Because there is so much real life into long-term travelling I always smiled when, over the last few months, someone wished us ‘Enjoy your holidays’. It’d be too long, and probably pointless, to explain to those who are not familiar with the concept of extended trip our reluctancy to call our round-the world journey a vacation. However, I don’t have any issue with admitting that our stay in Fiji – which comes to an end in a few hours, when we board a plane to Los Angeles – had the flavour of a break from ‘real life’ and from the demands of travelling.
I suppose our thirst for adventure and exploration took a backseat to our need to lay on a sun-chair, relax, and enjoy the idyllic, Fijian island paradise experience with all that it entails.
On our first night in Nadi, we were still confused as to what to do, and looking at the map didn’t help: with so many islands out there, in a country that has more water than land, we just couldn’t decide which was the best way to make the most of our Fijian experience. Gathering all the recommendations we got from other fellow travellers and friends we finally figured out that it made sense to restrict our ambitions to the Yasawa islands only, avoiding the temptation of trying to do too much in a short time.
Once we bought our island hopping pass (the Bula Pass – which is a popular option with travellers based in Nadi) we jumped on the Yasawa Flyer and our quest for the dream island began.
We spent the first day – and night – in Kuata, a tiny island with volcanic rocks all around and a beautiful white-sand beach. Kuata was quite scenic and the staff at the resort was extremely nice. We spent a particularly lazy day and the morning after we went to swim with the sharks (the friendly ones!) in an outer reef 20 minutes away from the coast – the highlight of our stay in Kuata.
As the accommodation standard was quite low and the food particularly mediocre, no matter how beautiful the island was and how rewarding was to swim with the sharks – before lunchtime we jumped again on the big boat, the Yasawa Flyer, on the way to other islands.
Flicking through the resort names, one caught my eyes: Blue Lagoon, in Nacula (not the actual movie location, but close to it). This resort was included in the pass, but – unlike Kuata – we had to pay an extra fee for the food. Because the fee wasn’t going to be a problem, we decided to go for it and fortunately we were able to secure a double room through the travel desk on the boat.
We arrived at the resort on a small boat which picked us up from the Yasawa Flyer and with Kuata our only term of comparison, this lagoon seemed a world away from what we’d seen the day before: we kind of felt this was going to be our dream island. The clear blue water revealing a stunning reef to snorkel around, the coconut trees, the perfect, clean white-sand beach, the neat accommodation, together with decent and varied food and a staff with great customer service skills slowly killed our commitment to see other islands.
It became increasingly difficult to leave Nacula, so we ended spending 4 nights (including our wedding anniversary, on the 27th of June – when we received a present from the management), and the majority of our 6 night Bula Pass.
When we finally left Blue Lagoon, we went to spend the last night of our pass on an island called Naviti, which, like Kuata was nice, but basic and not as stunning as Blue Lagoon in Nacula. I guess after Blue Lagoon it’s going to be difficult to be impressed by other beaches.
It’s been a quite short stay here in Fiji, and tonight we’re alredy heading to California – the last stop before we actually go home. It’s hard to believe that our trip of a lifetime is coming to an end, but on the other hand we’re so looking forward to being back home with our friends and families.