June 7, 2010

Bula Fiji

I started out wanting to go to Fiji to fish but once I got there, that all changed. We arrived after a 10 1/2 hour flight from L.A. at 5 am. My wife wanted to rest so I went exploring. I walked down the beach a ways and saw several schools of bait fish and birds following right behind them. I also walked around the timeshare to see where everything was and check out the pool.

The first of many amazing sunsets we saw.
A portion of the largest swimming pool in the south pacific.

After about 2 hours of wandering, I made my way back to the apartment and made breakfast and grabbed my pole. My wife wanted to go with so we headed out. I had no idea what to use and I saw people feeding fish with bread so I tried that. I wasn't having any luck and a guy from Australia came by and showed me how to catch clams buried on the beach to use for bait. Sure enough, I put one on and immediately a fish was on! I caught several of the one's shown in the picture and none of them were big but it was still fun. We walked further down the beach and ran into a native man with his family fishing with a big net. We talked for a while and I asked if I could help him. He gave me a weird look wondering why I would want to do that but let me none the less. We spent the next few hours fishing in the ocean as well as a small lake that the high tide fills everyday. It was such a great experience. We netted a variety of small fish including some puffer fish. We took a break and his wife cooked up the fish right there on the beach with some tapioca which was a lot like a potato. I ran back to the resort to grab some pineapples and Joesaia climbed a tree and got some coconuts. We had lunch and shared stories while we rested under a tree. The highlight of this trip for me was meeting this family. They had us over to their home later in the week for dinner and when we arrived at the airport to go home, they were there to see us off. I made a great friend and plan on keeping in contact with him. That night we took a catamaran ride to another island, First Landing, for dinner. We were entertained with different dances as well as my favorite, the fire dance.

A great lunch on the beach.

Some new friends.

Riding a catamaran to First Landing for dinner.

Fire Dancing
The next day we went snorkeling at Plantation Island (http://www.sailingadventuresfiji.com/). I met a lot of great people on the boat ride there and even caught a small blue fin tuna trolling on the way. The snorkeling was amazing! There were fish everywhere. We saw Nemo and the gang as well as countless other species. we had lunch on Plantation Island and headed back.

Small Blue Fin Tuna I caught trolling on the way to snorkel.

We got up early the next day for a day of guided fishing. The sunrise was amazing and we soon arrived at our first fishing spot. I really wanted to catch a GT and sadly that didn't happen. We didn't catch anything big. It was my wife's first time ever fishing in the ocean and she caught several. We started bottom fishing to rest from popping and I hooked into something big. It was all I could do to keep my pole from resting on the side of the boat. The fish was ripping out line really fast and I couldn't keep the tip of the pole out of the water! The Fish was running under the boat and I told the guide to turn the boat, but he just stood there and said "Big Fish". After about 20 seconds of ripping line it popped off. I was a little upset that the guide didn't turn the boat and reverse and follow but I didn't say anything. I reeled in the line and my hook was bent straight. We had fun but I regret not going with Fish Whisper guide. I had followed his blog and seen the success he has, but it turned out he was a 3 hour drive from where I was staying. The drive won't matter to me next time.

Mountain Of The Sleeping Giant. The feet are on the left, head on the right.

My wife's first ever catch in the ocean, a Coral Trout! Best of all she hand lined it.

Dolphins swimming by the boat while fishing

I woke up the next morning and headed off to the highland village of Navala while my wife stayed behind for a spa day. We drove through various towns and stopped at some open air markets along the way. There were also people selling things along the road. What I found the most interesting were the fish being sold on the side of the road. I've never seen anything like that. I wonder how many people get sick from eating bad fish? After a few hours we made it to Navala. What a neat village. We couldn't wear hats in the village and we had a Kava ceremony in the chiefs house to get permission to enter the village. The Kava made my mouth numb and it tasted like muddy water. My favorite part of the tour was seeing and talking to the school children. They were so happy and loved getting their picture taken. They were also impressed I was from the U.S. which made me laugh since I was wishing I could live in Fiji. We also saw some of the sights in Nadi including a Hindi temple that you can't really describe. It was built in the 1860's and was quite a sight to take in.

A bail of Kava root at the market.

The Village of Navala

The Chief is on the left.

Perparing the Kava.

Down the hatch!

What a feast! I didn't know what most of it was but it tasted good.
Hindi Temple in Nadi. It was built around 1861.

We next did a whirlwind trip to Suva to see the other side of the island. It was a long 4 hour bus ride but well worth it. We saw the Coral Coast on the way, along with other great sights. Once in Suva we saw the Capital building as well as the president of Fiji's house. We also went through the Fiji Musium and learn some of the history of Fiji which was really interesting. We saw the building where all the chiefs meet as well as the Parliment building. My understanding is that the parliment building hasn't been in use since the coup in 2006. Shopping in downtown Suva was crazy! Everyone tried getting you into their shops and it got to be a little bit much after a while so we headed out a few miles to see the Fijian LDS temple. It was neat to see. After lunch we got back on the bus and headed back to the resort.

Joe's Thumb
Fijian Capital Building

Flowers from lilly pads at the capital

A guard at the entrance of the Presidents home.

The Fijian Presidents home.

Very interesting

A cannibal fork and bowl used to eat Thomas Bakers flesh. Yes, I bought a souvenir fork.

On our last day we went snorkeling again, only this time we went to Savala Island. The snorkeling was great and I got to see a mora eel which was really cool. We snorkeled for a few hours and had a buffet lunch and headed back to the resort to pack. This was without a doubt the best trip I've been on! Fiji was absolutely beautiful but better than the sights were the people. I've never in my life met a group of people so happy and genuine. I truly fell in love with the people and I am definately going back someday.

Blue Star Fish

Until next time Fiji


  1. That looks like it was an awesome vacation. The pictures are amazing!

  2. Exotic trip of a lifetime. I am very impressed. Stunning photos and those fish look amazing. Great post, sir.