Fiji

The thing about going on a long trip is the anticipation of the adventure that lies ahead. I know our trip won’t be pedestrian or similar to any other trip we have taken. My husband Carl is an adventurer. Even at 74, he is very active and loves the thrill of winging it on vacation. So when our Aussie friend finally convinced us to visit him in Australia in October after asking us for 10 years to visit, my husband set about researching the Internet about where we could go to spend a few days to acclimate to the time change and avoid 14 1/2 hours in an airplane. I usually don’t get involved in the planning stage of our trips except to look at hotel pictures online and give my preference for one place over another. At first we considered the Cook Islands as a first stop then settled on Fiji. We found a resort online that seemed reasonably priced and it offered scuba diving & promised a relaxing experience. The name of the Eco-Resort is Papageno located on the Fiji island of Kadavu.

Papageno Resort
We arrived in Fiji on Saturday after a 10 hour flight and had 7 hours to kill in the town of Nadia (pronounced Nandia) before taking a small plane to the island of Kadavu & then a motor boat ride to the very remote resort of Papageno. When we arrived at the resort we were greeted by the Managers at the shore of the Bay and shown to our Bure which is a lovely bungalow consisting of an outer screened in Porch with a sink table & 2 chairs.

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The staff had prepared a welcome drink of coconut juice & rum laid out nicely on a Palm leaf. The inner room was a quite large bedroom, closet area & bathroom. Our room faced the Ocean & we could lay in bed & feel the Ocean breezes, watch the Coconut Palms swaying & listen to the waves. A fantastic way to decompress after a long plane ride. We were asked if we had eaten lunch yet even though it was already 3:00 pm. & told that there was a lovely Quiche prepared for lunch. We quickly situated our bags & went to the large community room for our meal. A long dining table was set up with Franciscanware plates & nice silverware. Our hosts informed us that all food was prepared from ingredients grown in their Organic garden & no sugar was added which was welcome news to my Diabetic husband. We had an outstanding meal of Green Salad with various dressing options, homemade bread, Spinach Quiche & Orange Juice. After lunch we met some of the other guests, a couple from Canaberra Australia who had been at the resort for 10 days following a wedding for one of their friends earlier in the week with 32 guests. Another couple who owned a much smaller resort was visiting from another Island about a one hour boat ride away. Evidently they come to Papageno to get away & get a social fix before they have to greet another guest. They only take one guest at a time.

My husband & I were very tired having only slept about 6 hours on the plane so after lunch we went to our Bure, took showers & both of us collapsed into a deep sleep for about 3 hours. When we woke up we joined the other guests in the community room for a dinner of fish, green beans & potatoes. Dessert consisted of baked Papaya, Mango ice cream & whipped cream. We spent the rest of the evening talking with our fellow resort mates & discussing our diving trip for the next morning. We went to bed around 8:30 pm still feeling a little jet lagged & slept until 6:30 the next morning. Upon waking, I grabbed my camera & went for a walk around the resort.

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What an absolute paradise! The property consists of about 100 acres and is situated in a secluded bay. There are large coconut palms everywhere and strategically planted gardens of tropical plants along pathways leading around 10 various size Bures or bungalows some of which face the ocean & some set back against the jungle including a 4 bedroom 3 bathroom large house for rent which is beautifully furnished in tropical style furniture & accented in the resort owner’s vast collection of African artifacts. There is a huge Organic garden with eggplants, papayas, pineapple, various lettuces, tomatoes, herbs, Mulberry bushes and many more vegetables & fruits. Rescue dogs of various breeds & ages roam the property & one followed me everywhere stopping to smell the fruit & marking his territory.

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Later in the morning, we convened in the community room for breakfast and were served a sumptuous variety of fruit & cereals, homemade cake, & juices. We were asked if we would like eggs as an omelette or scrambled. We learned a little more about the young Australian couple who had been in Fiji for 10 days & were leaving the next day.

Diving
After breakfast, we were introduced to our Dive Master Zacariah who explained our dive and where we were to go to get our equipment. We prepared for our first dive at around 10:00 am & boarded the boat with our wet suits, fins and mask. Our BC’s, tanks & weight belts were already aboard the boat. We motored out about 3 miles towards the reef & anchored at a Dive Spot named Fish Bowl. Carl & I geared up, took a few pictures & then back flipped into the water which was pretty choppy at this point because the wind had picked up. We let out the air in our BC’s & descended to about 40 ft. under the water. We saw many colorful fish, interesting coral & we went through a few tunnels. By the end of the dive, the current was pretty strong so our Dive Master signaled for us to go up. It was a bit of a challenge getting into the boat because the water was a little rough. While the dive wasn’t the most spectacular one we had ever done, it was pretty good for our first dive in Fiji. We decided to postpone our 2nd dive until the next day. We returned to our Bure, showered and took a rest until lunch. The next day our dive was much earlier in the morning & the water is pretty calm. We went to a different dive spot & this time we saw large schools of fish, & some pretty big Tuna.

We spent four relaxing days in Fiji & were totally acclimated to the time change before our next adventure in Australia.

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