Archive for August, 2009

Sydney: Chinatown Night Market

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Sydney: Our Typical Breakfast (er, brekky) at a Chinese Bakery

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Sydney: Bondi Beach in Winter

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Vatulele: Our Sweet Digs – Prins’ Bure

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Welcome to Vatulele

We landed in Nadi around 4:30A.M. Fiji local time. Although I was dehydrated and tired, I was excited that we had arrived. Our next flight to Vatulele Island, where our resort was located, wasn’t until 11:30A.M. so we had some time to kill. After being presented with leis and Fiji water by a resort representative, we left our bags with him and caught a cab and sped off on the left side of the road to the nearby marina, also known as Port Denarau.

When the cab dropped us off, we sauntered to the waterfront to watch the sunrise. We went to a bakery for snacks and sat around for shops to open as every Fijian who walked by greeted us “Bula!” We had lunch at total tourist trap of a restaurant that had over a 100 menu items from Egg Foo Young to Mediterranean Pizza. (Ryan ordered the breakfast special, it came with mashed potatoes and grilled pineapple.) I bought a sarong and a bottle of Australian Riesling and then finally it was back to NAD for our much-anticipated charter flight to the resort.

Once at the airport, we walked out to the tarmac and lo and behold a tiny 6-person plane stood before us! I stood there gaping at how small the plane was….was this really just for us? A large Fijian man in a pink hawaiian shirt greeted us and we climbed into the plane as he murmured something about life vests being under our seats. The plane then started and I shot my hands to my ears, as Ryan grabbed some noise reducing headphones and helped situate them on my head. It was so unreal, we were flying in a private plane! Looking straight ahead at the runway was such a trip and I admittedly Hail Mary’ed the entire ascent–but then what soon gave way was an unbelievable view of Fiji, with its lush green foothills and a dazzling blue coastline. It was unreal.

The 30 minutes in a private plane to our resort was pretty astonishing. I couldn’t believe we were doing this–and how on earth did we get our own plane?! When we approached Vatulele it looked just like the photos online. The plane then began its descent and landed in an open field; no airport here. Still in shock as we exited the plane, we were greeted by a Fijian woman with face towels and more Fiji bottled water as local children stood a few yards away singing us songs. An older couple from Barcelona (also honeymooning) greeted us as they were leaving the island. “You’ll not want to leave,” they said as Ryan and I climbed into a jeep that drove us into the jungle forest.

The ride was bumpy, but thrilling as we wound our way down dirt roads to the resort. A gate soon came into view and once it swung open, there stood a staff of 12 Fijian men and women singing the two of us a welcome song! In complete awe we descended from the jeep only to have two Australians each hand us a glass of champagne. What a greeting! The singing continued and introductions of the staff began, all while I stood there with my mouth half open in shock. It was like a movie! We had arrived!

[Update: See moblog entries below for corresponding photos.]

Vatulele: Our Bure Pathway to the Beach

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