A Travellerspoint blog

Beachcomber, Bula and traditional dancing

Fiji- the story so far

Fiji is absolutely stunning! we are 3 islands in and arrived at Korovou today. The last few days (like the rest of our trip) have been nothing short of entertaining and hav met some wicked people in the process. We think we've been quite lucky because everybody we have met in Fiji have been great to get on with, although there were a couple of scouse guys who we're still not too sure about haha just kiddin boys.

We left the Nadi Beach resort and headed straight over to Beachcomber which is the infamous party island. It is absolutely stunning, even though you can walk around it in about 10 mins. Bright blue sea and an unbelievably clear sky....it all sounds fab, doesn't it? Well it pretty much was other than our arrival at Beachcomber. To get to the smaller islands from Nadi, you have to board a small ferry type boat to take you out- i think it's called a katamaran. Then when you get nearer to the smaller island, you have to board an even smaller boat to take you inland. During this process, your bags are taken out of your hands and ou're told to sit back and relax because you're now on 'Fiji time'. This was wicked news to us both and we sat back to enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, when we came to get onto the smaller boat that was to take us inland, we discovered that neither of our bags were with us. We were then told that our bags had gone to one island whils we were at another. Apparently our bags didn't quite feel like the excitement of the party island and needed to have a few hours chilling time before they hit the carnage.

We arrived at Beachcomber at around 10 am and were told to meet our bags when the boat passd the island again- at 4.30 pm. This meant we had to wait all day without a change of clothes. Luckily (and for once in my life) i thought ahead and put a sarong, water, sun cream and a bikini in my beach bag which staye with me. H had packed all of her swimsuits etc inher big bag and so bless her was scorchio all day.

Even though we had no bag, we still had a wicked day. Met a group of Aussie girls, one of whom is originally a Brummie and knew that good times were ahead of us haha. That day I went snorkelling and H came along for the boat ride. The coral is awesome but it has scratched my leg open and I've been having problems walking for the last few days. Don't be worrying though mum, I'm still in one piece and have thankfully lived to tell the tale via the good ol' blog haha. We fed the fish with bread and it was crazy seeing them all swarm for it.

Had dinner with the aussie girls and got quite a big group of people together. It's crazy how many Brits there are who are travelling but I guess you have no choice when you have weather like ours haha. The party island didn't disappoint and there was plenty of partying done. H got herself drunk (yet again, I swear she's wild haha) and was dancing on the tables. There was a limbo competition and we were taught the Beachcomber dance 'The Bula'. It's kind of like the Macarena and we are looking forward to teaching itto you all when we get back. Met some wicked cockney boys too, even if they do support Chelseabut hey everybody has their cross to bear haha. We have com to realise that not only can you tell a British boy by their socks- it's also in the way they dance. They all start off with good intentions but once afew vodkas are thrown into the mix, the 2 bottle stomp starts to come out. You all know the one I mean haha. The aussie boys taught them a thing or two and genuinely looked happy to be on the dancelfoor- they obvs hadn' been warned about the killer moves of Walker as she strutted her stuff in the sand and was bustin some pretty wicked moves of her own (which I of course have on film haha)

Day2 of Beachcomber is where we got our suntans, or more appropriately- burns haha. Paul introduced us to a couple of guys from l'pool who we have affectionately named Princess and Romeo. They aren't a couple or anything though but are quite a double act and bounce off each other in the same way that H and I do. I guess it's the Scouse charm that does it eh haha.

That evening was more of the same except this time H and I had mega mega sunburn...ah well cant complain, it's all part of the fun. We also saw Liverpool represent in the limbo competition as the boys tried their hand at winning the free para surfing. Fuelled by alcohol they both did really well and it would have been good to see them dancing with the aussie boys the night before because we saw that some English boys like to dance too!!

It was a brilliant 48 hours at Beachcomber and hope that all of the other islands are the same as that one. (even though word on the street is that the rest are all mege quiet)

Walai Lailai was a lot more laid back than Beachcomber but we still had a wicked time all the same. Have met some really cool people here too and have a fair bit to write home about. We have been savaged by wild beasts and sharks but dont worry, will get to that in a bit haha.

Night one at Walai Lailai the Fijians put on a fashion show for us and modelled some of the traditional Fijian clothes. They were wicked but they'd never get away with wearing it in England as some of them were made of loincloths and leaves- not really going to do much for you in a hailstorm is it eh haha. After the fashion show, there was a dramatisation of how the first missionary arrived in Fiji from England. The Fijian man who was playing Thomas Baker was smarted up in a shirt and tie and it was quite amusing to see him rip it off as soon as the act was over. Walai Laili is a lot less developed than beachcomber but is just as beautiful.

Got chatting to a few pretty cool people on the first night and had a few drinks which turned intoa few more. We weren't particularly drunk but stumbled to find our room again. This is because when they say lights out, they means lights out and every single light on the island goes out. This resulted in us fumbling round in the dark to get the bottle of vodka from each other when we went for a drink back at James and Catherines hut. It was a case of opening the other persons hand and placing the bottle in it, it was that dark.

Yesterday at Walai Lalai, we used our complimentary pass to go snorkelling with sharks. There was no tank involved, just us our flippers and the wide open sea. H started out with good intentions but them wimped out after about 10 mins. The fish were awesome and it was crazy being that close to sharks. On of the guys from our dorm had an underwater camera so watch this space for the pictures.

Last night the Fijians did some traditional dancing for us and then got us all up to teach us. Im saying nothing except that Karen would have loved it. You are a lucky lucky girl because I had just enough minutes left on my camera to film it for you!!!:o) After the dancing we sat around with the peeps from our dorm and played some card games. I now know how to play Irish Snap and Cheat although I'm not very good at either. We showed them how to play snap and it was competition a plenty haha....michelle won but I'm gonna call it first time luck- haha just kidding. you did well!

We headed back to our dorm with the intention of playing some more until somebody in the room decided to commit murder which put a slight downer on the evening. I'm mentioning no names but Joel you know what you did was wrong haha. There was a spider the size of a small country in our hut and it was decided that it needed to go, so we got rid of it. We came to the conclusion that it was the baby of the family and that its mum would be coming along shortly to find it. Luckily enough there was no sign bt after all the excitement we decided to switch out the lights and get some wel earned sleep. Which we all managed quite well until we were awoken by the screeching of Heather outside. Five dogs were outside and as she was making her way to the toilet they decided they would quitelike sme breakfast and decided that H's arm was going to be it. Luckily enough for her, another do jumped to her rescue and fought them off. She escaped unharmed although we did spend the next 30mins watching them sniffing around the door of our hut. DONT WORRY ELLIE!!!! H is still in one piece and her arm isn't going to fall off although she was a wee bit shaken at first. Everybody in Walai Lailai now knows about the savage attack and I believe you can expect the full report in tonights Granada news haha.

So we said goodbye to our roomies this morn but will be keeping in touch with them to let them know about Heathers impending gangrene haha just kidding.

We are now at Korovou and are going to explore, I think I'm going to be doing some kayaking to the next island but will see how my ankle holds up.

Bye for now

H and Deb

x x x

Posted by debski 18:00 Comments (0)

Fairwell to the American Dream and helllooooooo Fiji

The day that never was

We are coming to you from a little shack in the grounds of our hotel in Fiji. I'm pleased to report that the pc has available usb ports so that we can upload piccies, the bad thing is that we have no signal on our phones to verify our mobiles to facebook. I believe that is called sods law and if anybody has any hints/ tips on how to sort this out then pleeeease let us know haha.

We flew out from San Francisco to L.A at 4.55 on 24th Feb and flew from L.A to Nadi airport and 10.30pm on the 24th Feb. On arriving at Nadi airport we discovered it was 5.30 am on the 26th Feb, so my life has officially been over for 26 days and I didn't even get to experience one of those days. For the rest of you I hope you had a great Ash Wednesday and that all promises for Lent are being kept so far. As we have lost a day I am going to start Lent tomorrow and I am going to try and be less sarcastic but I'm not sure how that one is going to pan out haha.

Well our time in the airport was interesting and as usual, the characters of good ol' USA didn't let us down. As we sat in LAX, there was a lady sitting next to us telling anybody in earshot the temperature of the country around the world as well as the exchange rates. I swear these people heard where we were going to be and decided that they needed to feature in this blog haha. Anyways it bonded quite a few of us in the lounge and a few smiles were exchanged haha. We weren't sat anywhere near her on the flight luckily enough becaus I think only one of us may have made it to Nadi haha.

So- I have waited sooooo many years for this but I'm mega excited to say that I'm finally in Fiji. The flight here was full of turbulence but the main thing that is bothering us at the min is lack of phone signal oh and not forgetting the rain that started at about 2pm this afternoon, which is really 2pm tomorrow afternoon for all you guys back in Blighty.

We have got a lil bit of a tan though and have spent the day by the pool. We aren't ones to get disheartened by rain because if were were we'd never have survived on this trip haha. We have been swimming and lounging and had a lil bit of a snooze. We're hoping the sun is going to be out in force tomorrow for the start of our tour around the islands.

We are in a mixed dorm at the min and are sharing with a couple of Canadian guys who seem pretty cool. Thanks to them and the mercilessness of Heather, I have come to the realisation that the bag situation is now rapidly out of control and it is now a case of kill or be killed haha. I plan on being ruthless a bit later on and getting rid of some maps/ guides etc.

So I'm logging off now because I want to check the developments of my fantasy football teams. I haven't looked at them in some time so I think some transfers may be in order haha. Our dorm for the next 11 days has 32 beds in, there best hadn't be any snorers haha

hope everyone who was on trek with us is safely home/ enjoying their next country- looking forward to all the piccies (or not haha just kiddin)

lots of love

H and Deb

x x x

Posted by debski 01:48 Comments (0)

A good time not a long time

San Francisco

It is awesome here....so much to see and do, shame we have only been here for a short time. We will def be making it back here in hotter months so that we can see the flowers (and also have some small hope of gettin a tan haha)

As per usual it has done nothin but rain here all day but H and I decided to make the most of it by fitting in as many touristy things as possible into one day. We kicked off with a visit to Alcatraz which was no disappointment and so much bigger than we were expecting it to be. We also found out some pretty cool things about the place too, neither of us knew that it was inhabited by American Indians after it had finished serving as a prison. We took a walking tour with a very informative park ranger named John. He even took us behind the scenes to where some of the current work is taking place. As usual we have lots of vids and piccies and are looking forward to boring you with them all.

After Alcatraz we took the ferry back to the main island where we were accosted by a welshie, well a Southern Welshie to be exact. He overheard us talking and got a wee bit excited and shouted 'well I haven't heard a Scouse accent in a long time'. It turns out he has been travelling for 17 months and was with his dad, so we all got into a nice little chat about the economy and exchange rates ( normal conversation then yeh haha).

We walked along the piers to Pier 39- A pier which I now know is quite famous and can completely understand why because it wipes the floor with the one at Santa Monica. H and I are quite pleased that we can make this comparison as we wouldn't have had a clue 5 weeks ago haha. On the pier I found the best shop-EVER!!! It is a shop called 'Lefty's' and yes you've guessed it, it's for left handed people. H and I are both leftys and so got really excited. It hand everything from left handed writing books and pens to a left handed ladel. Anyone who is left handed will know how frustrating a normal ladel is haha. Needless to say we wouldn't have been able to carry the shops contents in our bags and so have taken the web address because they ship internationally. Did you know that Charles Darwin, Mark Twain and even Ned Flanders are leftys? Well there you go, interesting fact of the day for you haha.

We walked around the pier and towards the dock and saw tons of sea lions lying on floating bays of wood. Seriously there must have been about 50 of them. They are adorable animals but we couldn't believe how noisy they were. There were about 20 of them lying on one plank of wood and then they all started fighting when another tried to squeeze its way in. I have filmed a fair bit of it but you'll have to excuse our giggling on the vid- they were snorting and flapping about. So so funny.

Wandering around we saw an amazing saxaphone player and decided to make our way to the trolleys to go and see the crooked roads. On the way we saw luggage world and I decided that a new rucksack was in order. Andy, I'm gonna be shipping yours back but don't worry, Im gonna keep the badges comin haha got a reet good collection for you :o) The only bag the woman had left was the one on display and so I haggled the cost down. Seems like the last few weeks have done me the world of good. That and a conversation I had with Fiona a few weeks back so anyhoow Fi, thanks:o) H said she was rather proud of my skills and I must say I agree lol.

The trolleys are pretty cool because you can just dangle off the side as you ride. The hills are so so steep and it's been raining so badly that we had to hold on for our lives haha. It was good to say we've done it but again it would be even better to do it in nicer weather.

The windy road was so so steep but we couldn't get the best view of it because it was raining. Have got some piccies of it but we've both said it's a hazard to drive down it because of all of the bends in it.

We went for dinner with Amanda and Lone from the trek tour and said our fond farewells to them. We'll see them soon enough in the world of facebook and there's always the 10 year reunion hahaha.

Tonight we're chillin because we're off to Fiiiiiiji tomorrow. I can't believe it! I'm so so so excited and even better we could possibly get a tan (so long as this weather doesn't follow us-fingers crossed eh)

Rocky is doing well but has been stayin in for a little bit because he doesn't like the cold much. He's said he'll be out in force again once we get to Fiji because he wants to get some highlights in his fur. Personally I think he's suffering from a broken heart. During the Fiji tour, he developed a little crush on Harriet but Harriet has found love with Moosey, Jezebel's mascot and has decided that she wants to spend the rest of her days whiling away the hours with him on whatever trek tour he ends up on next. I hope that we can find Rocky the same happiness but whoever he finds will have to emigrate to the UK I'm afraid haha

So good luck to Harriet and Moosey, I hope we get an invite to the wedding

Bye for now

lots of love

H and Deb

x x x

Posted by debski 22:59 Comments (0)

Nearing the end of the American Dream

LA and the bus tour to San Francisco

Any strangeness we witnessed when we were at Venice Beach was surpassed today on our bus tour from L.A to San Francisco. I'm pleased to say that we have made in it one piece (just about) and guess what- it's raining. I'll bet the sun is cracking the flags for Will in L.A because the bad weather just seems to keep following us.

Our last supper in L.A was spent with Will and Gil, 2 of the characters we met on the trek tour. We went for Thai foood in a local restaurant and then hit the British pub for dessert because the menu in the Thai restaurant was awful. It was nice and chilled and I am rapidly developing a craving for Pad Thai in the same way that H has been craving French Vanillas (thats a type of caramel/ vanilla latte to the rest of you haha).

We went back to the hostel and hit the movie room to watch the old classic 'My cousin Vinnie', a great film if I do say so myself. After the film we went to bed as 2 certain people (Will and H) said they'd be getting up with me this morning to go back to the British bar to watch Liverpool vs Man City. I was particularly excited because the only football I've seen since I left the UK was 20 mins of Arsenal v Cardiff when I was in Vegas. I set the alarm for 6am and was raring to go. Unfortunately for me, neither of them delivered on their promise so I bit the bullet and went by myself. I figured it would be a character building experience, as I've never been in a pub on my own other than if I've arrived before my friends and have certainly never spent a full 90 minutes on my own. I took my travel journal with me because I figured while everyone was having their half time analysis, I could be writing my postcards.

I was expecting the bar to be really busy and there were a few people but it was nice, I think at 7am it may have been a wee bit too much to have the roaring of the First National down my ears haha. The barman was a nice Irish guy (who I soon found out supported Utd) who made me a lovely pot of tea- thats gotta be a first eh haha. After about 15 mins, said Irish guy plucks up enough courage to start taking the mick out of my accent and then that was it for the rest of the match. Luckily enough there were a couple of other guys there who took pity on me being by myself- 1 southerner and another Irish guy and took me under their wing. Thanks to the southern guy, I have a name and address of a bar here in San Francisco so that I can watch the champs league match before we fly out to Fiji- noiiice :o)

So....after the match went for breakfast as per and got ready to have our teary (or not so teary) goodbye with Will. It was emotional as we washed our dishes and reminisced over the last few weeks lol. So we waved him goodbye and set off on our shuttle bus to San Fran.

We have managed to go 5000 miles in the last 3 weeks and in a bus smaller than this one, without suffering from pretty much any travel sickness. Within 20 mins of being on that bus I think both of us were wanting a sick bag. To make matters worse, there wasn't much breathing space on this bus and we all thought that it was full enough as it was. Unfortunately for us, the bus driver had other ideas and proceeded to let another girl on the bus. When she got on and saw there weren't any seats, the driver then offered somebody a discount of 10 dollars if they would be prepared to sit on the floor. The trip was over 6 hours long, somehow I don't think 10 dollars was going to cover it but there was one kind gent who obliged. We all then offered our seats to the kind chap to spread the burden sort of thing but he was having none of it. The cherry on top of the cake that was the bus ride though was 5 mins later hearing what sounded distinctly like a miaow sound coming from behind us. I turned around to look, didn't even open my mouth and the lady behind said....' yes I am travelling with a cat'. Just like it was the sort of thing I'd be expecting to hear. I'm telling you, only in the USA could this have happened and particularly only when we're around. If you've ever read 'Round Ireland with a fridge', this is probably on a par with the strangeness in that.

We switched buses halfway through onto something much bigger. We were all on nice and comfy when said lady suddenly shouts 'Stop! Wait! I've forgotten my cat!!!'. So we all had to wait whilst this woman chased after the tiny mini bus to retrieve her cat. Seriously- what are people playing at? If you're going to traumatise your cat by taking it out, the least you can do is remember to take it with you- especially when travelling by public transport.

So as I said, we're safely in San Francisco and have been for dinner. Tomorrow we've a busy day with Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge being top of the agenda :o)

lots of love

H and Deb

x x x

Posted by debski 22:31 Comments (0)

A star is born

LA: Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Universal Studios

If we can give you one piece of advice about LA, it is to be prepared for some wrongness on Venice Beach. Our time in LA started out pretty normal, a bit of sightseeing in Hollywood and dinner with the last remaining few on the trek tour. Venturing outside the comfort of our trek van, we have found that LA is pretty bizarre. Santa Monica beach is lovely and it was blue skies all the way. H and I continued our walk with Will along the promenade to have a lil look at Venice Beach and were actually shocked at what we found. Pretty much all the way along there are homeless people selling their wares and one that particularly caught our eye came when we had a litlle sit down in a cafe along the prom. There was a man- NAKED other than a loin cloth, standing on a stool and twirling plastic snakes. This wasn't the strangest part about the entire situation, the weird thing was that people were actually stopping to stroke the snakes!!!! I cant even begin to explain the wrongness we witnessed but I've seen some crazy things in my time and I think Venice Beach is definitely on a par with the night at the rodeo. It was actually quite sad to be fair because there are so many homeless people just living on the beaches in LA. What surprised us all, was that there wasn't a police officer in sight. If that had been in England, they would have been moved on but in LA it appears to be the norm.

Anyways onto happier things which happened last night. H, Will and I, all went for dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant (don't be too jealous Phil, I did get you a souvenier :o) The food was amazing and really well prepared. I fully endorse going to this place if you ever get a chance, you won't be disappointed!!! We went for a few drinks in a British bar after (we should have really learned our lesson after Washington) and were not impressed by the sights we saw. We think it's really amusing, the impression that Americans have of the British- I mean how many shops actually have bulldogs in them? Really haha!! We only had a few drinks because we wanted to save ourselves for Universal Studios today.

Universal Studios was brilliant but didnt get to see everything which I was a bit disappointed at because I wanted to go on The Simpsons ride but I guess it gives me another excuse to visit haha. We went on all of the main things though and were impressed by what we saw, although there was an unbelievably annoying woman presenting the terminator show which made us all cheer when she eventually got killed off by the goodies:o) At one point I thought H was going to get up and do it for herself but luckily enough she held off haha.

We went on the special effects tour and this is where I got my close up as a Hollywood star (well not quite) The staff decided they needed a female volunteer over the age of 18 so Heather kindly shouted that I'd do it. She couldn't have done it herself could she- i swear these sorts of things could only happen to me. I had to scream as I was being attacked by a giant cat and I played a cameo role in Nutty Professor 2- I even had a line to say :o) It was quite funny to be fair and it meant that H and Will got front row seats for the show. Afterwards we got our piccies taken with the 2 guys who hosted it (one of them plays the next door neighbour in Hannah Montana- apparently) and one of the guys asked us where we were from because he already knew that Will was British. We were intrigued as to how he knew this and then he said ' I could tell because of how he wears his socks'. Will wears ankle socks with trainers in the typical British way- up over the ankles. H and I couldn't move for laughing and we all took piccies of our feet (I guess you had to be there haha)

This evening we are going for a few drinks and poss a few games of pool, then tomorrow it will be a teary goodbye to Will and then heading for San Francisco.

Lots of Love

H and Deb

x x x

Posted by debski 18:44 Comments (0)

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