We were given the option of doing a stop in Fiji as we flew from Auckland to Los Angeles on Air Pacific, also known as Fiji Airways. We decided to stay a week in Fiji to bask in the tropical climate before heading to the colder continent.
On arrival at Nadi Airport, you could really feel the serenity at this place. Things just seem to move at a much more leisurely pace and there is no hurry for anyone. All the airport staff would greet you with a hearty ‘Bula’ and give you a welcoming look. There is even a live band playing at the airport to serenade you.
We arrived in March, which was still the raining season. The weather here is quite eccentric and the rain can come and go as quickly. Along the way to Singatoka, we passed by several villages which resembled the kampungs in Singapore in the early 60s. It is a simple way of life without much need of the modern distraction.
At Singatoka, we stayed at the Beach Cocomo Resort. It is a traditional Fijian Bure or Holiday Home. It is definitely not a resort in the traditional sense but it has its own charm. There are only two bures and often you are likely to be the only guest in the resort, which was the case for us.
The owners are a Japanese and Korean couple who set up this place 9 years ago. Isao and Marie treat their guest like friends and make you feel almost like home. Then there is the food prepared by Marie and Ako, which are not only delicious and value for money.
We had a wonderful 4 days just lazing on the beach and exploring the beach face. The children really enjoyed the natural environment and Kaylee was amazed by the countless stars she saw in the sky in the night.
They even made a new friend with the young daughter of one of the staff. The three girls would find their own entertainment by playing among the coconut trees. We also learned a tip from Marie for the treatment of insect bites. Use raw sugar to rub over the bites and rinse it off. This is supposed to lessen the itch and swelling.
We decided to pamper ourselves by staying three nights at the more upscale Sofitel Resort in Denarau. Well, this is a full-scale resort with many pools and even a Kids club where we can deposit the children. It is a nice resort with lush open grounds and all the amenities you would require for a holiday. The resort is located in Port Denarau, it’s quite similar to our Sentosa Island concept where there is the Marina for the well-to-do.
Well, Hui Jun and I much prefer the simpler lifestyle at Marie’s place where we find that you can really be away from all modern amenities and be back with nature. Put away the iPad and smartphones, and enjoy what the environment has to offer.
We have also witnessed the perseverance and dedication of Isao and Marie to make their dreams come true by pursuing their interests. It gives me the inspiration to be true to one’s goal and not be swayed by the passing cloud of time.