Fiji's Coral Coast
May 2019 saw me heading to Fiji for the very first time. It's so close to Australia and I'm not really sure why I've never visited. It was a good friends 50th birthday and keen to join the celebrations I jumped on a plane keen to see and experience Fiji.
My friend Rae had organised the resort for us through a special of some kind which was a great deal however I wanted to use my points for the flights so I arrived two days after the others and left 5 days after they had gone home.
Fiji's coral coast is only about 40km from the airport, however it's a 60km road and the transfer drivers take that very seriously, so by the time you stop and start it actually took over an hour and a half. I didn't min as we followed the coast for a good chunk of it so it was a nice way to relax into my holiday.
Our special was an all inclusive deal which even included alcoholic drinks (cocktails you paid for) which made the stay very easy. I'm not sure if it was the special or it is usual for this resort but it is really a family place so it wasn't my usual style of accommodation. The room was great, the staff are very friendly and the food was decent. I don't think you can often say the food is great in an all inclusive resort!
We had lots of plans for snorkeling and lazing by the pool however Fiji's weather had different ideas. It rained pretty much the entire time we were out on the Coral Coast. No sun-baking to be had. No snorkeling either so unfortunately I have nothing to report activities wise. The rainy season usually ends around April but of course it was hanging on this year. For grim death too!
The resort is set on it's own little parcel of land so you can't just walk out the front and sample some roadside food which was a challenge for me. It does have a few different restaurants though so you can eat very well inside the resort but that's weird for me if I'm being really truthful.
After the others had left, I did go into the little village Korotogo about 20 mins drive away for a wander and dinner one afternoon and caught the local bus back which was really fun although walking from the road to the resort it chucked down and I got completely drowned. I was literally dripping when I got back to my room.
So sadly the Coral Coast was the rainy coast for me and I headed into Denarau with no real expectations for better weather.
Brad was originally going to be joining me on this trip, however a work emergency meant that I was on my own. Nothing new there and I was completely fine with it. We had booked a few nights in Nadi so Brad could see some boat operators while we were in Fiji and not really knowing anything I had booked on Denarau.
Denarau is strange!
If you've ever been to the Gold Coast, it's kind of like Sanctuary Cove with resorts and homes instead of just homes. It is an island but barely, and has maybe 8-10 resorts and is clearly custom built for holiday makers. I stayed at the Radisson Blu which was pretty nice (especially for me!) but as usual the restaurants are wildly expensive as is the bar. Well the bar wasn't that bad but high prices for Australia, the restaurants however were barely affordable. And I was in one of the cheaper resorts. Having better weather (YAY!!) went down to the wharf for dinner two nights and that was maybe 25% of the prices at the resort so still expensive for Fiji but cheap for Denarau it seems.
Breakfast was included so I would go to the pool early, swim and do some exercise and then head to the breakfast restaurant around 9:30 and have a HUGE breakfast which would get me through to dinner. They also very kindly let you take fruit from the restaurant at breakfast so I had some apples for during the day.
Finally some sun!
I had booked a day trip out to Yasawa Islands, however they called me the night before to say that it was supposed to blow 35 knots the next day and they would allow me the chance to cancel for free. I immediately called Brad (who understands what 35 knots is) to find out if that was bad. There was the odd profanity in response to the wind speed and he very firmly said not to go. So once again, no island hoping or snorkelling for me.
I did spend the day at the pool though (they have an adults pool – divine!) and had a very relaxing day. My evening was going to get a little livelier though…
When Hair Isn't Just Hair!
I came dangerously close to peeing my pants in public that day. In public which will make sense in about 7 seconds.
So I'm heading back from the pool and meet a male hotel staff member with one of those weird headcap things. I couldn't help it and asked why he was wearing it. He sidles up close to me and looks around as if we are in a bond movie and bustles me into this alcove under the stairs. It's for my hair ma'am he says.
Sure… But why???
“I do the house” he says.
Right… No clearer but I push on with something akin to “I don't understand”….
Again with the James Bond level checking for intruders. Then he clarifies further. Our hair, he says. It drops and people they think it's the public hair.
Hmm – OK what??? And at the precise moment I say this I realise he means PUBIC HAIR. They wear caps because when their hair drops it looks like pubic hair.
It started with a slow giggle and (you all know me) morphed into a laugh so hard I ended up with this random Fijian dude sitting in the concrete laughing so hard we both were in danger of some kind of bladder explosion.
So that night, my last night in Fiji, I went off clubbing with my new friend Samuel and his “possey” ( his words not mine) to the most fabulous Gay bar in Nadi. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't one of the most entertaining evenings I've ever had.
Luckily, not for him but definitely for me, one of Samuel's Possey fell off his ridiculously high platform heels around 2:45am which meant I was home in bed at 3:30. I didn't have to put my foot out but I wasn't feeling exactly on top of things the next day. Luckily my flight was at 3:30 and I'd booked a late check out.
So, Fiji. I will definitely have to go back because it rained all but 2 hours on one day and one full day in Denarau. And I'm talking tropical rain, not just drizzling. No snorkeling, no island hoping, no sun-baking, just relaxing and eating.
Amazingly I came home the exact same weight I left!