By Harry/Sharon Farra ,
Bell Canyon, CA We returned to Fiji in April 2002 after a 15 year absence and enjoyed the is- lands all over again. We flew non-stop across the Pacific from Los Angeles to Fiji on Air New Zealand. This time, we stayed at two lovely RCI- affiliated resorts. We obtained a favorable rate for a rental car at the airport, and found driving on the left very easy. Everyone speaks En- glish. Fiji has to be one of the friendli- est places on Earth - at least to visit- ing tourists. Local people smile and wave as you drive by, and are always willing to give directions if asked. The roads were good and the scenery was spectacular.
Exchanges to Fiji
The first week we stayed at the Fiji Palms, along the south coast of the main island, Viti Levu. The 90-mile drive from the main airport at Nadi was beautiful — passing by mountains, villages, sugar plantations, tropical jungle and resort enclaves on the Coral Coast. Fiji Palms is a small resort with 19 units right on the coast, tucked among tall palm trees that nicely shade a beautiful pool. We liked Fiji Palms for its intimacy - we got to know most of the other guests, most of whom were families from Australia and New Zealand.
climatization. We thor- oughly enjoyed the infor- mal, relaxing atmosphere at the Fiji Palms and would like to return soon. We spent the follow- ing week at the much big- ger and more modem WorldMark at Fiji. It too, was very enjoyable. Only about 10 miles from Nadi, the resort has a pre- mium beach front location on the newly-developed Denerau Island, reached from the mainland by a small bridge. The island consists of a beautiful golf course, two 5-star Sheraton resorts, a Hilton resort and a housing complex under construction, and a wharf from which ferries and tour boats leave for nearby and distant outer islands. Our nicely decorated, superbly equipped unit overlooked the largest pool in Fiji and provided a fabulous view of the
There were excellent social activities at the resort, including luau-type feasts with local music and dance performances, and ex- cellent snorkeling at nearby islands reached by locally-operated glass bottom boats or catamarans. The weather along the south coast in April is quite hot, with regular afternoon tropical showers. The ocean is very warm and the coral fringing the smaller offshore islands was superb.
Our unit was nicely furnished and included a washer and dryer. Air con- ditioning was available for only the bed- rooms, and limited to the hours be- tween 6pm and 9am. However, the units had ceiling fans and the pool was refreshingly cool, so we were quite comfortable after a day or two of ac-
outer islands, especially at sunset. Here, too, we met other guests from Australia, New Zealand and Califor- nia, and we went on several day ex- cursions to snorkel and sunbathe on distant sandy islets. This west part of Viti Levu is generally drier and we had excellent weather.
In Fiji, we found the restaurants recommended by our resorts to be excellent and relatively inexpensive. We will never forget the warm greet- ings that Fijians are quick to offer, and look forward to our return.