Visit to Viti Levu is not complete without touring the Garden of Sleeping Giant. If you have mountains and hills in your town, probably you will have the profile of one of those mountains resembling a Sleeping Giant. Fiji is not an exception :) The Garden was established in the vicinity so hence its name. We took a tour of the garden and it was spectacular!
The same day we visited two other well known tourist spots near Nadi - taking a bath in the miraculous Mud Pool (which makes you look ten years younger :D) and Zip lining in the forest. Mud pool bath was quiet an experience. You cover yourself in this special mud that has healing properties and makes your skin glow. Once the mud dries you clean yourself up in the mud pool and then take a dip in the natural hot spring. Overall, it was a great experience and it really relaxed us after our strenous past week of vacation! :)
Zip lining was another mini adventure....it was the first time we both ziplined. It was scary for me in the beginning but after a while I really enjoyed it. Check out the pics of our mini adventures below!
It was a beautiful morning when we took off for our day cruise to Savala island....a small island in a cluster of 333 islands in Fiji. The day was filled with many activities - kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling and glass bottom boat ride to watch coral reefs for folks like me :) It took us one hour in the boat to reach the island. We spent the entire day in the water, eating, enjoying some folk music and demonstration by locals. Surendar had a great time snorkeling in the ocean. Time flew. As we were about to head back, we could see the sky turning grey and fast approaching our island. It was a spectacular view. Few minutes later, it started pouring hard. The storm had hit the island and we had to take the little boat back to the big one in this rain and storm....it was scary. The waves were high, we were completely soaked as it poured and almost filled our boat with water. Those fifteen minutes to the big boat were the longest, scariest and most adventurous minutes. We took a deep breath when we reached safely in our boat. What a day at the island! We surely are going to remember this one :D
....we were mesmerized with the beauty of beaches in Fiji. Words cannot describe
how you feel sitting at the beach watching the waves rise and fall as the cool breeze gently caresses you. You try to hold the sand as it slips away from you hand, reminding you how time flies if you don't enjoy every moment. The coconut and palm trees dance freely when the wind blows, telling you to surrender to the universe and they surrender to the winds. The blue skies and clear waters merge into each other, asking you to remember your oneness with the nature, with each other.
Fiji beaches....so tranquil, so pure, so clear. May we all realize the purity within us.
Thank you nature of all the things you teach me. I am grateful. I am blessed.
The time seems to have slowed down. We wake up to the sound of birds, roosters, cows and dogs. It is still dark outside. The breeze is nice and cool. We just stand outside in the balcony and listen to the sounds of nature. It is beautiful. There is no noise of cars driving by. There is no sight of people rushing to get their first cup of morning coffee or to drop off their kids to school. We hardly see anyone outside. This has a typical day for us since we landed in Fiji. It seems like everyone and everything is done in slow motion in this beautiful island . No hurry whatsoever! And I am not talking about tourists who have come here to relax or explore the island. I am talking about the locals....people, birds, dogs, cats, you name it. It is amazing how we both lost a track of time in a matter of hours after landing in Fiji. And we are definitely not complaining!
It was late morning on our second day in Nadi when we decided to go to the local market. I remember late mornings in a big city like Houston....everyone running around, stuck in traffic-sometimes irritated, sometimes angry and rarely smiling. And here in Fiji, we saw women sitting on benches, chatting, hugging, smiling. Men standing at junctions having a serious discussion about something. It is definitely not the sight we are used to. All I can say....it feels nice. It feels nice to see people actually starting their mornings at such a calm and slow pace. After all, what is the rush? Whatever we choose to run after will be here tomorrow and the day after. Our stress, anxiety, panic will not bring it nearer. So why not take a deep breath and just relax! And enjoy your time the Fijian way!
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!