Fiji, Nadi. First stop. Rendezvous Surf and Dive Resort. I have done neither surfing or diving, sounds like a good start! The long dusty road worried us as surely a nice resort style hostel could not be down a bumpy road through the jungle like this, but sure enough, we pulled up to the parking lot and had arrived at the water.
Rendezvous Surf and Dive Resort, Nadi, Fiji
We settled into our cabana style room, and went to mingle with everyone. You can do a package where 3 meals are included, and they aren't huge, but they are solid home cooked food. After fuelling up over lunch with some Californian's and a couple Kiwi's we said we would catch up with them over some Fiji Bitters later and a Kava Ceremony. Threw a couple bottles of Fiji water and granola bars into our backpacks and strolled along the road to find a path leading up the big hills surrounding the resort.
Patamo, our boat guide outside Nadi, Fiji
We found a small path through some shrubs that started to open up into an easy to navigate path up the small mountain. Surely from the top we would get a great idea of our surroundings. Each time we got over the peak of a hill and felt like we were at the highest point, another peak appeared before us. Finally, peak after peak, we looked around, and were at the highest point of anywhere that we could see. At this point, we got a stunning view of the two tropical islands Namotu and Tavarua. With the wind blowing, completely alone, and with that special feeling you get at a viewpoint, it really settled in that we were in Fiji, Nadi, and a long way from home.
The next day, we would be taking a boat out between those islands to do some snorkeling, and some surfing and diving for the more experienced. We loaded all the tanks, boards, bags and bodies into the two small boats and our guide, Patamo, a local of Nadi, Fiji, zipped us out into the open water and and the couple kilometer journey to the reef break, Wilkes Passage. We peeled off from where the divers were going and being probably a kilometer or two off the coast of Viti Levu island, there were only a few ripples of water, surely nothing large enough to surf. Then, out of nowhere, the reef on the sea floor juts up close to the surface and a wave seems to appear out of nowhere. Looking around, no coast, no rocks, no nothing, it was such a strange sight, to see my first reef break, and a wave breaking in the middle of a huge expanse of water. A guy we had met at the hostel, originally from the States, who had lived in Australia for a while made an early return. Surprising, considering the waves looked good, and he was exclaiming how happy he was to try out his new board. Well, the reason he was returning, that board was now in two pieces. He had paddled a little late and at the lip of the wave, he got thrown off, and with a stroke of awful luck, his leash pulled the board back right underneath him and he landed on his knee right in the middle of his board.
Wilkes Passage, Fiji, Nadi in the middle of the open water
His day, and trip was done before it even started, but, as we would come to find out later, as to what happened to the divers, I am sure he considered himself lucky.
(Read other Fiji blog entry for that crazy entry!)