Smuggler’s Cove in July

The girls on the beach.

The first free weekend of university my international friends and I decided to go to Nadi (pronounced nandy). We were tired of the gloom and rain already and plus wanted the beach. So we made our way to Smuggler’s Cove an awesome resort/hostel. There they had a 34 bed dorm so all 13 or so of us could stay together.

The view of Smuggler’s from the beach

My first time in a hostel went pretty well. We got a locker, linens, a hot shower, and bathroom. Also staying at the resort there was a beautiful beach, pool, free ocean kayak use, food/bar, and free breakfast. All for 15 Fijian which as around 8 US dollars! Pretty amazing. Of course if we had stayed to eat food and drink most food was 20 and cocktails 18. A rum and coke was only 6 though.

To get to the resort we caught a bus in suva for 15fj and it took about 4 hours. Once there we pretty much collapsed in our beds. The next morning after breakfast we claimed chairs on the beach and mostly just laid around. In the afternoon though I got to ride a horse on the beach.

Kayaking with Mallory and Sarah Canadian.

Riding and horse handling in general are really different here. There aren’t fenced pastures. Rather horses are left free or tied with a long rope to a tree. The tack is pretty horrible as there are no tack stores and shipping is horrible. I’m also unsure if they feed horses grain. But they do really care about their horses and do their best.

Baba was the guy who owns the horses tourists can ride in Nadi. He was super duper nice. I asked for a fast horse and gave me a crazy Fijian race horse.

My crazy Fijian race horse! She didn’t really like to stand for pictures on the beach… the beach is where she races!

It’s a good thing I have a strong seat and know the one-rein stop. But it was really fun. He actually let me ride for 2 hours though I only paid for one.

The next day he also took one of my friends and I on a long trail ride through the mountains to the river to swim. It was absolutely amazing scenery. And just a ton of fun riding. Chris, one of my American friends here, went with me. Though he had never ridden before he also had a blast.

My friend Chris and I and our valiant steeds.

We got to talk to Baba and learn of his life. After the ride he fed us lunch of roti, rice, chicken curry (with the bones in as usual), and Dahl soup. One interesting thing is Fijians don’t really use utensils. Even the rice and curry they mix around and eat with their hands.

Baba was so nice. Offered me a bed in his house and free riding if I came back by myself and a sunset ride with a deal price if I came with a group. He also said if I had any problems in Suva to give him a call. “Money is nothing” he says.

The sleeping giant mountains. It looks like a giant sleeping on his back. You can see his head, nose, stomach, and feet.

He just wants to make people happy (and of course he wants to provide for his family as well). Kept asking is if we had fun. It really makes me appreciate how I live at home after seeing his and other rural Fijian homes.

I must also mention I had possibly the most amazing pizza of my life on the little hostel next to smugglers. It was Tandoori chicken pizza with cream cheese.

The dam/river that we swam in mid-ride.

Gosh how I miss the dairy back home. The milk here comes in boxes on the shelf, cheese is quite expensive, and carrot cake doesn’t come with cream cheese frosting! But I digress. It was an amazing first weekend out of Suva at a resort!


About Meg LaFollette

I studied abroad in Fiji for 5 months in 2012 and absolutely fell in love with traveling! I went to New Zealand right after and then Peru this summer. When not traveling (and sometimes during) I love healthy, environmentally conscious living. Animals, biology, horses, and behavior are other passions of mine.
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3 Responses to Smuggler’s Cove in July

  1. Jenny says:

    Sounds like an awesome weekend! It’s so cool you are getting to ride horses while you are there!

  2. Wow! What a deal! I love hosteling, and I love that you got to ride and experience such a beautiful place!

  3. Sue says:

    Cool that you got to ride horses!

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