The Fiji Aggressor II / Feb. 7 – 16, 2008: I will say one thing for people who live on the west coast… they have it made when it comes to traveling to the South Pacific! All they have to do is show up at the airport before bedtime, board a big 747 jumbo jet, grab a pillow and go to sleep for 10 hours. When they awake its early morning and there in paradise! For those of us who live on the east coast it’s a little different story… (you can consider this the beginning of my ‘Fiji Trip Report – Part 1’ even though it sounds more like a rant!)
It’s the layovers that really get you… here, let me lay out our travel schedule for you so you can better understand. The whole trip started when we left for the airport around 11 o’clock Thursday morning. Our 5 hour and 47 minute flight to LAX wasn’t to depart Dulles International until 2:30 pm EST, but we wanted to get there early just in case United Airlines tried canceling the flight again (which they did 2 weeks earlier without bothering to notify anyone!)
After the usual hassles with luggage weight being over by a pound or two and a ticket agent who tries to change your seating with out asking you we finally got through security and boarded the plane. The flight to LA was okay but long! I knew that if I slept on this leg of the trip I would have a hard time sleeping on the overnight flight to Fiji, so I stayed up for the entire 6 hour flight! Thank God for the iPod and audio books… trying to read a book on an airplane always gives me the red eye and puts me out!
We landed at LAX about 10 minutes late at 5:30 pm PT and disembarked the plane after a short wait for our gate to clear at the main terminal. We then found our way to the ‘Tom Bradley International Terminal’ where we had to check-in with Air Pacific for the next leg of our journey. Air Pacific is the primary airline for Fiji and the South Pacific and I must say they do a much better job of taking care of the customer than domestic airlines do! We checked in and got our boarding passes without any problems and they even allowed us to check a third piece of luggage (our carry-on bags) for no additional charge!! We then spent the next 4 hours getting dinner and waiting around until or 10:30 pm PT flight to take off for Fiji. (Our first week in Fiji – read more »)
Castaway Island, Fiji / Feb. 16 – 23, 2008: We made it back to the Nadi Airport at about quarter to twelve and then spent the next ten minutes digging our luggage out of the bus and trying to find a taxi to take us to the Denarau Marina on the other side of Nadi (a twenty plus minute ride). Guess what! We made it to the dock and boarded the boat just as they were throwing off the lines and lifting the gangway! I’ll tell you what… if that taxi driver had slowed down the sneeze we would have missed it!
Anyway, everything worked out and we arrived on Castaway Island an hour and a half later. We were greeted on the beach by several of the Castaway staff and then lead to the Sundowner Bar for a cool drink as we filled out our registration paperwork. Then, after a short tour of the resort and a quick brief of the ‘where’s & when’s’, we were shown to our Fijian style bure (bungalow) where we found our luggage waiting for us.
Later that afternoon we spent some time at the pool and then got cleaned up for dinner, a couple of frozen drinks and then back to our bure for a rest filled evening and a comfortable bed! (Our second week in Fiji - read more »)