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 —
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 —
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.…
Added by Daniel Leuck on November 9, 2009 at 4:30pm —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —