to Cloud 9 we immediately fell in love with the place. A small open air floating bar. There was a pizza oven at the back serving freshly made pizzas, there were deck chairs, benches and bar stools but the best place to be was at the front of the bar on large lounging double beds. This is where we lay out towels. There was also an upper level with more deck chairs, more double beds and a place where you could jump from the upper level into the water!

Once we made ourselves at home on the beds at the front, took some cool photos and headed up to the upper level to make our first jump into the water. Standing at the top of the upper level felt very high but that wasn't going to stop us. Jumping in was so much fun and it was lovely to just swimming, the water was unbelievably blue and the early morning clouds began to disappear turning it into a gorgeous sunny day.

We swam, snorkelled and relaxed. It was a perfect day. After the swimming and snorkelling we got cocktails and sat at the front of the bar with our legs dangling over the edge and enjoyed the view while we chatted.

Soon it was time to leave. We had had an amazing time and didn't want to go but we said our goodbyes and hopped in the boat.

The motorboat then took us to the sister resort to Beachcomber, Funky Fish Resort, where on arrival we had a lovely fresh lunch of fish and chips. It was a lovely late lunch and very welcome after a morning of swimming and snorkelling. 

After lunch we were back in the boat and on our way back to Beachcomber, ready to catch the ferry to our sixth and final Island, South Sea Island.

I loved going to Cloud 9. I am grateful that we didn't go when we initially planned to as we wouldn't have met up with friends that we had made during our island hopping experience. It was a lovely way to spend our last day before we all went our separate ways. 

Beachcomber

We got a late ferry to Beachcomber and so we arrived only a couple of hours before dinner, a quick settle and we were off for a wander around the island to see the sun setting on another sunny day. The island is small enough that you can walk around the whole thing in about 20 minutes, after our walk we headed back to our dorm room to shower and change ready for dinner. 


The dinning area and the bar area was all open with sandy floors and it was lovely to just walk straight from the beach to the bar. The whole setting was beautiful and well set up. Dinner was a buffet of different meats and salad assortments, we even got dessert, a delicious Oreo cheesecake!!


After dinner we headed to the bar and shared a bottle of wine, it was lovely to sit, chat and enjoy the evening. The evening entertainment was a dance troupe, they demonstrated different dances from different islands in the Pacific including the Cook Islands, Fiji and Tahiti. They finished the performance with a fire dance which was pretty impressive!


We only had one night at Beachcomber, as we had done a lot of the activities that Beachcomber offered at other resorts we had visited. So we chose to use the day to visit the Cloud 9 Bar, a beautiful floating bar in the middle of the ocean. I'll tell you about it next time! 

Mantra Ray

Our next resort was Manta Ray Resort and some friends we had met on the first 2 islands had told us a lot about the resort.  Everyone had said it was a cut above the rest and they were right!  On arrival we were greeted by the staff singing and welcoming us with fruit drinks.  The whole resort was much more commercialised and professional; for instance, these guys didn't run on Fiji time!  After our wonderful welcome we were given the general 'need-to-know' and then taken to our dorm room.

Our room was a massive 32 bed dorm, however despite it's size the dorm was comfortable and cozy.  The beds were bunk beds, almost like cubby holes, giving us a bit of privacy which is essential when in such a big dorm.  Once settled, we headed straight to the beach to lounge in hammocks and relax before dinner.  On reaching the beach we found there was only one large hammock. So there was no option but to share. It was interesting trying to get us both in one hammock, but got there in the end!

Dinner was amazing. There was so much choice for mains, with a soup to start and a small dessert as well.  Our evening entertainment was a display of traditional Fijian dancing and story telling.  The whole evening was so much fun the staff had us all up and dancing the night away.

The next morning began with a feast of pancakes, fruit, cereal, eggs, beans and pastry delights; a delicious start to the day.  Then out to the beach, finding hammocks and relaxing in the morning sun.  Later in the morning, we joined in a bracelet making session, making pretty rope bracelets with shells we had found on the beach just metres away!! By the time we had finished making our beaclets it was time for lunch. Oh my gosh, there was so much choice for lunch, Harriet and I didn't know what to have; I settled on nachos and they were so good!

Our afternoon activity was a guided kayak. We made a mid way stop at a nearby beach to swim and snorkel and the water was unbelievably warm and clear with so many fish close to shore it was amazing to have them so close and swimming among us. Whilst here it began to get cloudy so we decided to head back. A good job too as the skies darkened more and then within half an hour the rain came down so heavily! It rained for the rest of the day which was a shame but it was the first proper rainstorm we had had since we began island hopping and after all the stories others had told us about 2 weeks of rain, we didn't mind. We had been lucky enough to have a week of beautiful sunshine already.

Relaxing before dinner, Harriet and I talked about what we wanted to do the next day and for the rest of the trip. One of our ambitions both Harriet and I were desperate to try was scuba diving! So we signed up for an introductory diving lesson.  We were unbelieveably excited!

Once again dinner was amazing and we had a night of fun and games. They were silly games, we had a blast and I won a free cocktail!!!

Our final day at Mantaray began early with a delicious breakfast before checking out and then going to the dive shop to have our introductory dive lesson. We had 2 instructors for the 4 of us taking the lesson. Attu, one of our instructors, kitted us out with fins, mask and a weight belt. He demonstrated the oxygen tank and vest, what we had to do (which was not a lot) and then we were helped into our weight belt, vest and tank, which was equally heavy, and practised our breathing with the regulator.

 

They talked us through how to equalise our ears and how the pressure can affect the body, the correct position for swimming and the hand signals we would be using. We then headed to the beach, sat in the shallows and put our fins and mask on and practised breathing with our faces in the water.

Before we knew it we were under the water and ready to descend! It was incredibly silent under the water, I loved the feeling of peace. The colours were remarkable and, within minutes of being in the water, we saw so many fish. We descended slowly with Joe, our other instructor. I could soon feel the pressure in my ears, equalising we then continued down. I cannot believe how many colourful fish and giant clams were on the reef, we were even lucky enough to see a shark! We got to hold an electric blue starfish and a sea cucumber, it was so cool!

We surfaced after what seemed like no time at all but, amazingly, we were under the water for 50 minutes! Joe told us that normally a first dive would be much shorter but we were managing so well, Joe had kept going. At our deepest we were at 11.8 metres!  I loved being under the water but I did find that the pressure got to my ears a little and I was struggling for about a day afterwards.

Back from our dive we headed to the lounge area to make another bracelet, and it started to rain again, but luckily not for long. Too soon we were getting ready to say goodbye to Mantaray Resort. The staff again as we said our goodbyes. Final photos with the staff we had got to know over the last 2 days and then it was into the motor boat to be taken out to the main boat that would transport us onwards to our next island.

On the main boat we briefly saw our friends from Korovou resort. They were going to stay at Mantaray for the next few days. After quick 'hugs', 'hellos' and 'see you soons', we were leaving Mantaray and on to our next piece of paradise.

Three islands down, 3 to go and I have fallen in love with Fiji!

Korovou 

So, as we waved goodbye to Safe Landing Resort, we began to get excited for our next island and what it had in store for us. The journey there was a little rough but definitely not as rough as our first journey from the mainland to Safe Landing! Unfortunately, just as we were about to transfer to the smaller motor boat, the heavens opened! We had no choice but to get in the little boat, and get to land and under cover as quickly as we could. As we got into the motor boat, the downpour got heavier and as the boat raced to the resort it was safe to say we looked like drowned rats!

Arriving just before afternoon tea, we quickly checked in, dried off and headed to the open dining area for a cup of something warm.  Whilst there we met someone we had met on the mainland along with some others.  Within half an hour we were laughing and chatting like long lost friends. We spent the rest of the day chatting, blogging and relaxing before dinner. The after-dinner entertainment was a fire dance performed by some of the staff. It was crazy watching them spin the fire and run the flames along their arms and legs! We were invited to join in with games and dancing. Such a great fun first night and a real contrast to the peace and quite of Safe Landing.



The next day the sun was shining and we were ready to soak it up! After a leisurely breakfast we hit the sun loungers with our new friends. When the sun became too hot, a quick dip in the sea was the perfect solution to cool off.  In order to avoid walking on the coral on the sea bed, a pathway had been created to walk along. Once over the corralled area, the path ended and we were swimming.  Amazingly, despite being a long distance from the shore, at the end of the path the water was still not too deep and it was lovely to swim in the clear water, cool off and then head back to our sun loungers to dry off and soak up more sunshine.



At about mid morning, the staff announced that they were going to feed the fish! Curious I went along and was surprised to find them throwing in the leftovers from breakfast into the sea.  The fish were going crazy; splashing around and racing for the food.  It was cool to watch.  Prior to lunch we had a coconut demonstration and rather that just letting us taste the coconut and explaining the different parts of the coconut, we were shown how the coconuts are opened, ‘peeled’ and then how it is used.  Before we knew it, one of the members of staff had shimmied up a coconut tree and was throwing down coconuts. They then expertly began to peel the outer layer off.  I had a go at this and it was surprisingly hard. The outer layer was quite course and is used by the locals as sponges for cleaning.  We were then shown how to open the coconut, and demonstrated many different ways to open them including cracking the coconut in half. Amazingly, one guy cracked one open with his hand in a karate chop move!

The coconut water was unbelievably sweet and much nicer than what you get in the shops.  Whilst sipping on the coconut, we saw how the inside of the coconut was removed.  It was “grated” out, or at least that is the best way of describing it!  It was very interesting to see.  Once the coconut was grated the guys squeezed the coconut and out poured coconut milk,  From the grated coconut, a traditional Fijian toffee is made; coconut fried with sugar, cocoa and a few other ingredients. Unbelievably good but you couldn’t eat too much as it was so sweet!

After devouring the coconut we returned to our sun loungers before showering away the heat of the day and going for dinner and another evening of fun.  Staff taught us the Bula dance, which is a dance performed all over Fiji.  We also played many more games, enjoyed playing cards and chatting.

I think the supply boat must have been delayed getting to the island as lunch and dinner was mainly pasta, bread and potatoes and everyone missed the fruit platters.  It was not the greatest day for food but I didn’t mind.  I felt that although it was also nice to enjoy good food, for me what made it was the great activities and experiences.

On our final day we once again had a relaxed time with our new friends and sun bathed.  We also had another go at basket weaving.  It was interesting to see the same style of baskets as we made at Safe Landing Resort, were also made here at Korovou, but made using a different technique.   Filling the baskets with flowers 🌺 we left them hanging in the dining area. They looked so pretty!

We didn’t want to leave the resort without finally tasting some more of the delicious coconut, so one of the staff members shimmied up a tree and brought down some coconuts for us to have.  It was a perfect way to cool off and finish a lovely few days at Korovou. Eating so much coconut we didn’t need lunch; it was so delicious and fresh!!!


Before we knew it we were saying goodbye to the friends we had met as they were due to head north as we were heading south. However upon checking the dates we were at each island we were excited to realised that we would be meeting up again. We had a couple of hours before our boat to our next island so once again we pick a spot and relaxed, wrote some more and enjoyed the view.

 

 

A change in the weather 

Our second day in Nadi we had planned to go to Cloud 9, a floating bar out at sea about 30 minutes from the main land.  We were unbelievably excited, it was something that was unique, fun and something that we felt was a must on our visit.

Rainy Day

Unfortunately the weather had other plans; we woke that morning to find it raining buckets. Once we had breakfast we went to reception to ring Cloud 9 and due to the weather the Cloud 9 trip had been cancelled.  We were so disappointed, we couldn’t believe our luck but it also made us concerned for the rest of our trip. Fiji would not be as enjoyable if it rained constantly.

We spent the day at the hotel, where we relaxed, read and caught up on blogging and journaling. Even though we were disappointed we still had a relaxing day.  Fingers crossed for the Fiji weather. 

Fiji!!!!

For me Fiji is a country that “one day” I would visit.  I never thought that I would actually be getting on a plane and flying to do 2 weeks of island hopping in this beautiful place.

Our trip was booked through a company called Awesome Adventures Fiji and  they create packages to visit the different islands.  We booked 12 nights Island hopping and 3 days in the mainland city of Nadi.

We needed to be at the airport for 7am, with our flight at 9am.   We left our suitcases with a friend in Sydney and only took a hold-all and a personal bag each ass hand luggage.    We were delayed by half an hour due to some kind of complication, but before we knew it we were taxiing towards the runway.

However, we didn’t get very far when the captain made the announcement that the manual steering was not working correctly and the flight was aborted!  So we sat on the plane for half an hour as the plane was towed to the hanger.  The steering couldn’t be repaired so we would need to change airplanes! We were taken back to the gate we had left only half an hour ago and waited another hour and a half for the ground crew to move the luggage to the new plane and make sure everything was ready and working.  2 hours later than scheduled we again began the taxi to the runway, this time we managed to take off and we were finally on our way to Fiji!

Even though we had this delay, we were well looked after by the crew and airport staff and I must say a big thank you to the JetStar team for getting us to Fiji safely.

Finally reaching Nadi, we stepped off the plane and despite it being cloudy outside were immediately hit by the heat.  Through security we headed to the Awesome Adventures Fiji desk to check in to our trip. Everything was as we had booked and we were given a Fiji SIM card which was a real bonus!

Driving through Nadi I was surprised by what I saw.  As a main town in Fiji I expected it to be well built and quite busy, but it wasn’t.  The buildings looked tired and some were in need of repair. It all looked a bit old fashioned! However the hotel was friendly, clean and ideal for our 2 day stay before wee started our island hopping.  It had a restaurant and bar and we enjoyed a lovely meal before heading back to our room.

While we were at dinner a couple of girls arrived back from travelling the islands. They told us that the weather had been very disappointing with a mixture of sun and rain.  We both felt concerned we were going to have 2 weeks of rain, as we realised we were travelling in rainy season!

Oh well! Fingers crossed!!