Friday, July 29, 2011

Bula from Fiji

For many years we have wanted to venture off-shore for a holiday but have waited till the kids were old enough to enjoy it. At 8 and 6 we thought the time was right and thus we booked 10 nights in Fiji. Other Asian destinations didn’t appeal to us but the majestic and beautiful Fiji seemed to have everything we wanted.

The Fijian Shangri-La was chosen as our destination, it offered great facilities for the kids and a good variety of adult activities. The 14th Jul was our departure date and as the time grew close the excitement within the family also grew. We’d all flown before but never from the international airport.

Arriving in Fiji the first thing we noticed was the heat, it was the middle winter and a very warm 30deg. A far cry from the 15deg temperatures we’d left back in Wollongong. After clearing customs our airport transfers took us directly to the Shangri-La. Driving down the Fijian coast we were surprised by the lifestyle and roads, both were something new for us and our kids sat wide eyed looking out the window.

The Shangri-La was very welcoming of us, huge smiling faces and singing greeted us and we were quickly shown to our room. By now it was late afternoon and the kids were so keen for a swim that they were straight into their togs and off to the pool. Beauty was the first thing that caught our eye, the setting looked straight out of a postcard, swaying palm trees set against a setting sun.

We quickly fitted into “Fiji time” and the relaxed way of life. Nothing happens at a great pace in Fiji and that suited us, as we were here to relax. As our first day drew to a close we dined in an open-air restaurant overlooking the water with a beautiful sunset.

Over the following days we began to unwind and take full advantage of what the resort had to offer. The girls both had their hair braided, the kids literally lived in the pool, while Leonie and I enjoyed drinks by the pool or a swim in the tempered ocean waters. Watersports were high on our agenda with us all doing banana boat rides, snorkelling, kayaking and speedboat rides.

A couple of the highlights of our holiday was our day trip on the cane train riding to Natadola where we visited a native village, explored a tribes disused cave and met plenty of the locals. On another day we hired a car and went exploring the coral coast where we found numerous resorts tucked away as well as a few local geocaches. Our drive took us into the town of Sigatoka where we experienced the local shopping treats.

Like all good things our holiday was slowing coming to an end, but not before we experienced a few more local delights, which included a kava tasting, a relaxing full body massage overlooking the beach and a Polynesian fire dancing night where the locals delighted us with their amazing fire twirling and dancing.

After gathering our share of souvenirs it was till to head home. Boarding the plane in Nadi it was a balmy 30deg, only to be informed by the pilot that upon our arrival in Sydney it would be a shivering 14deg – welcome home.

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience in Fiji and have vowed to return.

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