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  • Writer's pictureClaire

28/02/24 Nadi, Fiji to Serenity Island

Check out was1000 hrs and we had time to have breakfast before leaving. We packed most of our stuff before heading out the door fo fill our faces.

Si has been unable to find his watch since he took it off on Sunday night when we arrived. He put it on the table by the side of the bed and we've been looking for it since. When we were packing up the small rucksacks we discovered that about £150 had gone from his second wallet that was hidden in his backpack. Some thieving bastard had been into our room and taken the time to rifle through everything and left a lot better off than they were when they went in. Not impressed is an understatement. We've narrowed it down to one of the housekeeping, who approached us on the beach on our first day. We were asked to fill in a form about the rooms and what could be done to improve. It was odd because we had only arrived the night before and she surely should have known that. The other odd part was the way she kept herself stood behind us, and talked non stop. Fijians are naturally friendly, but we now suspect she was keeping us occupied whilst some lowlife bottom feeder went through our room.

We duly expected to find the watch while we were packing, in amongst the clothes we'd pulled out. Which is why we didn't report it as missing until today. When we found the cash had gone as well, we knew where the watch had gone to. It made me feel a bit sick really. We'd put a lot of stuff into the safe, but couldn't get that to work for the first day, which makes us wonder if that was all part of the grift. The thought of people going through your stuff isn't nice at all. We deliberately bought nothing of great value with us, just old disposable clothes, and no jewellery, besides our watches and wedding rings which don't come off anyway!

Before having breakfast we reported it to reception, the girl wrote it all down and promised to tell the manager when they arrived. With nothing more to do we went for our breakfast before returning to the room and collecting our bags for checkout.

Whilst checking out a lady approached and asked if we'd enjoyed our stay so we filled her in and she promised to look into it and let us know the outcome. We assumed she was the manager, but the receptionist had clearly not informed her of the situation. We aren't holding our breath on anything coming of it, and put it down to experience. Our lift to the Port Denarau arrived and we left Club Fiji Resort. When we returned from Serenity Island we had planned to stay there before heading to NZ. However, we'll stay in the city instead and see more of the Island. It is a shame because the resort was really nice and the majority of the staff great.

Port Denarau is on the Island of Denarau, we passed through a security guarded boom gate into a golf club, upmarket hotels and lush palms and drove onwards into the Marina.

The Port has a small shopping centre for people to stock up on the basics before they head to the Islands I'm guessing, and also to buy their souvenirs on their return. Some really nice shops and cafes are dotted around it and as we were there early we had a few hours to kill before our pickup boat came. There is also a hop on hop off bus that takes you around. The roof is palm fronded, and it's open sided. It's pennies to travel on it and it's something we may do when we return.

Coconut water straight from the coconut is currently my go to drink, so refreshing, and also excellent for rehydrating. Si sampled a Kava latte, which was .... different. We looked around the shops and I saw some gorgeous things I really want to bring home with me. I may need to increase my luggage allowance on the plane to New Zealand, which won't be a problem, as we have a 30kg luggage allowance and are currently only using 12kg.... hello shopping.

All around the Port there are stands promoting island trips and excursions one lady in particular was very chatty and asked where we were headed and when we told her, she said to say hello to Mr T from her, she was his auntie. Even I can remember the name Mr T! Apart from the trips being promoted there were pamper sessions, massages of all descriptions and beauty salons.

The check in booth for the Island is at the front of the terminal, they labelled up our bags complete with our room number ready for our arrival on the Island. So efficient, and helpful it's unreal. The boat was due in at 1300hrs and we had to wait half hour or so. As we are now operating on Fiji time the boat could be in anytime from 1300hrs to 1600hrs. Hours don't seem to count for much here! To our surprise we were boarded just after 1300hrs, we didn't leave until half hour later but the breeze was fabulous so who is complaining.

The boat trip to Serenity or Bounty Island took 35 minutes, and there were four other people on board besides Si and I. All our luggage was piled up at the front and the ride was way better than I was expecting. Our first impression after catching a glimpse of the Island was wow! It is exactly as we had expected and more. The water is crystal clear, all shades of blues and turquoise with huge coral forests lurking beneath the waves. Little huts stood on the beach, one of which we were going to be staying in for the next 10 days.

As we drew in closer to the Island, the boat slowed down and we came to a stop, the boat was too big to go in further and we needed to transfer to a smaller one. The transfer went really well, and no one fell in, I mean, if anyone was going to fall in that would be me, so right now I feel as if I am winning at life. As we approached on the little boat, a member of staff ran down the beach, guitar in hand and started to sing to us to welcome us to the Island. It was fab! He said there are usually more of them but they were all busy. At the reception entrance was the infamous Mr T, who welcomed us home and gave us a run down on what to expect during our stay. We were invited to take a seat, and the receptionist Oona came out and asked our names and filled out the relevant paperwork. We were then bought a drink, no idea what it was but it was very nice. Lime green on the bottom and yellow on the top, the staff make a real effort to use our names which I think is such a lovely touch. We were shown to our Bure, our bags already installed by the boys. Wowzer. Even better than expected, very modern inside, and they have kept the traditional shape and style whilst modernising them. There is a decking area out the front, with lounge chair, table, and an easy chair. It even has a concrete foot washing bowl to use to wash the sand off your feet before entering the Bure. The view is incredible, the beach is right outside the door, and hung between a pair of palm trees is a hammock. I am undecided as to wether or not I shall try one again, I've 10 days to think about it. The ocean is 10 metres from our door at low tide and at high tide it's under 5 metres. It's AWESOME!!!

We are just having bed and breakfast because although they do all inclusive, it was waaaay to expensive and extra 500 dollars a day each and you only had free drinks in the all inclusive package at meal times not the rest of the time. Spirits are incredibly expensive in Fiji in general and the beer works out to about £4. Which isn't too bad, although that's not a full pint.

After unpacking swimmers we made our way back to the pool area along the boardwalk. It's all beautifully Mildred accessible and very level. The pool is warm, and looks out over the ocean, which is pretty nice. Just along from the pool are palm fronded huts with loungers beneath them providing some shade on the beach. Snorkels masks, kyacks paddle boards etc are all free to use. The Island can be walked around in half an hour or so, which is fantastic it's only 20 square acres. The opposite side to our Bure is generally a lot calmer water, due to being sheltered and has excellent snorkelling for both coral and marine life, the beach is better that side we've been told. Although I have no complaints about what we have outside our door, there are what appear to be old coral rocks worn down over time. The other side of the Island is just sandy, it does get less of a breeze though. The suffering we are being forced to undertake here is just criminal!

1500hrs is tea and cookies time, complimentary, so we enjoyed a nice cuppa and a bit of cake that was still warm from the oven. I only had a little bit but it was good, not too sweet and very light. The wifi is a bit hit and miss, and we discovered it's because, for whatever reason that apple products can't connect to it. Luckily Si is on Android and I am able to hotspot off him. Others are not so lucky and are cut off from the world, although I wonder if that is not such a bad thing.

The temperature at 1700hrs was still a warm 35 degrees and more than a bit humid. Thankfully the air con is fantastic and we haven't quite melted into a puddle just yet. There is still time though! We returned to the Bure via the Beach as the tide was out and once I was inside Si went to see if he could get to the end of the Island that our Bure is. Unfortunately the Boardwalk runs out just short of the beach. Someone told us that It's best to walk around the Island at low tide anyway, although there are several trails that cut through the middle of the forest area. Plenty of time to check them out.

The bar runs happy hour from 1730, and although I was fine for the evening, just in need of a shower and sleep, Si went for a drink and some normal conversation with normal people about normal things. You know a break from all things Claire bless him. Looking forward to see what tomorrow brings us.

Much love


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