Birthdays in the sun

Leaving New Zealand after such a long time was tough, but coming to Fiji for a week has been a pretty good way to ease the pain! It’s in the same time zone and is only a four hour flight from Christchurch and the holiday feeling kicked in as soon as we got the surprisingly good plane food and free beer!

Free beer!

Free beer!

Bula

Bula

Neither of us have been on a package holiday or anything like that before, so this week, with it’s food plans and sunbathing has been like a holiday from the gap yah. After watching the sunset over the endless pacific, we landed in Nadi airport to the awesome feeling of a warm evening, and spent a night on the main island. Bright and early the next day, we were off to the port to catch the Yasawa Flyer, the ferry that serves the chain of islands we had booked to stay on.

First stop, and after 5 and half hours on the top deck in the sun, was the Blue Lagoon Beach Resort on Nacula Island. We were just in time for the all inclusive lunch, and spent the afternoon acclimatising by lying on the beach and swimming in the sea. This pretty much set the tone for the rest of our time there – a morning of breakfast and the end of the 8am World Cup games, and days of snorkelling the reef just off the beach, lying in the sun or playing around in the free kayaks. Somewhere in all this was my 29th, and it was definitely a way I could spend future birthdays.

Beachside bure

Beachside bure

Making the most of the free kayaks

Making the most of the free kayaks

Shark!? Buoy!?

Shark!? Buoy!?

We did venture out on a boat trip to the famous underwater caves from the Brooke Shields movie Blue Lagoon, diving and swimming through the underwater tunnel into the eerie dark cave. It was pretty cool, and left me sad that our cheap waterproof camera ceased to be waterproof the day before!

THE Blue Lagoon

THE Blue Lagoon

Lack of underwater camera... Annoying

Lack of underwater camera… Annoying

After a few days, we moved on again, listening to the goodbye song from the Fijian staff on the beach and back out to the Flyer. We only had a shortish run to Manta Ray Island, famous for it’s Manta rays (obviously) as well as it’s originality. The weather was actually a bit grey and rough on this day (for Fiji) so we were initially a bit sad to have left Blue Lagoon. But once the sun came out and we snorkelled the much more impressive reef (damn that camera), we knew it’d be fine!

Private reef

Private reef

Birthday girl

Birthday girl

On our last full day, it was Laura’s birthday, and to celebrate it was a beautifully calm day, and the Manta Rays came out to play. We went out in a boat into the channel between the islands, where the Rays swim up and down hoovering up plankton. It was great, floating around in masks and fins and watching the huge, graceful and freaky looking Rays.

Takin it easy

Takin it easy

Vinaka Fiji

Vinaka Fiji

Fiji has been an awesome, relaxing and very fun place to spend a week. A last holiday before the serious hard work of our US road trip, and definitely not the worst spot in the world to celebrate some birthdays. Next up, an 11 hour flight across the dateline to land before we take off, in a city with more people than all of New Zealand and all the fun of driving on the wrong side of the road!

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