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November 2009 Blog Posts (19)

New Resort in the Yasawas

There is a new resort which is just being developed on Nacula Island in the Yasawas, on the site of the old Nalova Bay Resort (which closed earlier this year). It will be opening for guests at the end of 2009, and will be a ‘sister’ resort to Octopus on Waya Island. I was lucky to be invited to spend a night there with the people (ex-Octopus managers) who are doing… Continue

Added by Marilyn Marsh on November 28, 2009 at 5:06pm — 2 Comments

An Expat's View of Fiji Politics - Part 2!

After the 2006 coup, I spoke with lots of people here, especially other business owners and resident expats as well as educated Fijians & Indo-Fijians. The common thread was that Bainimarama effected the coup the wrong way for the right reasons. Does that make sense? Nobody wanted to see guns on the street although in many parts of the world, that's the norm - police carry guns in America, but not here. (The guns went "off the streets" here after a very short time.) People living in the… Continue

Added by Collin McKenny on November 22, 2009 at 1:35pm — 7 Comments

An Expat's View of Fiji Politics

I had planned to tell resort construction "war stories" next but since there's such intense interest in Fiji politics (especially in Australia and New Zealand!) let's go THERE....with some history first and then current events!



I've been here since 1997 so my knowledge of events prior to that time is anecdotal. Fiji was a British colony until 1971. The Brits brought citizens of India to Fiji to work the sugar cane fields in the mid-1800's -- the Fijians wouldn't do it. Neither would… Continue

Added by Collin McKenny on November 19, 2009 at 11:23am — 1 Comment

How did you end up in FIJI??? Part 2!

When we arrived on the island of Vanua Levu (Fiji's second largest island) that day in May 1996, the rental car guy said we'd need a 4x4 when he found out where we were staying -- there was just a "track" going into the property! It took ALL DAY to get the 4x4 from the other side of the island. The chief from the closest village was with us -- and by the time we got to the property it was dark (and raining). We couldn't see ANYTHING and were exhausted. Cincinnati ~ LAX ~ Nadi ~ Savusavu ~ plus… Continue

Added by Collin McKenny on November 18, 2009 at 11:53am — 2 Comments

How did you end up in FIJI???

This is THE most asked question by friends and resort guests!



How did I get to Fiji???? In the late 80's, sitting one evening with a good friend & my now ex on our patio in Walnut Creek CA (with 3 bottles of wine!!), she & I started talking about getting out of the corporate rat race before the "gold watch at 65". What if we built a small resort / retreat for artists & writers? My husband was a "house-husband". It worked for us/me because I traveled a lot & he could… Continue

Added by Collin McKenny on November 16, 2009 at 1:47pm — 1 Comment

How should we promote food security via Aquaculture?

Excellency in science does not depend solely on the amount of talent one has. Healthy competition, based on peer review, trustful and effective collaboration and the amount of grant money available to the researchers are playing an important role in providing the appropriate ingredients for high-level research. We need to look into ways to tighten the collaboration among UH researchers and submit together larger scale grant proposals that will enable us to compete for the biggest possible… Continue

Added by tetsuzan benny Ron on November 11, 2009 at 9:12am — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 13

Today is our last day in Fiji. We stay at the Fiji Orchid, which is described by co-owner Jenny Bourke as, "a nice bookend for a trip to Fiji." We were expecting a typical airport hotel - decent, but nothing special. We were very pleasantly surprised. Its really a mini-resort bursting with character. The Fiji Orchid has beautiful gardens, a nice pool area and six innovative nautical themed canvas bures, all air-conditioned with comfortable… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 9, 2009 at 5:30pm — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 12

In Namale we are greeted with song, drinks, and salusalus (leis.) Namale manages to be a luxury resort while maintaining a non-resort feel. All the thatched log buildings are beautifully designed with high ceilings and log pillars decorated with tapa. The staff is very impressive. Everyone had memorized our name by the time we check in. A beautiful wooden "Dan & Mika" sign hangs on the door of our bure. The pre-arrival… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 9, 2009 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

First Time to Fiji: Day 11

Today Sam took us to see the spinner dolphins and for what was possibly the best snorkeling and free diving trip we have done to date. The water was glass and visibility was outstanding. We saw corals of every color, bright orange and green sponges, hundreds of varieties of reef fish and two white tipped reef sharks. Mika inquired if they ate humans. I told her they only eat cute Japanese woman.…



Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 9, 2009 at 4:30pm — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 10

This morning we enjoy breakfast in bed. The chef has prepared spicy roti (Indian flat bread) breakfast wraps filled with egg, potato, spring onion and chilies.



After breakfast Moto took us out in a bamboo raft called a bilibili. We stopped by two excellent snorkeling spots where we saw blue starfish, giant clams and corals with blue, purple, pink, orange, yellow and white polyps. Moto and I take turns rowing and singing. He is a fun… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 9, 2009 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

First Time to Fiji: Day 9

After checking out Pedro, our guide, takes us to see the 180th meridian, the old Meridian Theatre and the mission.



Pedro drops us off at the ferry stop and we bid him farewell. We thoroughly enjoy the ferry ride to Buca Bay, which takes a little over an hour. They put us in the front of the boat so we can enjoy the view. We pass coral islands and toward the middle of the ride flying fish jump in front of the bow. We sit next to some… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 9, 2009 at 3:09pm — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 8

Today was a lazy day. We slept in late and then walked down to the beach with our snorkel gear. The corals start almost immediately as you wade in. We slowly work our way through the corals from the beach in front of Makaira to the the Taveuni Island Resort, which is about 800 meters.



Today is a wedding at Taveuni Beach Resort. The couple, Vladamir and Elena have traveled all the way from Russia to have a traditional… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 9, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 7

Today we finally got in the ocean. We wondered down to the beach where a gentlemen named Joe greeted us. We were expecting to snorkel right off the beach, but Do had arranged for Joe to take us out to the best snorkel spots, 5-10 minutes away by boat near a small cluster of islands. Thats one of the great things about Taveuni Island Resort. Do quietly does a lot of work to facilitate this sort of thing without you having to ask, and… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 9, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 6

Today we visited five resorts in the area. We started with Maravu, where we were greeted by a delightful woman named Ester. She explained that the property was owned by a German gentleman named Jochen, who had visited as a backpacker and fell in love with the island. He returned to buy the resort where he stayed.



Although the resort doesn’t have the amazing views you find at Taveuni Island Resort or Makaira, it does have a beautiful… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 9, 2009 at 1:30pm — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 5

The next morning we were picked up by Sitiveni "Steve" Yaqona, who has had a long career of public service and visitor industry experience. As a young man Steve served in the Fiji Army and later was the General Manager of Air Fiji, one of the local island hoppers. He later ran the North American office of the Fiji Visitors Bureau, based in Los Angeles. His job was promoting tourism for the Fijian government. His territory was all of… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 8, 2009 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

First Time to Fiji: Day 4

This morning I had a nice chat with David, one of the Bedarra owners. He understandably takes great pride in the hotel, which he and his partner built up from a four room bar and inn over the past fifteen years. Bedarra is now a 24 room hotel, which seems to be particularly popular with Aussie couples who enjoy the quiet, low key atmosphere.



We met Alice for lunch and a visit to Joan of Ark Elementary, the… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 8, 2009 at 4:00pm — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 3

We hoped to going diving this morning, but stormy weather fouled our plans. Instead we enjoyed a lazy morning in our room. Today we have to check out, which is unfortunate because the staff at the Outrigger really spoiled us rotten :-)



At noon we headed out on the Sigatoa River Safari. Our guide for the river portion of the tour was Joshua "Captain Jack" Ratukuna. Joshua is an entertaining and knowledgeable guide.… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 8, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 2

We started the morning with a nice breakfast at Vale Ni Kana. After breakfast we decided to drive into the valley, along Singatoka River. The scenery reminded me of the more pristine parts of rural Hawaii. I imagine this is how our island looked 100 years ago. The taro farmers greeted us with enthusiastic waves. Some worked the fields with bull pulled plows. We passed locals on horseback and several groups of school children who were… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 8, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

First Time to Fiji: Day 1

September 21 The view as we flew over Fiji was awe-inspiring. Mika and I have seen many beautiful islands, but this archipelago is the most impressive in terms of sheer beauty from the air. Islands and islets surrounded by white beaches, coral reefs and pristine blue water dot the ocean as far as the eye can see. It looks like one of those idealized South Pacific island postcard photos that have been heavily photoshopped, but image… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on November 4, 2009 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

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