of every 10 new businesses fail Club Fiji, Nadi
Deep thoughts- as I watched the sun go down in Fiji I actually reflected
on how lucky I am. From my family's first year in America in a smelly North
Miami apartment with no TV and an uncertain future, to gazing at the sunset on a
South Pacific island (by choice) with my eye on a 32" Sony WEGA
picture-in-picture flat screen when I get back to the States. Future
still uncertain, but bright.
Never let the
Chinese guy drive Shotover Jet, Nadi
5/25- RDU to DFW to LAX. On flight bonded with Dorine, a TV producer from
LA. Flight out to Fiji on Air Pacific had a row of three seats to myself, so
got to lay down and sleep- very nice! I also noted that the food was pretty good
(steak, ravioli). Talked lots with Lila, a secretary from LA that was heading
out to do a Captain
Cook's cruise. Got in pretty late in the evening so ended up splitting a
place at Club Fiji with Lila. I spent most of the night at the bar bonding with
5/27- Apparently I woke up pretty hung over, ate breakfast, then took a
cab to the Dominion Hotel to catch a boat to Beachcombers. There I met Brett, an
Aussie from Cairns, who I'd hang out with for the next few days. Also met Becky,
a Canadian going around the world. On the ride over I felt sea sick, so had to
lay down a little in my dorm bed once I got to the island. After nearly barfing,
took a five minute walk around the island and also went snorkling. Would have a
dinner of spaghetti with Brett, Becky, and two Canadian guys who asked me lots
of questions about B-school.
5/28- breakfast with same four folks, then sat on the beach, and chatted
with a Betsy at the basket weaving class. Took the boat back to Nadi- weather
was fine and I felt fine as well. Took my tour of Nadi with Inland Tours, a
guide named Deven. This included stopping in a village for a native kava
ceremony and a drive through the mountains. Got back to Denavau Point in time to
do the Shotover Jet with a French couple. I believe I spent my last night in
Fiji staying at the Nadi
Holiday Inn Youth Hostel for something like $6. I remember thinking it was
out of the way and in an iffy neighborhood, with nothing to do there. I walked
into town and had dinner of roast chicken at a The Bounty hotel that I should
have stayed at.
"Sydney is the 'best city in the world' according to readers of Condé Nast
Traveler magazine and Travel & Leisure Magazine. It is also the sight of the
Olympic Games in the year
2000. From its convict origins as the first European settlement in
Australia, it grew up to become the country's largest and most exciting city.
With its beautiful harbour and beaches, Sydney is very scenic. It is your major
gateway to the State of New South Wales and the rest of Australia. "
got up at 5:30am for my flight, hostel didn't provide a ride to the airport
although their brochure had promised to. Stayed at the Jolly Swagman Hostel. Walked through
gardens to the Opera House.
Walked back to the hostel to get my ASA800 diposable camera for the night
cruise. Big mistake- not only did pictures come out crappy, but got lost and
took me 1.5hrs. Took a taxi back for the night cruise of Darling Harbour.
5/30- took the Sydney Express bus, went up the Tower, took an Opera
House tour, did the bridge climb, had dinner with Bridget (a friend of
Daron's, one of my Fuqua classmates) and her roommates.
5/31- took the Blue Mountain day tour, ate schnitzel for lunch, went with
my roommate Louis to Scubar to see the
6/1- went on the Hunter Valley wine tour. Walked around the Darling
Harbour area and went to the Sydney Aquarium, which I really enjoyed.
Top of the Harbour Bridge, Sydney
"Armageddon" crew getting ready to save the world The Rocks area
My new Aussie
mate Bridgie Paddington area
The Australian delicacy, meat pie, is extremely similar to one of my
favorite Jamaican institutions, the beef patty. I have become a big fan, the pie
is simply a different format. Like a good Jamaican, ignore utensils, turn pie
upside down (top provides more support for weight of meat), and bite away.
Sisters Blue Mountains
I also did a night time harbour cruise, went up the AMP Tower, did a Hunter Valley wine
region day tour (found it a bit boring by myself, but you 're pissed by noon),
and the Sydney Aquarium
(awesome!, very worthwhile), but those pics (along with the awesome Blue
Mountains footage I would have had) either didn't come out or were stolen along
with my camera out of a hostel in Cairns, I suspect by a traveling male French
Canadian whom I will someday hunt down.
Note to other likeminded travelers- traveling Australia at this time of
year is much different than Europe (apart from the winter/summer thing). For
one, the toilet water spins the other way when you flush (everyone learned this
from the Simpsons, and with the Aussie style of loo you actually can't tell).
But seriously, in europe on the hosteling circuit I tend to find highly
intelligent people with similar values doing a summer tour of many cities. Here,
it is literally all British and Canadian 18-24 year-olds travel/"working" for
6-10 months. A very different dynamic. Seems like the inquisitiveness is turned
down and the lack of focus is turned up way past the cute point. Or maybe I'm
just getting older.
"Cairns is your gateway to some of the best scenery in Australia. From
Cairns, you have easy access to tropical islands, reefs, rainforests, mountains
and the wide open spaces of the far north. The Great Barrier Reef itself is one
of nature's wonders of the World." I found this place to be very similar to Ft.
Lauderdale, just less old people and more backpackers.
" THE GREAT BARRIER REEF- Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest
complex of coral reefs and islands in the world, comprising 3,000 individual
reefs and about 600 islands covering an area half the size of Texas. Stretching
for more than 1,200 miles along Australia's Northeast coast, the reef is a UN
World Heritage site, as breathtakingly beautiful as it is diverse. Under the
stewardship of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority and the Queensland
Government, it is an environmental wonder of international renown."
As far as you can tell
this could be a pool
Kuranda Scenic Train for a spectacular narrow gauge ride to charming
Kuranda, famous for its markets. Travel into the towering rainforest on an
amphibious army duck. Enjoy an Aussie barbeque lunch and an authentic aboriginal
cultural performance under the canopy of the rainforest. Experience a
"Dreamtime" walk with an aboriginal guide. Throw a boomerang! You will also see
and touch Australian native animals including koalas and kangaroos."
When I asked the caretaker what the hole was in the koala's throat area I
found out that male koalas have a scent gland which they rub on things to mark.
Yep, after seperating I could certainly smell a scent on my shirt. Visions of me
walking down the street with female koalas flying out of office windows and the
random eucalyptus tree came to mind. Hmmmn, at least maybe this stuff would work
better than that Realm cologne.
In a bar perhaps it would work on the human women by enhancing my cute and
cuddly equities. I was later told that when you hold koalas they often "piddle"
on you. I guess mine wasn't into that.
Hugging the koalas at
On another note, Queensland is actually the only state where holding
koalas hasn't been outlawed. Using classic sales techniques, I was told that it
would probably be outlawed here too. So for only $A11 , I could beat the
legislators. I suppose everything does have its price (for reference, rent the
classic Demi Moore film "Indecent Proposal").
Me on the Skyrail
6/2- missed my flight, so had to rake an 11am through Brisbane and didn't
get in until 5pm. Ate dinner with Elan, who used to be in the Israeli infantry,
and then went to The Woolshed and
The Bar, where I did karaoke with an English guy ("Patience"). He was dating a
girl that looked like a hot looking Celine Dion.
6/3- noon dive trip on the Hitchhiker catameran. Was rainy but it cleared
up for the ride out. I hung out with Robyn from Perth and went on the dive
together. I ended up feeling seasick, and in fact it was choppy enough that our
boat had to pick up passengers from other boats. Sucked that I had to skip the
island party they were dropping lots of folks off for. Once back on shore I felt
better and did a little shopping (including an awesome, foldable,
waterproof hat that would prove invaluable in the Outback), met some folks
form the boat Emma and Andy for dinner, ended up eating some KFC in a mnarket,
and when I got back to the hostel discovered my camera had been stolen.
6/4- did the Kuranda tour. I threw the boomerang well, got a pic with a
koala. Reported camera to the police. Ate spaghetti at Underdogs with two
gorgeous Swedish girls, then went out drinking at Woodshed with one of my
roommates and a Canadian and Brit girl. Saw some girls flashing.
6/5- went shopping for a new camera and bought a Canon Elph LT for A$155.
Pretty pricey, but I ended up loving that camera and would buy 2 or 3 more of
them before switching over to digital for my always on me camera.