FIJI – UnWinding on “Bula” Time
One of our most relaxing and enchanting vacations – Fiji was chosen out of necessity rather than choice for our anniversary vacation. I had to go to Atlanta for my fingerprinting by INS and I found an Air Pacific flight that was through Nadi, Fiji and needed a journey of minimum 5 days. Researching on Fiji a little, I discovered that it was a very sought after destination for Australians and a very beautiful country. So Fiji it was.
Unfortunately, our time in Fiji coincided with the school holidays in Australia & NZ, which meant that most of the reasonably priced resorts were already booked. After lots of searching and calling hotels in Fiji, I finally managed to get accomodations at The Sheraton Fiji resort on Denarau Island, about 20 minutes from the international airport at Nadi. Days at the resort were like a dream – from friendly “Bula” greetings to swinging on the hammock doing nothing to sitting on the beach watching the sunset to getting a beach massage. Though there were quite a few activities at the resort, we often ended up doing nothing but sleeping on the beach/hammock to the gentle breeze and the sounds of the ocean.
We went out sailing in a Catamaran – our first time. The instructor at Sheraton came out with us the first time and showed us how to handle the boat. He then let us go out into the sea by ourself! We initially caught good wind and went sailing at good speed into the sea, but then the wind died and we did not know how to navigate the boat further. We spent some giggling time trying to paddle the boat to the shore. We then had a second run with the instructor along with us, managed to almost run into a fishing vessel moored nearby before getting back. It was an exhiliating experience, I only wish we had tried sailing at the resort earlier.
Every night from 9 pm onwards, there was a band playing in the lounge (Planter’s Lounge at Sheraton Fiji). They’d start with slow romantic songs and move on to fast numbers. Along with other guests, we’d start dancing with the slow songs and be dancing away the night. We danced almost every night and loved every moment – my classes at body jam in MSAC, Melbourne, really helped – I managed to get quite a lot steps in tune with the music!
The only downside of the place was the beach itself. It was quite murky and was not inviting for swimming. But I was so relaxed on the hammock that swimming in the beach actually seemed a lot of work that I did not want to do! Also, there was no snorkelling in the resort (Fiji is an excellent snorkelling and scuba diving haven). There is a beautiful Golf course (where current world no.1 Vijay Singh started his career), unfortunately, just starting to learn the game, we were not able play there. There are also other Sheraton properties on the Island and the ‘Bula Bus’ – a quaint bus with a brown thatched roof can be used to move between the resorts. We went over to Malamala Island for a day trip and had great snorkelling. We also rented a car and explored the island of Viti Levu around Sigatoka village.