That’s Fijian for hello.
I returned yesterday from down under. There is so much to write about, but quite possibly one of the best parts of the trip was the first part of our trip, our layover in Fiji. After a 5 hour flight from Boston to LA and an 11.5 hour flight from LA to Fiji we had the great fortune to be able to spend a full day and night on Fiji’s Denarau Island.
I was immediately enamored by the friendly faces and warm bula bula greetings from everyone from the moment we landed in Fiji. We arrived at The Westin Denarau Island Resort in the early morning hours on Saturday, July 21st. We essentially lost a day having crossed the International Date Line hours earlier. Since it was so early our room was not ready yet, but while it was being prepared we explored the property, took a walk on the beach and enjoyed the breakfast buffet. Before we even got to our room Carlos was already known by the exceptionally kind staff who shook his hand, hugged him and gave him high fives.
The sun was heating up the day and Carlos was itching to go swimming so as soon as our bags were brought up to our room we all changed into our bathing suits and headed back to the pool and the beach. We lounged, walked along the beach and swam. It was a such a relaxing day.
Carlos and my sister happened to find a kids club at the neighboring Sheraton Resort just down the path and he begged to spend the afternoon there. He did something similar in the Bahamas so I think he knew what to expect. Sure enough he had a fabulous time and made new friends while my sister and I chilled out with some tropical fruit and chatted.
By the time we returned to the room to prepare for dinner the sun was beginning to set. My photos do not do justice to the spectacular sight of a Fijian sunset.
For dinner we attended a luau type show and buffet at our hotel. It was touristy, but given our short time there it was perfect. The show told tales of the Fijian culture, performers demonstrated fire walking and we enjoyed a Meke Lovo Fijian feast. The food was delicious and there were so many vegetable, fruit and salad options.
Carlos was practically falling asleep at the dinner table he was so tired from the busy day so we left a bit early to get to bed before our early 4:30am wake up call. Our flight to Sydney was scheduled to depart at 7am so we were instructed to take a taxi from the hotel at 5am. We arrived to the airport with plenty of time to check in for our last leg of the journey.
I can’t wait to return to Fiji someday to explore more of the over 300 islands that make up the island nation. I would love to go snorkeling, take a cruise out to other islands, go kayaking, learn more about Fijian culture and mostly just relax on the beach with a coconut drink in my hand while the sun sets. My husband would absolutely love Fiji. The people reminded me a lot of the Mozambican people, happy, smiling and genuinely nice.
Vinaka (thank you) Fiji, until next time.