Today was our first day in the islands of Fiji…a little tender boat brought us from our cruise ship to the port. As soon as we got off, we passed the booth doing group tours and looked for someone to drive us around for the day. We found a nice local who for a set price drove us to different areas for multiple hours. Before we jumped into his car, we grabbed a bottle of Fiji water which at home is expensive but here where they actually bottle it…is nice and cheap!
We decided to start our tour at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant which had over 2000 species of orchids over almost 50 acres. There were also various other trees and plants which we admired as we wandered the trails throughout the garden. We spent at least an hour taking in the calming scenery around us.
After the gardens, we went to a traditional Fijian village. The whole village governs themselves via the head chief and a committee. They have their own school for the village kids and the families all live in the same houses, so it is very common to have multiple generations under one small roof. A women welcomed us at the entrance of their village…we paid a small fee which funds things for the villagers and then chatted with her as she walked us around the neighborhood. She pointed out some of the locals selling their goods, the Chief’s traditional hut house, and took us into the church where the men and women still sit separately. We asked questions and noticed the small simple homes they lived in, but right on beachfront property.
Our next stop was about an hour away…we arrived at a beautiful beach called, Natadola Beach. Our driver dropped us off at the Intercontinental hotel resort for close to 2-3 hours to relax in the sun at their infinity pool, overlooking the white sandy beach. We also sat at their restaurant outside to eat a light lunch and drink a beer.
It was nice to see different parts of the island today…the gardens, the beach and the local people. Our driver took us back to our ship where we boarded, freshened up for dinner and played around a bit in the casino.