Paradise in Fiji

Fiji was amazing! If you happen to be traveling in the pacific to Australia, New Zealand or Tahiti you have to pass by Fiji. While there you can do anything from snorkeling, surfing, windsurfing, yachting, hiking, bicycling and golf. People are very friendly and the culture is greatly influenced by indigenous Melanesian Fijians or Indian Fijians.

We booked a five night stay at Sofitel Resort and Spa Luxury Hotel located in Denarau Island. This five star resort has it all from a wide range of amenities and services making our trip hassle free. During our stay we took several excursion cruises to surrounding islands and really enjoyed the exclusivity in food, drinks and activities.

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As we arrived at the resort you are welcomed by warm BULA (Hello) and Vinaka (Thank you) or Vinaka Vakalevu (Thank you very much).

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Fiji most common bird the Jungle Myna are everywhere and they have a beautiful range of chirps.

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LOVO

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A traditional Fijian meal is prepared in an underground oven called a lovo. In many ways it is like a Mexican barbacoa except the ingredients are different. In a large hole, Fijians place wood and large, flat stones and heat the stones until they are red hot. They then remove the remaining wood and spread the stones out until they are flat. Then the food pork, chicken, fish, yams, cassava and taro is wrapped in banana leaves, largest items first onto the hot stones. It is covered with more banana laves, coconut stalks and damp burlap sacks and left to cook for about two hours. That night for dinner we had Lovo at the resort and meat was tender and flavourful.

Followed by a Kava ceremony. There is a saying in the island “If you don’t taste Kava you haven’t been to Fiji”

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Kava is a traditional root crop in the Pacific and it’s valued because of its mild narcotic qualities. The taste isn’t much to write home about and it tastes about as muddy as it looks. It’s not addictive, there are no unpleasant after-effects and unlike alcohol it doesn’t cause belligerent behaviour. If you have too much of it I been told it can numb your tongue and in some rare cases your legs disabling you from walking. Fijians would have Kava between conflicts between villages as a meditation, medicine or during ceremonies but now a days it serves more like alcohol in America. Everyone has it as good spirits in a more frequent basis. I didn’t bring any with me afraid I would be questioned by American customs but I did try it on several occasions. o_O

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Vanessa really enjoyed shopping for herself but who can blame her since their tropical outfits are very festive.

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Smoked fish with poached egg for breakfast.

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Breakfast at the resort was delicious as expected. (Smoked salmon omelet)

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Stee (Steve) was great and gave us a very personal experience while at the resort. Here you can see him making us a hat from sugar palm tree that we actually brought back with us even though US customs gave us a hard time.

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Vanessa’s tropical hat.

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When we weren’t on an excursion or shopping we spent our day relaxing on the beach.

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Stee as a village warrior.

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The resort had daily activities and Stee took part by drumming the log for all to hear.

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During one of our dates we had Fijian pineapple and ham pizza and it was really good, different but deliciousness.

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Out of the two cruises I really enjoyed Whales Tale sail boat and tour. They provided breakfast, lunch and drinks where included. But what I really enjoyed besides the drinks was the experiences and customer service. You can move around and socialize same goes when we docked on the island. The second cruise was good but the experience was different, not a bad thing.

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All aboard! Next stop paradise.

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Don’t judge me, I am on vacation and having beer at 9:00am is OK because its afternoon in Houston.

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We didnt put enough sun block 😛

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If your in Fiji going to the islands is mandatory they will blow you away!!

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This island was the smallest we been on and could see the water on all four sides when standing in the middle and walk the whole island in less than 6 minutes.

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When choosing a cruise we made sure they had coral reefs to adventure.

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Fiji has 322 islands so landing the best destination was a plus.

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After an hour of snorkeling it was Fiji time.

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Brought my empty Fiji water bottles to to refill them. JK :p

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Every morning the island is covered in a light fog making it hard to see the mountains but when it cleared the view was stunning.

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Having coconuts from this mornings patch. So soft it can pass as yogurt… yum!

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Vanessa and Amy parasailing.

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My new Sony 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 E-Mount Lens captured these sweet photos making the price tag worth it.

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During the night we took long romantic walks around the island guided by the low light coming from the tiki style torches surrounding the island. The cool breeze and the sound of clashing waves makes you forget all the worries in the world.

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On our second cruise (Captain Cook) Vanessa was a little more prepared when snorkeling and protecting from the sun. The second island had more coral reefs and a verity of fish. We also found dozen of Nemo’s and Dori’s, I thought it was interesting to see them together.

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I wish they sold Fiji beer in the states because they’re really good! I made an effort to try most of them. 😛

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Our last breakfast at the resort and soaking up as much of Fiji before heading back.

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Namaste Fiji (Fostering)

Final Note: One of the reaction I get after people find out I went to Fiji for vacation is “why did you go all the way over there when we have Hawaii?”. Truth is Vanessa did a rotation for a month and since she was already there it only made sense to take my vacation and join her (money well spent). Besides who can say “I been to Fiji”? #YOLO

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