Simone’s First Impression: Fiji
Being up for over 24 hours probably wouldn’t do any place justice in a first impression, but after a flight from Anchorage to Seattle, Seattle to L.A. and a wonderfully smooth 10.5 hour flight on Fiji Air we stepped off the plane at 5am to wonderful tropical weather and tons of birds singing. We had arrived in paradise! We made our way through a quick and painless customs and found the Awesome Adventures desk to find out about a transfer to the marina. We were told that the bus would arrive at 6:45am to take us. We found a seat and took turns freshening up in the bathroom, we were only slightly badgered by the taxi drivers while we waited. Around 7:15 (we were officially on Island Time) the bus arrived to take us to the marina. After making a handful of stops we were thrown into the hustle and bustle of the marina and after no sleep I was finding it extremely difficult to understand anyone through their thick Fijian accents. After checking in, getting our boat vouchers and checking our bags we boarded the Yasawa Flyer, a high-speed boat taking us through the islands to our resort. The 3 hour trip was beautiful, but windy! We arrived at Manta Ray Island Resort and were greeted by a traditional Fijian welcome song. After getting off the boat we were herded to a few picnic tables. The atmosphere quickly went from paradise to a summer camp full of spring break age kids. We were briefed and told the times of breakfast, lunch and dinner (8-9am, 12-1pm and 7-8pm). We then were led as a group to our rooms. I was getting a little worried! Our Jungle Bure #6 was amazing, a hut just a couple of steps from the sand, the sound of the ocean was loud and clear! We made our way up to the main bure (meal location) for lunch. I was not happy to see only one vegetarian option on the menu, which was cold noodles with what appeared to be thousand island dressing on it! Being that we were on a mandatory meal plan costing $15 USD per meal (no drinks included) and being that I had now been up well over 35 hours I was not happy! First impression was turning out to be not so good! Dinner proved even worse with a “traditional Fijian buffet” where I was only able to eat cucumbers and white rice! Luckily I was exhausted and not very hungry! We made it back to our Bure and were greeted by a white gecko in the bathroom. A little nervous of the possible wildlife I was surprised to fall asleep fairly quickly, but at over 40 hours now awake it made sense. Waking in the middle of the night and finding a HUGE cockroach over the toilet I almost lost it! First Impression Fiji: A super tired 3 stars.
Jason’s First Impression:
When we stepped off the plane into that tropical air with birds singing after a ten and half hour flight and being up for many hours already, I was fine. After meeting some of the nice Fijian people, I was fine. After the bus ride to the ferry landing and three hour boat ride out to our island, I was fine. When we got to our island and learned of all the scheduled meals, I was starting to get a little leery. After eating a couple of meals, only one thing came to mind…WE’RE GOING TO STARVE! This food was interesting to say the least and 99% of it, Simone couldn’t eat. We’ll see…