On Castaway Island it is nearing cocktail hour and the resort afternoon rolls with a rhythm.
The littlies at the Kids Club scurry, laughing. They are collecting hermit crabs for the adults to play with at tonight’s crab racing in the bar.
On the lawn by the pool, ‘Fiji’ takes on the Rest-of-the-World at touch rugby.
Vuli, the wedding coordinator, hovers discreetly as a bride and groom exchange love and vows with barefoot sand beneath and a floral arch above.
Lingo watches from the deck as warriors armed with guitars accompany the couple along the beach. Lingo is having a late, skipped lunch of salt & pepper squid, perfectly prepared by Lance in the kitchen. He takes his time, piece by piece between fingers, occasionally sipping his freshly squeezed lime juice through a straw. Lingo is an institution on Castaway. No one is really sure what he does, but he does it very well.
Joe waves to Lingo as he steers the dive boat, ‘Sokia’, towards the beach. He’s returning with smiling guests from Gotham City, where the batfish and moray eels have put on a fine display.
A golden sun sits above the horizon. Sunset serenade. In Fiji, Happy Hour can last for days.
Bula! Fiji is the Pacific’s most popular Pacific holiday destination and for good reason – friendly people, beaches, blue lagoons and great resorts to suit all budgets. For most visitors, Fiji is a ‘resort’ holiday. Choose a resort or two and just chill in the tropics (is that technically possible?).
Within your resort you’ll find that Fiji comes to you. As well as access to diving, snorkelling, swimming, fishing and other resort stuff, there are usually themed nights like a lovo (feast), meke (dancing), firewalking and kava ceremonies. Kava is an important part of Fijian culture (even the resort ceremonies are taken seriously by the locals but they are never ‘threatening’ for tourists who want to join in. If you visit a village, a gift of kava is appreciated and you may be invited to take kava with the Chief.
To generalise, the tourist ‘face’ of Fiji belongs to the smiling, effervescent Fijians who undoubtedly bgreet you with a flash of teeth and “Bula”, while behind the scenes the Fijian Indians ensure that efficiency prevails within ‘island time’. Fiji is a place where, no matter how short or long your stay, you will be left wanting just that little bit more. And when it’s time to return home, you will probably be farewelled by the song, ‘Isa Lei’. It is a genuine ‘thank you’ and a lovely song – be prepared to have a lump in your throat, a tear in your eye and a promise to return.
Some links for more on Fiji: