Wel, it brings tears to our eyes to tell you that this is finally it, our last chapter to our travels.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about our adventures as much as we have enjoyed living them ! So here we are in sunny Fiji and I guess what you want to know is 'Are we Brown?' The answer to this is, most deffinately YES.
We have spent the last week bronzing ourselves on the hot Fijian Islands! Having the time of our lives. However, we did encounter a bit of a drama before we made it to Fji. ON Saturday when we arrived at the airport and checked in, we found that there was a rather large problem with our aircraft, which meant that it would not be ready to take off until Monday (two days late).
The airline put us up in a nice hotel and we didn't complain. However, the rest of the passengers were not quite as happy as us and at midnight a meeting was called, to discuss how we could get on a flight the following day.
One suggestion was to cal 'CNN' and tell them about this hge drama, somehow we didn't think they would be interested. ! After a TWO hour meeting and people taking minutes a Ballot was made and we managed to get seats on a flight to Fiji the following day. Thanks to Shelley Bells number coming up trumps, she has her uses bless her.
We arrived in Nadi on Sunday evening, still with some disgruntled passengers .. but hey we made it and BOY was it HOT.
We spent our first night at the The Nadi Bay Hotel, a twin room with AIR-CON .. Bliss and most deffinately no more dorms, this is our holiday. We saw the travel agent at the hotel and selected the islands we wanted to stay on. Two nights at the Korouvo resort on Naviti Island, three nights at Adi's place on Waya Island and three nights at the resort on Kuata Island.
Early start to catch our boat to Naviti, four hour boat trip and a green looking Shelley Bell, we arrived at Naviti. The locals welcomed us onto the island by singing to us the Bula Song. How charming. Our room was basic, but comfy enough and we had our own bathroom attached ... but we had to share a bed.! Bak to the cold showers again, de va vu of Thailand .. But hey its refreshing.
We spent the next few days laying on the beach, swimming to cool off frequently and mingling with other travellers.
Three days later we headed to the Island of Waya and Adi's resort. Now this is where the fun really starts. Primitive now that is an understatement. For three nights and three days Cowboy and Essex finally get a taster of what its like to rough it.
Upon arrival, we thought someone had taken us to the wrong place, the sea was Turqouise, the sun was shining and the beach was white. But there was no Bula singer on arrival. The resort itself seemed to be an extension of the village. ( starting the get the drift?)
Our bedroom was shared with several lizaards and 2 million ants, plus something with long nails that scampered accross the dresser at night and scared the hell out of us. We had no electricity, so we couldn't even find out what it was and hoped it wasn't a RAT! We just hid in the Mosquito netting that hung above our head, shrieking and giggling until finally stopped.
We didn't have a toilet and shower attached to room so after a search, to our horror we finally found the ablotions. Or should we say ... Hut with a straw roof.
At dinner time we found our chief slaving away over a fire on the floor, a huge saucepan sat steeming away and the contents was apparently our dinner. Oh God. The kitchen we dared not get to close to, for fear of what we might find in there ... Living or dead.
We sat at meal times, at a table with a bench under a thatched roof and was looked upon eagerly by a trio of birds, that looked Minor Birds. Their table manners were less to be desire.
Now the food was interesting to say the least and we got to sample quite abit of Fiji's native fruits, we hear you saying ..Oh how wonderful, how fresh and without all those additives. But what you haven't said is ' How tasteless, how revolting and how bland it is!' We can safely say we never want to see another bread fruit raw or fried in our lives again. They also found it very hard to grasp the concept of Vegetarianism. So we were on a diet for three days.
We have read stacks of books averaging a book a day and we started to run out, Shock Horror. So there was nothing else to do, apart from snorkelling. So we got ourselves some masks and headed out into the ocean.
The fish were amazing, electric blues and greens, ones with spots and ones that looked abit glittery. The coral was a blue colour and the beauty of it was, we didn't have to go far from the beach to find it. Much to Hannah's delight. Having reached the end of the corral the sea just dropped away and you could just make out the sandy ocean bed.
The evenings tended to drag as it got dark at seven, once dark everyone pretty much went to bed .. Probably a good thing because the Cockerell woke us up at day break. That was about 4.30am. We did fear for his life, as we heard several death threats from other travellors that had got woken by him, as they tried to get their beauty sleep.
Due the serious lack of food, we thought we would take advantage of the shop.
(Rephrase .. Hut with straw roof and mud floor.) We bought crisps from there and soon found out that the locals, didn't appreciate giving you change. the conartists, we shook them up and down and finally three days later we extracted the money owed.
By now after all that had happened to us, we were feeling very worried about our next Island 'Kuata'. We had heard it was very primitive and in fairness ' WE CAN"T COPE ANYMORE'. Three days have been quite long enough and we now know that Cowboy and Essex don't do roughing it.
Its now the 5th of March and we wave goodbye to Adi's place, making a mental note ' Never to return there again'. So the question is could we really face another three nights on a primitive island.
Shelley Bell and Hannah decided to compromise and stay at Kuata for two nights and then our last night, to have at Nadi with air con again.
Upon arrival at Kuata, things started to look up .. We hear the Bula song once more and we are shown to our hut. With single beds and a bathroom .. Hooray. There was talk of massages, making hats, bags and assorted items from reed and more snorkelling. Hey and even a trip to church on Sunday. ( Curb you laughing we went!).
The church service was at 10am on Sunday morning, so we climbed into a little boat and headed over to the island opposite where the church awaited us. Once there, we had a tour of the village and everyone was very friendly. Plus being a Sunday, no-one tried to sell us anything.
As we were seated in the church, the children of the village were sat on the floor at the front singing. The choir were dressed in white. Their voices were amazing and we were so pleased we went, just to have heard them singing. The service lasted an hour and it was so hot inside, we grateful to get some fresh air.
Our last day on kuata we spent sunbathing in the morning and then in the afternoon, we sat with the women of the island and weaved bookmarks. Shelley Bell had a basket made out of reed and Hannah had a Hat made !
So now we are back at Nadi Bay Hotel with air con .. Bliss. We are now waiting to catch our flight to LA and the start of our long flight home.
Once home and returned to the world of normality ( if thats what call it), we can sleep easy at night knowing that our horizons have been broadend, the bond of our friendship grown stronger(YUCK)and that we now share some of the most amazing memories together.
We can now finally say, we have travelled to the other side of the world and have had a ball. We have met some fantastic people along the way.
WE HAVE LIVED THE DREAM FOLKS, SO NOW ITS TIME TO GET THOSE HOME FIRES BURNING AS TWO COUNTRY BUMPKINS RETURN TO THE HOMELAND.
We will see you .... all soon.
Loads of love
Michelle and Hannah