This was one new year to remember and definitely one for the books. However, before i get to the crunch of how my New Year's was spent, i would like to tell you about my trip to Fiji (9th Dec' 17 - 17th Dec ' 17).
So, I was in Fiji on holidays and was there for a High school friend's wedding which was so beautiful and it ticked all the boxes of romantic Island wedding. So if anyone who is keen on a little getaway or Island wedding ?
Try First Landing Resort, Vuda Point (about 30 mins away from the Nadi Airport). It is not totally secluded and has that peaceful and relaxation you're after if you think of Fiji!
Her reception was at the marina in Vuda Point, which is a 5mins walk from First landing resort and so convenient for your whole bridal party or family. There are also other accommodations if First landing is booked out, like Sapphire lodge and Anchorage, all within range of each other but i highly recommend hiring your own car or book cabs via the hotels instead of walking. The marina catered for food, tables & chairs ( decorations & music at your own cost) w/ an amazing view of the water front.
Normally when i go to Fiji, I always try and discover new adventures or go places i've never been before and this trip i went to Robinson Crusoe Resort (near the coral coastline), a 45min trip from Denarau (Pick can be from any hotel if road access is available), and a 30mins boat trip to the resort after the bus ride, where you will be greeted by friendly faces welcoming you with their Fijian songs. This was hands down the best Island performance i've seen (and i've seen a lot) it was continuous for 3 hrs where we also were given a kava (traditional drink) ceremony and an intro on how they made our dinner, lovo (earth oven). We also got entertained w/ hot stones walking, beach fire dancing and a beach bonfire.
Although we booked for the evening dinner cruise (leaving Denarau at 1430 and returning by 2130), it was well worth our money spent. So be prepared to be knackered after this!
This trip, i was looking forward to the mud baths at Sabeto Village (minivan ride from First landing Resort, 35mins traveling time). It is a bit of a hike to get to but lucky you can travel by vehicle as the roads to get to this village is a bumpy one. I went in a group and it was $20/person where you experience this odd yet refreshing bath (MUD) ha! You, first loathe yourself in mud from buckets that are readily there for you to use after being given an intro from their spokes person. Once the mud has dried up , you can dip in the first pool to wash off the mud then you proceed to Pool 2 where you can soak in the warm spring waters, Pool 3 and then the last Pool 4 before you dry up and decide if you're keen for a massage ($15= 15mins) or shopping at the village stalls.
Apart from staying at First landing which i rented a villa (Pool included), costs for 2nights with 3 other ppl, $1400FJD which was $350FJD/person/night (expensive yes only because it was wedding season) However, i also stayed at Tokatoka (across from the Airport) $130FJD/night and that was way reasonable/cheaper and yet the hotel was still lovely and everything you need in order to enjoy your stay. Be careful not to purchase FIJI WATER from the hotels as they stung us for $12FJD for a 750ml bottle (yikes) You can buy bottle water cheaper from the shops for about $2-$6 from the servo or convenient stores. The food prices are reasonable and i recommend trying the kokoda (fish cooked in lemon juice then mixed in with coconut milk, cut up capsicum, tomato, onions and chilli)
I also island hopped to South Sea Islands (12mins by catamaran from Port Denarau) for half day trip. Food (lovo) and drinks were inclusive but that just means house wines, local beers and softdrinks are free so don't be fulled when they say drinks included in the package it's not ciders or spirits! ha! That fooled me. If you're in Fiji try their Bounty rum (I've named it devil poison, that will knock you back for 20 if you've been in the sun all day. As soon as you get to the beach find your spot quick or hammocks because this goes quick as it's a small island and easily walkable (20mins walk around). However, still picturesque and mesmerising. Oh and they have submarine too which is better to go and look at the sea life if it's a good day as opposed to a cloudy as you won't see much).
I definitely recommend island hopping when you get a chance because you have a variety of islands to choose from.
Ok, it was the last 3days of the holidays i was involved in a horrible car accident which a bloke (driver) and his wife i knew, mistook a turn up from First landing (where we were staying for the wedding i mentioned above) just in front of Sapphire lodge (about 400m away from First Landing Resort) and the car slide of the gravel road, having the back end of the car drop off the side of the hill where we plunged to the bottom and stopped. Thank heavens no one died but i copped a broken ankle & a piece of wood lodged in my left foot. 3 hospitals later (Lautoka,Fiji + Sutherland & St. George, NSW) 2 surgeries and skin graft later i am able to complete this blog and not only tell you about the fun adventures of my trip but also to make it a priority for anyone traveling to Fiji to keep safe on the roads there (crazy drivers and very daring too) and avoid drink driving.
So here's to a wondeful & safe 2018!