Mar 25, 2013

Magic Moments - Backpacking in Fiji

I was excited to stumble across this linky post from I had to join in.

The magic moment I'd like to share is back in 2006, I was 18 and on my way home from backpacking in Australia, I was heartbroken, with almost no money and on my back back to England with no clue what I was going to do when I got back (other than have a long hot bath and eat all the delicious food I could get)
My last stop was Fiji because I'd already paid for the flight before I left England.

When I got there I got a taxi to a hostel, which was basically someones house and a room they rented out to backpackers which had about ten beds in it. I went to the bathroom to take out my contact lenses and a Fijian guy walked in and asked me if I wanted a spliff. I had just got off the plane and with no lenses in I could hardly see him, it was just weird that he had walked in whilst I was in the bathroom, I'm glad I wasn't on the loo. I politely declined and he left me to it. There was a tap hanging out the wall which drizzled freezing cold water.

The next day I went to another into town (Nadi) I can't remember exactly what happened but I bumped into a girl who had stayed at the hostel where I had worked in Cairns. Her name was Dawn, we said hello and she told me her and her friends were going to an island the next day, that it was really cheap and I could join them. I was thrilled, I walked around Nadi for a while, went to a hairdressers and got my hair dyed, let a 'local' lead me to a back-alley shop because the jewellery had great prices made by people in Fiji. I love a bargain so innocently followed him. After I bought a necklace, they said I could stay and drink Kava, which I did for hours as they played their instruments and chatted to me. I had no idea Kava had sedative and anesthetic properties from the roots it was mixed with (very gross tasting but I didn't want to be rude) I just thought I felt incredibly happy and calm, the guys had told me it was a customary welcome drink for new friends.

This sounds like a very dangerous situation and looking back now I think, anything could have happened, no-one knew where I was, hell I hardly knew where I was but I was young and naiive. After a while I told them I had to leave and I waved them goodbye!
I went back to my hostel, packed my bags and the next day I got a taxi back to my friends hostel (after very nearly sleeping in and almost not going) We all set off on a 12 or so hour bus journey across Fiji. The bus only cost $1 from Suva to wherever it was we were going. A short taxi, then boat ride to an island that wasn't even on the map. We stocked up on food and alcohol before we arrived. It was called Tgangalai Island. It was breathtaking. It was paradise, they were playing soft guitar music when we got off the boat (It was a tiny fishing boat) and showed us our chalet. We were metres from the water and white sandy beach. Over the time there I formed an amazing friendship with Dawn and the other 2 girls. We stayed up late, under the stars, drinking and swimming in the glowy plants in the sea, listening to the guys playing Bob Marley music and drinking Kava. We ate coconuts from the trees, fish and lobster from the sea. We washed in the ocean or a bag of water that had to be left in the sun if you wanted it warm. We poured our hearts out, swapped all our clothes between each other after backpacking in the same ones for once it was so exciting! We snorkelled with tropical fish and avoided the sea snakes. It was beautiful. When the week was up we got the fishing boat back to land, hitch-hiked to the bus station and got a taxi back.

There was not really any electricity, so that meant no phones, no computers, nothing. I don't think we even wore make-up or brushed our hair!

It was one of those magical weeks that we will probably all remember forever.
I got back to England after I missed a flight in LA and had to wait an extra 12 hours because I'd queued in the wrong line. That was a long old wait as I didn't have a penny and couldn't even afford chips from the McDonalds there!

A few weeks later Dawn moved to Bournemouth where I lived and we got to see each other all the time, for beach and shopping trips.

Join in with the magic moments post!!
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  1. Oh for a bit of that warmth now, it is so cold! Popping over from Magic Moments

  2. What a really awesome #magicmoment! although i was scared reading at one point I am so glad you have a lovely time and met some fantastic people.

    Thanks so much for linking up with #magicmoments

    If you can tweet me your twitter handle that would be fab so i can share your post @oliversmadhouse x

  3. Sounds like an amazing journey you had, I'm so jealous! ;)


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