We are on the last day of fiji now. We were expecting a tropical paradise but it really hasn’t been all that great. We had our flight delayed by 6 and a half hours, so our flight got in after midnight, we were tired and made the mistake of following a ‘travel agent’ – who took us to a hostel (really their own house) and charged us $40 (about 14 pounds) in an awful room. Anyway, the next day we got to a cheaper hostel (just $9 each ) and the room there was awful too. We spent 3 nights on Mana Island – the photos of it looked really nice but once we got there, found it wasn’t as nice. Electricity only ran from4pm till 10am, there wasn’t much shade and it was very hot and sunny. The other people there were nice though and we sat around chatting in the evenings. They also put on entertainment in the evenings – eg fire dancing, lots of singing and dancing. The snorkeling was quite good and we spent most of the afternoons in the sea – so hot it felt like a warm bath in the sea! The island was not that big – we tried walking round most of it and it took about 3 hours. The next 5 nights were at plantation island – this was the luxury accommodation that we had booked and paid for in New Zealand…at $191 per night (around 65 pounds). We were expecting it to be lovely…but once again we were slightly disappointed. The room we were meant to have was being refurbished after a recent cyclone and they upgraded us to a bure – it didn’t even have air-conditioning! After spending a night in it, we kicked up a fuss and they moved us to the honeymoon suite!!! King size bed, two bedrooms, large bathroom, and aircon! The island was larger (we didn’t even attempt to walk around it), but the people we met there made it good. Mostly Australians and New Zealanders, and two English girls. We took kayaks and went handline fishing, plenty of snorkeling. Once we tried a sailboat and we got so far out to sea, then the wind stopped and we couldn’t get back!!! We had to swim whilst pushing the boat till the wind picked up again! It was good fun. One night they had karaoke and we all went up to sing (except Mike! He wouldn’t budge out of his seat!), so even though the accommodation was far from nice, we still enjoyed ourselves because of the company. The next 2 nights were at Pacific Harbour, back on the mainland. It was the first time it started to get cloudy and we even had a bit of drizzle. We only went there because it was one of the best and cheapest places to dive. Our diving trip was pretty good – I saw my first octopus close up – it was a deep brown colour and then it changed to red and then to white – I was amazed. Then it opened its breathing hole, which was huge, and it had a good look at me with its large eye. There was nice coral and Mike saw a 6ft leopard shark. The next 3 nights were at The Naviti, on Coral Coast, again on the mainland. Mike tried snorkeling and it was more like walking through sludge, not very nice, and even when you go quite far out it is deep and then suddenly becomes ankle deep. The room here was much nicer, with a nice large pool with waterfall and spa. There was lots of activities such as volleyball etc. We tried taking a kayak but didn’t go very far as they seemed quite dangerous – you could easily get stuck in it if you topped over. We saw firewalking – where the Fijian men refrain from coconuts and women for a week before hand to build up their strength, and then walk over hot coals. Unfortunately, it rained for 2 days, almost continuously, but that didn’t stop me! We still swam in the pool and played touch footy (sliding around in the wet mud!) It is our last night now, we are back at Nadi, staying at a hotel near the airport. Tomorrow (Saturday) we fly to the cook Islands (3 hour flight) and we get there on Friday!!!! Cause we cross the international date line!!! So for the first time in 17 months we will be behind you!!!!