As our plane flew into Nadi Airport I was struck by the size and dramatic landscape of Fiji. Samoa is tiny in comparison and relatively similar all throughout. Fiji however, seems to vary every direction you turn. There are the volcanic mountainous areas, level plains filled with grazing cows and vegetation, dense jungle, and arid sand dunes. There are sandy beaches and rocky coasts. Bays, functioning harbours, and no pigs as far as I could tell!
We touched down just as a rainstorm blew in and since we had planned to fly to Suva 3 hours later, we spent our layover making plans in the airport. When we went to check in for the Suva flight however, we were met by a surprise – our flight was not for 7pm, it had departed at 7am that morning! Of course we had no idea that Fiji airlines light their times in 24hour time, so we were baffled and bewildered that our Suva dream might not become a reality. However, we were in luck. The check in desk, for a hefty price, put us on the 8:10 flight, set to touch down in Suva by 9pm. Now we had planned to meet the other Peace Corps out on the town, so this was a bit of a bummer, but whatever, we made it happen.
Dana and I changed in the Nadi Airport bathroom and got our dancing clothes on. Then we hopped on the plane and jet setted over to Suva, and linked up with the other volunteers around 10:30pm. Talk about life in the fast lane! It was really fun to see them all there, and we were all in shock of Suva’s bustling city night life. It was a really fun change from our calm, quiet Samoa lives.
The rest of the week was spent sipping Mojito’s, eating EVERYTHING that came into site, shopping, and of course, spending some time enjoying the beauty of Fiji. Highlights of the trip include: Diving at Mana Island (with reef sharks and the worlds most beautiful soft coral), Steak Dinner at Uprising Hotel, Dancing the Night away at Beach Comber Island (all hail the Limbo King, Michael!), and the scenic bus ride along the Coral Coast from Uprising back to Nadi. Five days was not enough time to do Fiji justice and I will certainly return in the future, next time, for at least a month. And I will dive, dive, dive!