my stay in fiji started with a good surprise, and a bad one:
in nadi airport [G], right after we alighted from the airplane, we were welcomed by two fijian musicians. the captain of our airplane soon came by, unpacked his ukulele, and joined in:
[download] (mp3, 780KB)
the bad one was the hostel that i had booked through the internet: after staying in australian and new zealander hostels/backpackers, nadi downtown backpackers was nowhere near the worst hostel i could imagine…
there were 4 bunk beds crammed into a tiny, dirty room, water taps were dripping (actually, i thought somebody had left them halfway on at first), and there was one single room key.
but i was just spending one night there anyway, before my next flight would take me to the next island:
taveuni [G] was recommended to me by (yet another) peter. we had met at a hostel in sydney, and he turned out to live just 15 minutes from my home town…
fiji’s third-largest island is situated exactly on the international dateline, and has a population of a few thousand.
i took a cab down south to susie’s plantation resort and was looking forward to a few days of relaxing beach holiday, and found …a rocky coast. beautiful, but rocky.
when i was going for a walk, i felt joshed at first, because every passing car-driver (there weren’t many) would honk and wave as they were passing by. i realized that they were really just happy to see somebody new (and/or caucasian).
that same evening, i saw the most stunning sunset of all times.
one short/funny/stupid side-note: there were lots of mosquitos around, and even though i spent half of the day spraying that stinky insect repellent on my skin, some mozzies* kept stinging me. at some point, i stopped caring, and even took a photo of what i named a zebra-gnat.
i was later told that those are yellow fever mosquitos (aedes aegypti), and they can carry a whole bunch of dangerous deseases.
just a few weeks ago, i found another picture of that species – in a book titled “world’s 50 most dangerous animals”…
* notice that australian influence?
[view photos: taveuni, fiji (part 1)]
[view photos: taveuni, fiji (part 2)]
ben, one of the resort’s employees, was kind enough to take a few of us us out on a hike one day (two of his friends also came with us) – probably the most cross-country-y hike i ever did. our path practically was where his machete went. :-)
it was extremely cool – he let us taste 3 different ripening-stages of coconut (green, brown, and already sprouted ones!), several kinds of delicious exotic fruit, and he let us “drink from trees” (aerial roots of a tree, actually)…
the coolest dialogue i heard that day:
- a: wait, where was i when he told you that?
b: you were busy drinking from your coconut.
[view photos: a hike with ben]