Snakes - deadly sea krait
Do keep a sharp eye out when walking around rocks in low tide or snorkelling around Fiji for the black-banded sea-snakes. They are extremely deadly - known as the 'three steps you're dead" type. The good news is that they are largely passive (won't go for you unless you *really* bother them) and most of them don't have fangs long enough to pierce your little finger.
Still, keep an eye out for them. We ran into dozens of them near Caqelai at a place the locals call "snake island" -- fancy that!Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
resist the various shopping temptations
In every port that we came to on our cruise through the Fiji islands I saw some of the most beautifull woodcarvings as well as rare, exotic sea-shells for sale in the souvenirshops. The only problem for me was the fact that I am not an expert about seashells and I dont know which ones might be considdered as "endangered species" and confiscated by any customs-controll in the entire world.
The other problem was the fact that it is absolutely forbidden to take any beach-material or wooden products into Australia at the end of the cruise and the authorities there will also take a closer look at all things you are taking with you - so be prepared !
AND dont trust any shop-owner who is talking about a special "export-certificate" etc. because what-ever might be allowed to be EXported from Fiji does not necessarily mean it is also allowed to be IMported into any other country !Related to:
- Family Travel
Be mindful that taro leaves contain calcium oxilate crystals that can cause mild stinging in you mouth and throat. Myself and several others were suprised and got a little worried. The first time I tried them was on my first night in the village that I was invited to stay in. I was polite and didnt ask what was going on with my mouth...until the next day.
Be aware that there is a tropical storm season.
We had been in Nadi for two nights when we were told that a cyclone was moving in our direction.
We were moved away from the bay and into town.
Cyclone Gavin came by with very strong winds, we had no electricity or water for two days.
The t-shirts were for sale on the streets as soon as we were able to get out.Related to:
- Family Travel
dont take home any natural "refugees"
Search your trousers, socks etc. before you go back to the ship : This is something special that happened to me or rather my trousers after some very intensive hikes on Ndravuni island: Take a look at my picture, there were hundreds of sticky plants or rather seeds of plants that took me a lot of work to clean them from my pants.
It is SUCH and similar plants that you should not take to any other island when taking a cruise in that area, and especially when your cruise takes you back to Australia you might get into trouble, when the customs-authorities find such things attached to any of your trousers or shoes etc.Related to:
- Women's Travel
It's not a real warning or danger, but something you should be aware of. You will organize nothing on Sunday, because almost nobody works... There are no ships going anywhere and only a few buses, no tours, the travel agencies and shops are closed. Wherever you are on Sunday, you're stuck there for the whole day, so you should consider this while planning your trip.
We got stuck twice... First time in Suva, after arriving. But we used this day to see the town and relax, hoping to arrange the ship to Taveuni on the next day. Bad luck. It was a public holiday and, again, no chance to organize anything. Fortunately, we managed to get a bus and go out of town to Colo-i-Suva to spend great afternoon swimming in the rainforest.
Next Sunday we again ended up miscalculating. We should have learned from our previous experiences but time in Fiji has a bit different speed:) This time we ended up in Levuka, trying to organize a boat hire and get to Caquelai island. We arranged it but we were extremely lucky to meet some helpful people on the way.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
I have been told that whilst out shopping at local markets, you wil sometimes get people tagging onto you. It is best to tell them to go away, as if you do not, once you have finished shopping they can demand money from you for acting as a guide!!!!!
Well. Ok, here is what I...
Well. Ok, here is what I learned. Never wear a t-shirt with any information on it such as a school or state or business or.... Traveling alone for a man is always easier, it gives less of an opening to a street hustler. On health, I learned to not trust the local water and to go into island walk and effort and move into the local flow as much as you are able.
Fiji Sword Sellers
You may be joined by a seemingly friendly local asking your name. He immediately carves your name into a wooden sword worth about $2 and demands $50 for it. Say hello but give your name at your own peril. Most common in Suva but has happened in Nadi.Related to:
Misquito netting is cheap and...
Misquito netting is cheap and a must have if you plan to sleep in open air/ on deck. Although not a lot of trouble most of the time, misquitos can be a problem, and on other islands in this vicinity, have been known, I'm told, to carry malaria.
We missed the last scheduled boat out to our island resort because the return of a several day cruise did not coincide with the last dispatch of the ferry. Watch out for varying return and departure times. Luckily, we anticipated that this might occur and arranged for a local boat-owner (our taxi driver's "cousin") to pick us up and take us out the twenty miles as night fell. He knew the island well and where it was but the hotel had given up on us and were quite surprised when we showed up with our feet wet from having to carry our bags thru the surf to the sand and entrance site. If this happens to you, bargain hard and don't put up with last-minute price hikes that are sure to come.
Be very careful at shell...
Be very careful at shell markets. Some natives will offer shell varieties of animals that are very rare or endangered. You could be fined for brining these back to America. One makes a horn sound when blown into it and is amazing to hold, DO NOT PURSHACE IT, THEY ARE RARE
Watch out in Nadi where you...
Watch out in Nadi where you can be sucked in by some tradesmen's over friendly attitude. One minute you're sipping Kava in a friendly way with the salesman the next your being almost forced to buy their trinkets and if you don't buy anything you are dishonering them.
DONT GET HURT
Just a bit of advise: dont get hurt in Fiji. They have good basic facilities, but cannot handle anything major. A person was run over by a speedboat while snorkeling, needed to fly to NZ to get surgery.
This is still a third world...
This is still a third world country, so be aware, especially in the big cities. Out of the city, it is basicly safe (like in any other place these days, still take some precousions). Whatch out for scams, because they will try to make money out of you, lot of it, so always go for a lower price than they have said (especially with the people orriginally from India, the real Fijians are extremely nice, and almost never try to screw you).
There are snakes and all, so just watch your step and you will be save
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