To end 2016, the extended Feature team and I went on our most thrilling mind revitalising trips thus far. Fiji – Land of the happiest people on earth where sevens is played in heaven. To say how fucking excited we were and how much we loved the islands would be a huge understatement.
We landed in Nadi and caught the first flight out to Vanua Levu – Labasa (BABASIGA territory). Then began what we called “The Great Vanua Road Trip” 5 Indo-Kiwi lads, one run down van and no fucking GPS!!! – getting lost became a daily ritual. Some spots we hit up were; the world famous “Jhaloo Pool” meaning rocking bridge, Korovatu Beach (Google it right now) the place is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and it’s in the world’s top 30 beaches. Finding the famous Floating Island was a M I S S I O N! It was literally out in the wop wops, multiple sevusevu’s (offering) were made to local kids who helped us navigate to the Island. We walked through knee deep swamps and reached the floating island to see it drift ever so slightly. People there were sceptical of whether they should set foot on the floating island, us being the ballsy lads didn’t spare a second thought and took the metre leap and landed on the island, one slip and we would’ve gone straight in the lake with no hope of coming back up. LEGEND has it no one has ever been able to accurately measure the depth of the lake. Some have tried but have never reappeared again which makes the place that much more mysterious. There were several other dope spots and waterfalls we trekked to and showered in hopes of washing our 50 shades of blackness HAHA.
Apart from all the touristy jazz & shooting a wedding, we indulged in several Fijian delicacies. Where do I even start? We were fortunate enough to have a huge LOVO feast on Christmas – nothing compares, it was literally the bomb especially the Polosami (Taro and Fish mix). You cant miss the markets in Fiji which are jam packed with vendors selling anything you can ever imagine eating, it’s honestly like exotic fruit and vegetable heaven!! Luckily the main market was within minutes’ walk from where we were staying, so almost every other day we went in and purchased fresh mangoes, pineapples, guavas, pawpaw’s and passion fruit just to name a few. Best part, it was all dirt cheap $30NZD – $ 50NZD worth of fruit and vege and your sorted for the week.. They say you’ve never really been to Fiji if you haven’t eaten one of the most mouth-watering cream buns from one of the many Hot Bread Kitchen outlets found throughout Fiji (we’ve been sponsored by them). Hands down, bet $1000 it’s the best buns in the world… I’ve left the best for last – C O C O N U T S, we went NUTS for coconuts. The hunt for coconuts through villages and jungles was definitely the highlight – tools of trade = Machete, steel rod, wheel barrow and strong deltoids which unfortunately our MD Nayzel Sushil lacked so we put him on pushing the barrow duty #chutiya #peanut… Jokes aside, the taste of fresh coconut water straight off the tree is something different, sucks how we have to pay $5 for some shitty ones here in NZ.
AEROGUARD insect repellent – I’d like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to the creator of this legendary life saver of a product, you’re a LEGEND mate. On our first day here one of the bros became a victim to a million mosquito bites. Swear these mongrels love the taste of overseas blood and, it was none other than Mr Sushil, poor guys legs looked like a baboons red ass. So we bought a few cans of these beauties and literally showered in them – apparently the girls digged the smell of it HAHAHA who needs cologne??
Our typical night consisted of Kava and more Kava. Let me just slap you with some reality – it’s all good if there’s no water for drinking, however, the world is over if the kava’s over (Vakandua/Khalaas – exact words of a fellow grogger) Bowl after bowl, our sessions were flowing – the search for that grogged up dope feeling, numbness of the tongue and that satisfying itch of kanikani was real. If you’re not feeling Kava, I recommend getting local beers. We binged and taki’d on cheap $5 Fiji bitters and gold – our go to drinks in the staggering heat.
Our time in Vanua Levu came to a bitter end. I highly recommend to all our loyal readers, if you’re ever in Fiji, please don’t overlook Vanua Levu – it’s a Gem.
Next stop – my hood – Suva, Viti Levu. People talked a big game about Suva, we often heard “boy, going to Suva is like going overseas”, apparently it’s LIT ASF. So we had to check it out! The city is known to be the largest in the South Pacific and the cultural scene around is as vibrant as ever. The city has definitely developed with diverse architecturally pleasing buildings, malls, parks and an extensive range of eateries.
Quick recommendations –
If you’re keen on shopping – damodar, mhcc, tappoo, suva handicraft – stock up on a few rad Bula shirts and a Fiji sevens jersey
There’s so much going on, it’s hard to keep up. The only solution is to spend more time of course, which is what we got robbed of… The city went into slight panic mode as an earthquake hit off the coast, followed by a tsunami warning leaving all in despair. Well that was fucking great, couldn’t do much so we packed and gapped the sceneL. Can officially say we were tsunami survivor’s hahaha (there was none) but still.
Fast forward a few days and our road trip to Nadi began. By now all the beers, kava sessions, cream buns and no sleep took its toll and we were knackered. The only thing on everyone’s mind was “are we there yet?” But first Navua/Pacific Harbour – 10/10, abit fond of this place now. Hands down the biggest highlight of the trip was hanging out with the Fiji 7s team. Out of pure fucking luck!! We’ve always been behind the boys through thick and thin (no all black supporters here) so getting to chill and get a few mean photos with them was a humbling experience!!!
Finally Denarau. Checked in, greeted with a MASSIVE BULA!!! And an even bigger Bula smile. Westin and Sheraton resorts are spot on, you should be sweet staying at either or. The next few days were jam packed! There was a buffet, let’s just say that from 6:30 am – 11 am you would find us making multiple trips to the kitchen – nuff said… Apart from eating, we were slapping on blocks of sunscreen, who am I kidding we were already 10 shades darker by now, that shit wasn’t helping…
Khali chill – on the beach, by the pool or in the pool. “chill” was the key factor here. We did some other random stuff like going for a horse ride on the water, sliding through the Big Bula Water Park, H&F rounds at parasailing, getting on the piss on sea cruises and most importantly we carved these Aussie blokes at a game of touch. Unfortunately one of the bros from our team fell victim to a match ending injury caused by a bin (in photos) and we went into reKAVAry mode after that around a fresh brew of the good shit. Oh and if you find yourself in Nadi – check out Habibi, ice bar and eds bar. All spots are pumping!! Mean shisha, cheap drinks and chill vibes…
Overall, we had such a rad time travelling through the islands. Shout out to all the friends we made along the way and the sponsors Fiji Tourism and Hot Bread Kitchen. Thanks for all the insight and support along the way! And most importantly shout out to you guys for sticking around! Till the next one,
Photographer – Nayzel Sushil (peanut) & Zaynel Sushil (starboy)
Blogger – Kelvin Lal