Since I finished my finals all in the first week of exams and had two weeks until New Zealand I decided to take a little trip. In classic Megan fashion is took me ages to decide what to do. Even in Fiji when options are limited I can feel overwhelmed by the choices. I wrestle over going to the Yasawas or SavuSavu. Once I decide on SavuSavu I can’t decide should I take the 14 hour ferry for cheap or fly? How long should I go for? Should I go to Taveuni too? Which hostel should I stay at? … I digress. Anyways I didn’t end up buying my plan ticket until 3 days before I went and right now sitting in the airport I still haven’t decided where to stay in Taveuni. I do know that I’m getting dive certified though which makes me so excited.
It was very sad leaving all my friends a week early. I feel so very close to them, perhaps even closer than some of the people I met at my home university. They all woke up to tell me goodbye this morning, did a little rendition of “So long, farewell” from the sound of music and then sent me on mu way to take a $25 cab ride to the airport which took about half an hour.
The plane that I’m taking is so tiny that I had to be weighed with my carry on so that they can balance out the weight. I swear that extra 20 pounds the scale showed above my weight when this semester started was all my bag, not me, no way…..
The flight here took all of 40 minutes. When you could see through the clouds the ocean and particularly the reefs were beautiful. Gorgeous shades of blues and greens. At the airport a guy offered to share a cab since he was on his way to town as well and he actually ended up paying for it was nice. And I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t that how taken began? Well I can assure you that Fiji is safer than that and I am smarter than that. If he had asked if I was alone I would have lied…
Anyways the “dorm” is awesome. It’s just a hotel room with 3 bunk beds in it and I have it all to myself. It has a proper bathroom and even a little porch where I can have my lunch. After taking a little nap I walked into town. Hot Springs is right on the edge (albeit up a big hill). I walked from one side to another in less than an hour. It’s very small and very quiet but very nice and picturesque. While in I got a cream bun (swear I’m going on that diet tomorrow) and some normal buns for PB and banana sandwiches. I’ve decided to eat breakfast and lunch in my hotel room and just eat dinner out. Not only does it save money but it also spares me sitting alone.
After unknowingly subjecting myself to enough uv to make me a lovely shade of red (those partly cloudy days get ya) I went back to the hotel. True to tradition, I was literally dripping with sweat after my walk so I decided to go to the pool. It was lovely and cool and just as I was beginning to worry about getting lonely some girls my age showed up.
It took me a bit to get up the courage to walk over and say hello. Strangers really aren’t that scary when you’re alone. And if they are travelers close to your own age chances are they would love the company. I was in luck too, as soon as I walked over they introduced themselves to me, I found out they were medical students on a rotation here and next thing you know we’re chatting about weddings and getting dinner.
Now since I am traveling alone I am going to bed at 10 pm because nobody can tell me that’s lame or keep me up socializing or with a movie. I do love friends and would have loved someone to travel with, but so far I’m doing pretty well on my own.
First day of my diving course! Woohoo! Did a pool dive and watched three videos and managed not to fall asleep though just barely. Tomorrow I’m going on an open water dive to Turtle Alley and one other place.
I also took a random free art class today at a resort with some of the girls. It was actually pretty fun even though I was kind of bad at it. Met another American who has an internship with National Geographic which is pretty amazing. His name is Ian and we might end up going to Taveuni together.
For lunch I ended up eating a veggie burger at Joseph’s Decked Out Cafe which was actually really good and different. It was shredded lettuce and other veggies with melted cheese on a toasted bun, yum. I just ate an odd dinner in my room of lady fingers, PB, a roll, and some crackers. Pretty fantastic meal, I know but it’s cheap!
Got to go on two dives today, dream house and turtle alley. They were amazing. I had a little bit of a problem equalizing on the way down. My ears were pretty painful bit eventually I got down to a decent depth, maybe 60 feet or so. It was very cool being that deep. Just completely peaceful and other worldly.
I saw tons of stuff. We were on a sea mount that dropped out to open sea. I saw a 2 baby grey reef sharks swimming, one adult resting on the bottom, one sleeping under a coral and then a white tip just swimming around. Huge barracudas about 20 or 30 that we followed into the deep sea. They were so big, about 3 feet long. And just swimming out in the middle of the ocean was cool. Also I saw a HUGE tuna maybe 4 feet long and a foot in diameter. Pistol shrimp too. It was awesome. Also just being right down my the coral was cool.
The second dive was at Turtle Alley. Didn’t see any turtles but the coral was amazing. Some mounts had about 100% coral cover. Also there was a swim through and a moray eel. I completed some skills down there too.
I was really tired after my dive so I just got lunch and hung out at the cafe for a while. Used the Internet and looked at Facebook and such. Then back up to the hotel for a nap and back down to meet some friends for drinks and dinner. I have really liked meeting people on my trip here. I have not been lonely in the least bit since I’ve been traveling. 🙂 I also have procured a travel buddy for Taveuni as well.
Today I finished my theory and took my exam and did a pool session. Just two open water dives away from certification. Then lunch in my room in the hotel and a bit of off shore snorkeling at Split Rock. I wasn’t very impressed after open water and visibility was bad but I suppose better than nothing.
Then just chilling by the pool. Got Chinese for dinner: dumplings and veggie stirfry. Not too shabby tasting. Then just hanging out at the hotel talking and sharing drinks til 2am. I love meeting so many awesome people and hearing their stories and opinions on things. It’s just great! And very stimulating, I think.
I did my final open water dives today. Dungeons and Dragons and then Purple Dream. Amazing! Learned that taking drugs pre dive works like a charm. Saw a huge 12 or 15 feet hammerhead shark (4 meters) and 2 sea turtles. Also nudibranchs, soft corals, 2 little juveniles Rock Mover Wrasse, and swam through a bunch of coral/rock caves. Just amazing and beautiful coral was awesome especially the magic coral. Sea anemones and coral shrimp. Tons of fish. Just great. Got down to 60 feet and now I’m PADI certified for open water diving.
I’ve decided to do Taveuni tomorrow at 7am and then come back on Monday. Should be a great time.