Fiji Travelogue - Bula!
This is the greeting heard throughout the country of Fiji. A warm friendly destination, and one truly relaxing tropical getaway.
A country composed of over 300 islands, there are only two really big enough to support a number of towns and industry. Nadi is located on the West Coast of Viti Levu, while Suva the capitol is on the East Coast. An area known as the Coral Coast stretches from Nadi to Suva and takes about 4 hours to drive. The other main island is Vanua Levu with the main city being Savusavu, and this is where all the serious divers head to visit the Jean Cousteau resort. The local waters are a Marine Sanctuary where fishing and jet skiing are prohibited, but diving and exploration are encouraged.
Once you land in Nadi there is a wide selection of accommodations to choose from depending on your personal taste and budget. The resorts are spread out over many smaller islands with each island hosting its own property. They are within sight and short water taxi away from one another.
Many people like the native Fiji ‘bures’ or thatched hut bungalows that line the beachfronts. There is also dormitory style living for the young folk that prefer to play all-day and party all night. There are many properties that sport a variety of living units for families, and provide the most wonderful Fiji nannies that your kids will want to bring home for keeps! You may also see honeymoon couples exchanging their wedding vows right there in the beautiful island garden and beach settings.
Fiji is a chain of volcanic islands ringed by atolls and azure lagoons of fabulous coral gardens and over a thousand miles of unspoiled white sand beaches. Paradise for those that love to snorkel, dive, yacht and cruise. Abundant wildlife on both land and sea, and no dangerous snakes or spiders to watch out for. Mountains of hiking trails and under ground caverns. Native villages that display wonderful arts and crafts such as the tapa cloth that is used for both clothing and household items. Witness the old Fiji customs of Kava (a ceremonial drink) and fire walking (the embers really are HOT).
The native Fiji language is very melodic to the ear and they all seem to be blessed with wonderful singing voices. I attended a Sunday church service which was all conducted in Fijian. No worries I did not know what they were saying, it was stilling a memorable experience.
COLOR is everywhere you look, a photographer’s paradise. From the endless varieties of reef corals and fish under the sea, to the astounding colors of the water itself in sparkling hues of blue and green. The rainbows that fill the horizon following your afternoon shower. The green lizards and the brightly plumed birds, out among the bounty of tropical flowers. The visual effects of Fiji are not the only sensory treat, there is also the enticing odors of sandalwood and Indian spices, and the soothing libation of exotic fruit punches and tantalizing seafood.
Raymond Burr of TV fame fell in love with Fiji and built a garden near Nadi known as the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. It takes its name from the shape of the mountain range in the background which looks like a man in repose. The gardens themselves display his collection of some 40 different kinds of orchids. Although he has passed away the gardens remain in good hands and open to the public.
Many famous people have come here to escape the spotlight and fallen in love with Fiji. Honeymooners of note include Michele Pfeiffer, Pierce Brosman, Pamela Stevenson, Ringo Starr and Bill Gates.