We finally reached our first destination (a week ago) - the gorgeous island of Fiji!!!! And it is not just the place that is gorgeous....the warmth of people, their smiling face, their welcoming nature, everything here is beautiful. And there is more to Fiji than white sand beaches, blue ocean water, snorkelling and scuba diving. In fact, first few days here, we did not do any of that. We are far far away from the tourist spots and trying to do things the local way (atleast for the most part). We stayed in a small budget resort few miles from Nadi, which is a big town in Fiji main island of Viti Levu. The big towns here are like any other town, crowded with too many cars, shops, activity everywhere. But as soon as you head out a little further, the greenery, the farms, the hills and the small villages will take your breath away. We did a short trip to Highlands, one of the mountains near Nadi. The drive was amazingly beautiful. Every where we saw mango, coconut and papaya trees. The countryside is primitive, most of the houses there do not have power or water but people seem happy and content. As we drive by, people wave and smile. It is so pure and so untouched!
Living not so close to Nadi has been a little challenging....most of the locals eat at home so not too many options if we want to eat local food. Believe it or not, there are Indian restaurants at every nook and corner. As much as we were trying to have more local Fijian food, our attempts have been only a few. The ones we had were delicious. Only thing, food here is not cheap. Overall, Fiji is really really expensive! Most of it is because of tranportation cost. Public transportation is not so great in Nadi. They usually connect bigger towns so if you live in a secluded place like we did, your only option is to take a cab....or walk. We tried both and in the end realised walking is not a smart option in Nadi. Cab takes you to all places and they know locals so it helps. But it quickly adds up. Anyhow, this is exactly what we wanted to experience....so no complains again. We were lucky to have a cab driver who was really helpful and informative. So it was all worth it.
We did some touristy things also during our stay in Nadi. Check out my next post for a snapshots of those!