I thought instead of droning on about my latest book (as much as I’d love to!! LOL) I’d talk a little about Fiji. Particularly since I visited there not all that long ago and I was able to meet the very lovely Nas for a brief time before having to fly back to Australia.
The Outrigger Hotel
The very first thing I noticed about Fijian people? Their amazingly friendly natures and innate charm. I wasn’t alone in thinking I’d never met happier people as a whole–anywhere.
Fiji itself? The roads are, well…bad, (I was told the maximum speed limit is 80km’s) and many of the people live in rundown shanties. And yes, these are the very same people who are always smiling. It really puts into perspective how money really doesn’t make a person happy. (Though yes, it sure does help pay the bills!! LOL)
Mel's family at the Airport with Nas
View from The Outrigger Hotel
I was lucky enough to visit Fiji with my mother and my two eldest daughters (my husband has a very real fear of flying) where we stayed at the beautiful Outrigger resort. At the Outrigger absolutely everyone is greeted with a very loud and long “BULA” (Hello. Welcome. Good day) at the front gates…this is also repeated anytime you happen to leave. I don’t know about anyone else, but this simple gesture left my family beaming. We often remarked the western culture could learn a lot from Fijians in making a complete stranger feel welcome.
The outrigger itself was beautiful. The gardens were spectacular and my girls made some very real friends with some of the local boys there, who were nothing but gentlemanly. And oh, the pawpaw (papaya) there has a reddish tinge and is a totally different flavor to here in Australia. OMG yum!! Is all I can say!!
While we were there we went on a couple of day trips. The River Safari was my fav (though yes, my youngest daughter fainted after seeing someone with a bloody head wound…but that’s another story). After about a 30 minute speedy river boat trip (great way to sightsee) we stopped at a village. It was here we got to see the way the local people lived — very poorly, and yet all of them healthy and happy. We sampled some of their food (not to my taste, but again, the pawpaw was delish) and then did some dancing. My daughters were very popular with the village men LOL!! Seriously though, they were all charming and full of smiles, considering they were allowing strangers into their lives, if only for a short time.
Mel at Nas's House
I could go on, but I won’t make this book length!! I just have to say, Fiji was a brilliant place to visit and I highly recommend it! You might even get a chance to meet Nas and her family!! =)
Never been to Australia? I’d love to give away a copy of any one of my Ellora’s Cave books, all of which are set somewhere in my homeland. Just tell me if you’ve ever been to Fiji—or Australia—and if not what’s your favourite holiday destination?