Sunday, July 10, 2011

12 hours in FIJI


PHOTO: The Sri Siva Subramaniya Hindu Temple in Nadi, FIJI

Flying via Air Pacific to get back to the US, I had the opportunity to see a little bit of Fiji during my 12 hour lay over in Nadi for my flight to LAX. During the 1 1/2 flight from Nuku'alofa to Nadi, I was lucky to meet a few people who were also on their way to LAX. They were nice enough to offer if I would like to split a hotel room for the day with them. Why not? I now had some people to explore Nadi with. They were all from California and visited Tonga for the one of the royal families birthday party! Crazy, how I ran into these people.

PHOTO: The hotel pool and our suite room.

We ended up getting a hotel room for the day at the Raffles Gateway Hotel. It was conveniently located near the airport. It had a nice swimming pool that I later had a chance to take a dip in before the long flight to LAX. After getting settled in at the hotel, we decided to go to town. My new friend Genesis had to do some shopping for some South Pacific handicrafts for a new Wellness Center his friend had opened up in California. We all ended up taking a shuttle to Jack's in downtown Nadi.
PHOTO: Jack's and a McDonalds in Nadi.

Upon arriving to Jack's, I ended up buying a couple of items since their sales representatives were pretty convincing (plus they did give us a free ride--which we stopped by the Hindu temple pictured above for free). Afterwards, I was able to stop by the famous restaurant Saffron. They serve one of the best vegetable curry I had every tasted. It was absolutely brilliant! Next, I simply just walked around the main street and was amazed at the amount of goods you can purchase in Fiji (so much better than Tonga). They even have a McDonalds!

PHOTO: Downtown Nadi.

The landscape in Fiji is by far so different than in Tonga. They actually have rivers, streams, and mountains. Economically, they had by far more stores and food options. Culturally, it is multi-ethnic society. The Indian-Fijian population is very prominent in Fiji. In the end, by the time we checked back in for flight to LAX I was well rested for my long journey home. The warm shower at the hotel was my first in six months--amazing! I was grateful for all the people I met who made great travel companions. Best of luck to them all!

PHOTO: Me with the new people I met at dinner before our flight to LAX.

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