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Shorts, Sandals.. and Christmas?

semi-overcast 17 °C
View Trip #1 on freerangechicks's travel map.

It's been a while since our last update, not cause lack of things to write, but because we've been going balls to the wall since our previous post!

Our last post was a bit rushed because of time so there was a few things we forgot to mention! For one, how delicious and cheap local food is in Fiji! We legit ate for like less than 100 Canadian each for the 8 days we spent in Savusavu. That includes the four or five times we ate at local restaurants! We cooked our own meals usually and bought most of our ingredients from the local market. The fresh fruit was unbelievable... and we got a little pineapple happy since they were $1 Fijian (approx. 60 cents Canadian) each! And these weren't no Sobey's pineapples, they were just picked, unpreserved and tastey! The mangoes, bananas, and passionfruits were high on the consumption list too!

Secondly, driving on the left side of the road was ridiculous and hilarious! Giselle drove and Leeann navigated and kept us on the proper side of the road when things got confusing and the crazy Fiji drivers were every which way! Traffic laws are a little slack to say the least, but we loved every second of it.. even had some traditional Fijian music playing whenever the CD player decided to kick in. We spent a lot of time waving back to the local villagers that were calling and waving at us like crazy, it was very endearing actually. We also witnessed some pretty decent scenery (were not talking about the palm trees) driving past a few rugby practices that were taking place on several of about three billion rugby fields in Fiji.

Our last few days in Fiji were absolutely awesome! We did some snorkelling right out in front of our beach house, which was really cool, there were little circles of coral reef everywhere! We even played tugboat, as one of our kayaks had a leak, so we only had one kayak and this surfboard thing. We took turns bombing around the bay pulling each other, one in the kayak paddling and one behind being towed on the surfboard. We had a good laugh and anyone watching definitely got quite the show. We spent a whole afternoon entertaining ourselves like this until the wind starting getting fresh and a storm started to roll in. Those one foot waves felt like ten feet as we paddled against them.
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Our last night in Savusavu we went out with our Fijian friends, Mela and Shelley, that we met at the Decked Out Cafe! They took us to a house party with there friends and we were welcomed in as if we were family, we've seriously never have experienced hospitality like we did for our 8 days in that little town. We had each bought our own booze to drink, but as soon as we got there our Fijian hosts offered us a drink in a oversized shot glass. Everyone takes a turn drinking (shooting) the liquor in the glass, no matter whoses drink it is. This is what the Fijians call Taki, we are pretty sure it means everybody drinks and makes sense to the Fijian culture as they share everything and will give you anything they have. Our hostess also had a cat, named Shane, which we thought was absolutely hilarious for a Fijian to have a cat named Shane. The cat was quiet and white which made it even funnier as our human friend Shane is freakily similar. After a few (and by a few, probably 30) rounds of Taki, we made our way to the Decked Out for some local live music and more drinks! There were more rounds of Taki, and it was legit gasoline we think, it was this potent bourbon and coke mixture that LeeAnn plastered the bushes with later in the evening. The band was amazing, they played a mixture of Fijian tunes and 70's throwback music, which is like prime dancing music! We loved it! It was seriously one of the most awesome nights we've both had ever! It didn't matter where we from, we were embraced by everyone there and we are definitely going to try to go back to Savusavu on our way back to Canada!
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We left Savusavu for the main island two days before our flight to Melbourne, just to avoid any natural disasters keeping us on Vanua Levu. We stayed at Smugglers Cove which is a little backpacker resort right on the beach about ten minutes from the Nadi airport! Our time there was pretty uneventful, we just relaxed, swam, drank and tried not to die in the crazy heat. We met some awesome people there though! Most notable an English guy, Duncan, or as we call him.. English D Money! There were actually a few Englishmen around, good for a drink and a laugh!

So now were in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia! After our six hour flight from Fiji, we were more than relieved to not have to board another plane in the near future. We're staying at the YHA Metro Melbourne, which is a pretty sweet hostel There are people here from all over the world! Our first couple nights here we ended up being in separate rooms and LeeAnn actually barged in on some youngin's (were talking no chest hair) with no shirts on because she was given the wrong room key. Hilarious to us, they probably felt a little violated as grown women laughed in their faces.

The thing we first noticed about Melbourne is how multi-cultural it is! There are people here from everywhere.. you can tell from the shops, the restaurants, the theatres everything.. that this city is home to many cultures! We love it! Melbourne is actually so diverse, that we've only met a handful of actual Australians!

The second things is how strange it is that Christmas is almost here! The temps are 20 degrees plus and the city is plastered with Christmas decorations and sales and music! We have to remind ourselves often what time of year it is. It kind of feels like the twilight zone to be wearing shorts and tank tops in December!

The food scene in Melbourne is crazy..... the variety of food that can be found here can suit anybodys taste! We've tried some incredible places, lots of fantastic vegetarian food for Giselle, and tons of great coffee for LeeAnn! One of the coolest things we've done is gone to a bar where you can order take away from three different places, right to your bar table while you keep boozing! We ordered from an African food take away place that was soo good and so unlike anything we've ever had! We're definitely going to go back! Another cool thing was the Suzuki night market, which is Wednesday nights in the summer at Queen Victoria Market, one of Melbourne's famous markets. There was nothing short of a 100 different food and drink vendors with food from every region of the world. It took us an hour to decide what we wanted to eat because there was so much choice. There was also live music and tons of people, an overall great atmosphere to be a part of! The night market will probably end up being a weekly thing for us while we are in Melbourne.
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Since we've been here we have not stopped. We've basically walked about 10km a day to get everything done we've had to get done.. we better have some ripped legs after all this. We got our bank accounts set up, mobile numbers set up, located the nearest bottle shop (aka liquor store) and have just been getting orientated! We've met a couple of really cool people, a Dutch girl, Sophie, who spent a few days touring the city with us and guy from Chile who was in our info session for Work N Holiday! We've also met some people at our hostel and at our work n holiday office that we've been getting to know. Over the next couple weeks, were going to get our resumes out so we can work for a few months before our next destination (Tasmania or Western Australia) and were planning a small road trip along the Great Ocean Road. Anyone who knows anything about Australia has heard of the Great Ocean Road and we can't wait to see it!

This is such a long blog post so we'll try to update more frequently so people aren't reading a novel! Maybe by the next update we'll have seen our first kangaroo, hopefully one that'll let us see whats really in that pouch!

Reporting to you from the future,
Giselle and LeeAnn.

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Posted by freerangechicks 10:40 Archived in Australia Tagged australia fiji christmas

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I absolutely love reading your updates.It seems to be a fun place and some lovely people.Keep the updates coming.Love you all.

by Joan Bull

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