I love Fiji and could list 100 reasons why i will always go back there and recommend it to all i know. I just returned from a week long trip for a photo shoot for Curl women’s surf magazine.
I was lucky enough to have two of my best tour buddies Keala Kennelly and Paige Hareb along for the ride. From brutal beatings while seeking barrels at the infamous heavy wave “Cloudbreak” to dance parties on the deck as the sun set. Fiji is one place you must visit in your lifetime and here is a few reasons why…..
This magnificent chain of islands does resemble paradise, but its what goes on in the ocean that can quickly turn heaven into hell. When the swell roles in you better be prepared for the deep sea pulsing violent explosions on an unforgiving reef. Under neath that turquoise pristine pacific ocean lies barb wire like coral ready to rip you to pieces. I don’t mind a good battle with the waves and reef even though i sometimes loose some skin and cant move my neck for a week. It humbles me and keeps me grounded. The surf is some of the best you will find in the world, with ankle biters to splash around on to skyscrapers that cover the whole horizon when they charge towards you. There is wave riding action for every skill level.
The marine life,
Fijian outer reefs resemble an aquarium, there is much to watch, appreciate and experience. Witness baby turtle hatchlings at your feet then dodge the lethal yet timid sea snakes that creep you out both on and offshore. There is world class eating fish if you like to hunt your own with a pole or spear. For those less hungry for the kill, just exploring the under water world and swimming alongside the marine life is a treat. The coral is rich in colour, dramatic in shape and the creatures of the deep decorate the ocean with vibrant life.
On this trip to Fiji i stayed on Tavarua, a small heart shaped island with a resort on it located just off the coast to main airport and city Nadi. It is a well maintained and managed Eco friendly traditional style accommodation offering all you need to experience the best of what Fiji has to offer, relax in peace or stay busy and entertained. When its flat i like to take advantage of the jungle activities. There is a tennis court, a half pipe built by Tony Hawk, gym, pools and many other man made games at your convenience. You live amongst the local islanders which i love because they are genuinely so happy to make your stay a memorable one. With a passion for music and dance the night life is not to be under estimated either.
The biggest smiles and even bigger hearts, the island folk are some of the sweetest people you could ever meet. Their spiritual side really shines through when you are fortunate enough to witness traditional customs for their culture represents them. During song and dance they express a love and connection to nature and god. With open arms and patience they invite us to experience a world that i am definitely not accustomed to in my built up western world. They are full of fun and sure don’t mind playing jokes and acting up. If you haven’t tried before i recommend attending a Kava ceremony you wont be disappointed.
The Kakana (food),
The Fijian jungle is loaded with plenty of vegetation and tropical treats. There are a few local dishes that i loved such as Fish vakalolo and anything with local staples such as taro and bread fruit.
The islands are littered with coconuts, banana and papaya trees so i live on fruit while I’m there. The Fijians have a large Indian influence on their food, with a variety of spices and often deep fry everything. Just know that the local grown crops will be most likely organic and of the highest standard. One stinky super food with a great reputation is Noni juice, it has been used for centuries in Polynesian cultures to cure many diseases including cancer.
Go there and see for yourself, Vinaka.