Monday, 19 October 2015

Fiji - a Holiday or a Holiday?

There are two types of holidays. There is the "travel-to-exotic-location-and-see-as-much-as-you-can" holiday and then there is the relaxing, laid back "holiday" holiday. As an addicted traveller I love both. Recently I was thrilled to be invited to share a  "holiday" holiday in Fiji with my son and his family and what a joy it was.

The plan was simply to kick back, relax, enjoy the warmth, the surroundings and have some quality family time.  The plan worked, it was an absolute delight.
View from our villa
Our week was spent at the Sheraton Villas on Denerau Island just out of Nadi. The villas are very large, with kitchen and laundry facilities, ideal when you are travelling with two young children.  Ours had a romantic view of the sea framed by softly waving palm trees and  overlooking one of the swimming pools. When the children were asleep we spent long hours on our deck admiring the view, people watching, reading, drinking wine and chatting.
Oh, Look!  I think we may have ordered some cocktails.
 Denerau is almost exclusively a resort area with several hotels lining the beach frontage joined by a pretty seaside pathway. The Sheraton and adjoining Westin Hotel belong to the same umbrella company so that guests at one can use all the facilities at both. Blessed with a week of glorious weather our days kicked off with long, lazy, sumptuous breakfasts at the Sheraton, Master Three's eyes popping as he surveyed the vast buffet selection and then settled on pretty much what he normally eats, such is the nature of a three year old.  Over breakfast we discussed  plans for the day, pressing things like which pool of the many would we swim at, where would we go for a walk and where would we eat dinner.  Some times we took the Bula Bus for a tour around the island or to the Denerau Port shopping centre. One evening we had a memorable, waterside, meal at Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant there, my lobster chowder was sublime, and later we watched dancers from many Pacific nations perform in the town square. Another day we took the village bus into Nadi to shop for fruit and vegetables at the market. Master Three kept the other passengers amused with his delighted whoops as we passed over bridges and under palm trees.

Fire Dancers with their small fan
My own coconut drink!

 He was enthralled by the fire dancers who performed in the evenings at various hotels insisting that we watch them again and again. One day my son and I spent a pleasurable hour at the Denarau Golf Course driving range  followed by a tasting of Fiji's own delicious rum.  The golf club is also an ideal place to eat as a family with expansive views over the  course and very reasonably priced family type meals.

 Master Three was spell bound by the Fijian man who climbed  coconut trees to collect the fruit and then offered him one, complete with straw, so he could enjoy drinking its sweet and refreshing nectar.  But small children are easy to entertain, playing in the playground, feeding the prolific schools of fish near the shore with bread, watching the toads who come out in the  evening and hop around the resort, and, best of all, swimming. One day Master Three went on a fishing tour  with his dad but generally we simply relaxed with a capital "R"

Glorious Denarau sunset, Sheraton, a travel brochure cliché, but true. 
The Fijians are known to be a lovely, warm, happy people who will never pass you by without a  cheery "Bula" greeting.  I'm sure you've heard of "babe magnets", well my eight month old grand daughter was a "magnet babe" to the child loving Fijians who lined up for cuddles with her, even our apartment cleaner rushed off to get her friend to come and admire her. 
I can take any amount of this love and admiration!
 It was a marvellous holiday. None of us wanted to return home, however, sadly, holidays do eventually end and I guess that's partly what makes them so good. They are a relaxing break from normal life.  We all said, rather half heartedly, that if that was normal life you wouldn't appreciate it so much but then quickly agreed we wouldn't mind testing that theory!  We returned home refreshed, completely contented and very relaxed I highly recommend a
" holiday" holiday every now and then.