1. Nadi (Part One)

Fiji

First stop: Fiji, the land of smiles.

 

We left Perth, Australia on the 1st of February, 2015. I thought it would be a great idea to complete an Olympic distance triathlon the morning of our flight. As if packing up our lives for 6 months wasn't stressful enough, a 1.5k swim, 40k bike ride and 10k run down in Busselton (about 2 hours south of Perth) added nicely to the pressure. Once the race was done and the refueling had commenced, we were on the road back up to Perth. I had enough time to have a quick shower, drop off the unwanted equipment and skol a celebratory drink before heading to the airport. 

Pushing hard in the triathlon.

Nine hours of flying should have been plenty of time to recover from my workout and catch some shut eye, but me and sleep on planes are not well acquainted. The only snooze I achieved was at our stopover in Auckland, greedily taking up a whole couch while my body was cursing me for putting it through hell. 

 

When we eventually arrived in Nadi, Fiji, we headed straight for our crappy but cheap accommodation at Wailoaloa beach, which had no air-conditioning (rookie mistake). We both immediately passed out for several hours, despite the searing heat.

 

After awaking from our coma our first stop was the beach. We were dying for a cool, refreshing dip in the ocean to escape the blistering heat and help clear our minds. Yeah, that wasn't happening. Australia is known for great beaches, but the water is always pretty chilly. Here in Fiji, it is like taking a bath. A hot one. I think the water was almost warmer than the air temperature. We skipped over the beach and swam in the hostel pool instead. 

Wailoaloa beach.

Mid-afternoon we headed into the main town, which was surprisingly not touristy at all. Mostly supermarkets and clothing stores, neither of which interested us. So after a quick walk around it was back to the beach, lying in hammocks, with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. It would be the start of many drinks on this trip. 

 

Dinner was at one of the several beach restaurants, which all looked incredible but were extremely quiet. You would think the service would be amazing with no other customers, yet it took an eternity to order and receive our food. While we were waiting we were treated to the most amazing sunset I had seen in a long time - the pictures don't do it justice. I could pack up my life in Australia and move to Fiji just to see sunsets like these. 

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