It was never in my plans to visit Fiji, it was like a fantasy, but at the same time it was not something that was on my bucket list. I watched the movies and imagined a place full of luxuries, combined with natural beauty. Well in my country they sell Fiji water. I said “if it is like the bottle should be a amazing and it should cost”, because by the way, it is expensive for those of us who drink bottled water.
My first arrival was Lautoka, nothing extraordinary for my taste, the opposite, more we entered the place, more we were worried about where they were going to take us. Our arrival at First Landing beach resort, as its name says, was the first place visited on 300 islands years ago. The tide was very low, I was not really impressed. From the food I can rescue the KOKODA which is basically our Caribbean Ceviche, only with coconut milk.
A slight and romantic walk on the islet that looks like a foot from the top, did not cause more impression, the good thing is that the company was great. This gave us to understand that to enjoy Fiji you have to book a luxurious resort or simply have a couple of days available to discover the small islands around that are not close at all. The islanders spoke to us with great enthusiasm about our next port, Suva, the biggest island in Fiji, they mentioned the big buildings, the Market, something more commercial but in the same way beautiful. They really set high expectations on me.
Day 2 in Suva Fiji, I discovered that my expectations were too high for Fiji and its main city. After walking around the area we prefer to get into what I love the most and my super companion Star that brings me to those places gave me free rein. Discover a little more of its people and it was then that I met the Municipal Market of Suva. I do not want to talk about sanitary levels, in many markets of the world they are not respected, my interest is the great variety of known and unknown products that I found there, I felt at home when I saw the yuccas, the pineapple, the lemons, the coconuts, the way in which each vendor tries to organize his bookshelf is very interesting.
There is not a person in Fiji who, when walking, does not tell you Bula with a smile. Bula is the most common word you will hear through Fiji and is used to greet people. When you say Bula to someone, you are really wishing them LIFE. Vinaka is the second most common Fijian word you can expect to hear. It means thank you. The Fijians are very kind and helpful.
Two days in Fiji, I did not know the glamor of its islands, I did not spend a lot of money, but I knew the reality of its people, what they eat, how they dress and how they love what they have, a more than luxurious, enriching experience. The Human part of FIJI. If I would return, suddenly if it is on my way, what I am sure of is that I went into their culture in a different and autochthony way and understand their ethnicity through the flavors; their Market filled me with inspiration respect and joy.
300 islands, friendly and helpful people, a unique tropical climate, and its gastronomy very similar to my Caribbean gastronomy opened a different compass about all these islands that I am visiting. I move away from Fiji with the nostalgia of not having visited its wonderful and crystalline waters but with the joy that I knew much more, I felt the heart of Fiji and its people, and THAT makes for me FIJI Islands a PARADISE.