Apart from home, our trael-hearts are definitely in the Pacific. Fiji was the first stop for us setting out on our adventure to travel full-time, and we choose it purposefully as a place to stop and take a breather after the chaos that comes with packing up an entire life for four people and packing it into two backpacks!
What we loved…
It doesn’t seem to matter where we are in the world; if there is a market, we tend to make it our first outing, as a way of stocking up and getting a feel for a new place.
The markets in Sigatoka are a colourful and buzzing atmosphere. There are rows and rows of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, stalls selling Fijian Indian sweets, local souvenirs, and different kinds of homemade island food.
Getting the local bus into town to buy fresh bread for lunch, and vegetables for dinner at the markets became part of our daily routine, and the boys soon got to know some of the stall holders.
Playing rugby on the beach
We spent hours every evening watching our two playing tag, rugby (with a coconut), and hunting for starfish with the local neighbourhood kids.
I could have sat for hours more, just watching, as something so simple reaffirmed what our trip was all about.
We hired a car for the day and drove east from Sigatoka towards the village of Biausevu. From the carpark area in the village we paid an admission fee, which included a guide for the walk each way to the waterfall, and a welcome kava ceremony.
It was a great way to visit the waterfall, as our guide Mary was extremely knowledgable about the surrounding bush and villages, and very keen to share it with us.
The hike is roughly 40 minutes each way and crosses through nine river crossings (water shoes or sandals are definitely a good idea for this!).
Harry asked our host, Sunny, if he can live in Fiji forever.
Our boys loved the chance for fishing in Fiji. They went most mornings with Sunny to the mouth of the Sigatoka River, as it was the season for sardines.
It was a great activity and most outings were successful, and certainly enjoyed by the boys!
Harry’s haul of sardines ready to be washed.
Dare I confess we may quite possibly be part of the reason there is now a shortage of niu (drinking) coconuts at the Sigatoka Markets?! [We LOVE them!].
Oscar has found himself a new superhero in fourteen year old Felix who can crack open a drinking coconut like it’s a peanut!
Thirty minute beach clean up
We headed to the beach one afternoon, joined again by the local kids, but this time we had set out intending to trial a 30 minute beach clean up. It was our first stop since leaving NZ, but we wanted to give it a whirl.
The kids all joined in straight away and between us all we cleaned a huge section! It was only a small start in the grander scheme of things, but hopefully it is a start towards paying it forward, and will serve as another reminder for us to continue learning to lighten our footprint as we travel…
[Perhaps one the worst photos I have ever taken(!); but of a very cool memory captured…]!
We were picked up from the airport in Nadi by our AirBnB host, and driven south to the Coral Coast (1.5 hours). We based ourselves at the AirBnB on the outskirts of Sigatoka, and most days walked to the end of the road to get the local bus into town.
To visit Biausevu Waterfall we hired a car (via our host) and they even drove us back to the airport on our last day.
Where we stayed
Coral Coast: AirBnB Sunny and Sherin’s Residence
We knew Fiji has a lot of resort options and beautiful hotels, but as well as making the most of the tropical weather for swimming and beaches, we wanted to experience more of the culture. The AirBnB turned out to be the perfect choice!
Sunny and Sherin are amazing hosts, and definitely made our stay in Fiji one of the most memorable of our year! Sunny is well known in Sigatoka; a true fisherman, with a passion and energy for sharing all his knowledge about fishing and about life in Fiji. Sherin is an amazing cook, and we enjoyed sharing a meal with them plus breakfast most days!
Location-wise, the house is on the outskirts of a small village five minutes from Sigatoka, and 200m from the beach. We loved the adventure of making our way into town each day by bus, and so enjoyed meeting the local families in the neighbourhood… we can’t wait to go back!
[*Update – its now 2020 and we have just booked flights back to stay with them again!].
If we went again we would…
We have already booked tickets back! We loved Fiji, and loved the opportunity for being part of the neighbourhood down on the Coral Coast; even if it was only for a short while…