The following events take place between June 15th and June 23rd. Bup, Beep. Bup, Beep. Cue Jack Bauer....
Wow folks - wow. We unfortunately haven't been documenting our travels due to relocating to a small island off the coast of Fiji for fun in the sun and keep isolate from civilization including no phones, internet, cars, houses, etc. Our all inclusive resort costed $55 Fijian dollars ($35 USD) and including a personal hut on the beach and three delicious square meals a day....but before we get to that, lets address the world's greatest and world's worst airline - Air Pacific. Peter if you are out there this blog is for you buddy in retribution for the 30 hours delay that included assembling a new jet engine and attaching it to our plane for the maiden voyage.......let's tarrentino this and take everyone back to our last day in Hawaii.
Day 9 found Justin and I alone in a romantic corporate condo on the shore's of Waikiki with travel insurance covering our meals due to Air Pacific's technical difficulties. Coco Mancini had already shipped back to the mainland as many underprivileged citizens had gone un-screwed by his missed time at the private equity shop and business needed to continue as usual.
Our first and last Hawaiian Shrimp Shack.
Let the upgrades begin...given that travel insurance tentatively was covering our meal expenses we decided to eat level of dining as our prior meals and stopped into Red Lobster for the most expensive dishes to be had. J-Hump (Buttercup) had the surf and turf while I had an entire fish - at noon.
Later, we took the Keith (of Jason's Deli) Express busline to the airport which included stopping no more than ever 20 feet. Three hours later we arrived to more delays and Peter our friendly Air Pacific representative. While the team was slightly weary and in need of shelter our coach went on a upgrade venture resulting more food vouchers and a 5 star resort stay in Fiji (meals included for about $100 USD a shot), and upgrade to the top level of the 747 flight to Auckland, New Zealand (our current location), and all you can drink specials on both flights in and out of Fiji. Keep your players happy and the rest comes naturally.
Our 4am arrival in Nadi, Fiji led to a 3 hour delay in search for an Air Pacific rep (holder of said hotel voucher) and our first introduction to "Fiji" time (don't worry we got another free breakfast out of it). This leads us to our first rule of backpacking - You are entitled to request a shocking ly cheap standard of living and asking for anything (and I mean anything) for free. With a player like Humphreys you can only imagine the discounts, people are just giving $h!t away. Anyways.....
Out travel agent at Nadi airport hooked us up with an all inclusive trip to Mana Island of the coast of Fiji (West Side). Accommodation included our own "Villa", boat transfer, three meals, and SCUBA certification for around $920 Fijian dollars....bula bula (*hello in Fijian). There, nestled away within eye shot of "Castaway" island, we kicked out feet up with the locals and boatloads (literally) of fellow backpackers and sipped our nights away (from 7pm to midnight) on $5 Fijian bitter 32 ounce drinks... let us take a moment to bring our audience down to reality to understand what this was really like. Beyond the frills, bells and whistles, and paradise you may be imagining from this vivid description - there is the backpackers reality.....this includes swatting flys of your meals, no a/c, no telephone, internet etc. electricity that only comes on after dark, and no access to anything outside the rice and noodle meals provided.
The locals while un-traveled were aware of the tourist benefits and incredible friendly. We spent most of our days relaxing on our front porch and enjoying the ocean views with our new friends. Okay, now I am turning this over to Justin....I guess this needs to be funny if you are going to keep reading....
What Smitty really means is that while we soaking up the upgrades from the Worlds best and worst airline we experienced a diff side of Fiji. While no sleep from a 6hr, free drink flight one would think to sleep but coach said to lace up and hit the court. The best part of this section of the trip is that we had no idea of what time it ever was. We woke up when the rooster crowed, ate lunch when they Josefa put the plates down, drank beer when our scuba instructor told us to and went to bed when the bonfire burned out.
While on the island we never wore shoes, rarely a shirt and mostly just board shorts all day. The cast of our new Fijian family is Suka- receptions, LeRoy- Scuba and entertainment, Junior- spear fisher and all round good guy, Joesfa- food prep and always ready to take your plate, Vuni- the oldest who would try and pass wisdom "follow me Justin...", Dee- toddler who ran around in the sand and cried earlier mornings, the bloody english kids- 4 guys from Leeds who can make a party, some other English ladies, a guitar playing Somaian, and someone German. You combine this crew on a small island acting like we were shipped wreck and you have a great story.
Spear Fishing. Smith really got into the spear fishing idea and tried is hand many a time. We went out every day and managed to catch a 5in pin fish. Hit him right through the heart. Fortunatley Junior took the spear and caught 13 fish that day and we had dinner. The spear looks real cool and sounds masculine but we need some training.
Diving Certification- Our main goal was to get certified and by golly we did. Most courses take approx 4 days and class work with confined dives. In Fiji however, they throw you right in the water with the tanks. We studied for about 1-2hrs took our quizzes and exam after our 4th dive and ran through a series of interesting events. Don't you guys worry though we are good divers. The course would rank somewhere between Tom Emanski's instructional baseball skills video and vegi-tales. On our first skill session, Smith was laying on the sea floor performing a task while a poisonous rock fish was right underneath him. Leroy didn't catch that one. On our first boat dive we got ONE explanation on setting gear and jumping into the water, we turned around and he was already diving. With an peculiar look on our faces we gave the OK and the old college try and dove right in. Of course we are amazing athletes and the coolest guys in the world so it wasn't a big deal at all. The fish were actually asking us for lessons. I gave a parrot fish a lesson on public speaking and Smith talked a reef shark about managing his IRA. The night before our final dive to the "Supermarket" shark central we decided it would be grand to party all night, and we thought this was a good idea b/c LeRoy was right next to us. Great teacher. The boat capt took us and two of the English guys out to the open and we ripped it. Charlie was a bit hung over and feed the fish by puking in the ocean a few times. James was just chipper to be alive and Josh and I were diving unsupervised in illegal depths(22meters) doing back flips next to bull sharks, playing with manta rays and chasing our hungover guide to the depths. Shockingly Josh was never worried even though his depth gauge never worked. Thats safe. The dive was freaking awesome with tons of huge sharks (6-12ft) swimming around. We got back at 11:55 and the boat to leave the island and catch our flight left at 12.
Fire Dancing- While on the island do as the others do. When in Rome...Agree to disagree. We made a massive bon fire and played some obnoxious balloon games with our new crew the last night. The English guys, a few maple leaves, some natives and a some random stranglers watched to milkly way while singing songs all night long. Sounds beautiful doesn't it. Then the record started turning and the LeRoy started fire dancing and performing the native dance. After his run we asked if we could give it a shot. He said not while you guys are drinking, so we put our glasses down and grabbed the flaming stick. Once again we are amazing dancers and have surprisingly hidden talents. We didn't get burned but damn that stick is hot. Pics will be coming.
Justin really tan..
(Author - Josh)
Last night we used our hotel voucher (from our previous delay) and stayed 5 star in private rooms with A/C and huge free meals - life is rough backpacking it, but someone has to do it.
Our flight into Auckland, New Zealand include free drinks - I think we had a bottle of wine between us and we struck up another great deal at the airport. We rented an RV. Apparently you can park and camp anywhere you want and the lady had an RV that needed to get down to Wellington for $5 NZD a day ( that is $4USD). So Justin and I will be rolling out Chevy Chase National Lampoon tomorrow. Mock - Yeah. Pick'em up. Tonight we are rolling out on the streets of downtown Auckland. We will be in touch. Don't call us, we will call you.
FYI.....Josh can be reached at email@example.com and Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.