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Fiji The paradise of the Mamanuca Islands

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Fiji. I don't think there are people who have never heard of Fiji, even in sketches of honeymoons. They probably do not know how to place it on the map, but I am sure of one thing, Fiji brings images of white sand beaches with tourists in the shade of coconut trees. Well yes, it's more or less that, a paradise to relax, where moving a finger more than the account should be prohibited, but we being especially restless do not hesitate to make any excursion on our own.


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

Fiji The paradise of the Mamanuca Islands

History

The archipelago of Fiji It began to be populated about 5000 years ago, mainly by merchants who made the islands a resting point. But it was not until the 17th century, when it was discovered by the Europeans. Cook, as we might initially think it was not precisely the discoverer, but Abel Tasman, a Dutch navigator who was looking for the great continent of the south (Australia).

At first, the Europeans showed no great interest in the place, until the British there for the year 1874 They decided to annex the islands as part of their great Pacific colony. This brought cultural changes to the island, not because the British introduced European customs, but the cheap labor exported from another of their colonies, the India. Hindus quickly expanded through many of the islands, working primarily on the collection of sugarcane, placing their culture in much of the islands. Today 40% of the population is Hindu and 60% is Fijian (Christian).


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

Fiji finally achieved the Independence of the British Empire in the year 1970 and with it brought a time of conflict between Hindues and Fijians. This war of power led to two coups (1984 and 2000), mainly because the Hindu minority dominated Fiji.

Nowadays normality has returned and the country can be visited with peace of mind, however we can easily observe how business is more prosperous they are managed by Hindus and not by the rest of the population. Maybe things have not changed so much.

Mamanuca Islands

Our visit to Fiji focused mainly on two islands belonging to the archipelago of the Mamanucas, the islands Malolo and Malolo Lailai. The Mamanucas are a group of around 20 islands, inhabited most of them and that became world famous after the filming of the film Shipwrecked with Tom Hanks.


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

These two islands are connected to the main island by ship (jetty of Port Denarau) or by plane, since there is a dirt track in Malolo Lailai. Most hotels include the first service, but if we want to return to the big island during the holidays, this must be paid separately. The boat trip usually takes 45min / 1h.

The rest of the islands can also be visited by boat, only they are 2 hours away. Many of them are inhabited (Tavua, Yanuya, Tokoriki, Mana, ...), the latter with another dirt track. Personally, after a visit by boat in one of them, practically all of them are very similar. The difference will reside in the Luxury hotel that there is staying or if there is a local population 100% native.

Malolo Lalai Island

This was the island where we stayed for 5 wonderful days. The island in question has a length of 3 kilometers by 1 wide, therefore suitable to travel on foot or even in bike. The hotels and the small villa it houses are connected by several dirt tracks that facilitate the movement.

Due to its orientation, the quietest beaches where the wild sea has not taken the sand from the beaches, are on the side West from the island, right where each hotel has its beach, yes all public.


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

There are 3 hotel complexes mainly, one dedicated to families and the rest mainly to couples looking for a rest without hearing a child around them. Food is generally not a big deal, battle food, and is usually priced at the height of more developed countries. However, 90% of its tourism comes from Australia and New Zealand.

They all have shows to learn about Fiji's culture up close. Without this, many people who visit the islands would think that it is in any resort anywhere in the world.

Activities thousand ... and as was evident both the snorkeling As the diving It is a full-fledged 10. Only the Rafting and the Jetboat, available only in Viti Levu.


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

On the other side of the island you can see the Malolo Island, where a small strait separates both islands over only 250 meters. These meters are salvageable on foot at low tides, but we will have to swim and deal with the motor boats that cross it.


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

Mind you, this is not the Caribbean and you don't enjoy partying until one thousand and one nights (except backpacking area), since after 10 pm the silence reigns and we only have to enjoy the moonlight or a DVD movie (No TV and internet goes extremely slow).


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

Malolo Island

The other island we visited was Malolo. Quite bigger than the previous one and it can take us a whole day to walk it on foot. We approach through the strait that separates both islands about 1 in the afternoon of a month of September, when the tide begins to fall and it is easy to reach it by walking (it covers the waist of a person of 1.80m).


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

The idea was to visit the town (NOT TOURIST) of Solevu and learn about the culture of the place. We walked along the edge of the beach through various cabins with people dedicated to fishing. They asked us if we were lost ... since in the whole visit we didn't see any tourists like us.

The island is separated by a series of low-altitude mountains (about 300m) that border the hotel paradise and reality in Fiji. Fiji is Solevu, what Solevu is Fiji. It is not a rich country, perhaps more than its neighbors, but many of its inhabitants live with just enough to live day to day.


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

All constructions are made with wood, at the mercy of possible Cyclones... and the electricity in many of them shines by its absence. The running water does not exist and it is necessary to collect it in the village reservoir. I don't want to say that the rest of Fiji is like that, but at least life in the small islands proves it and, of course, the resorts don't tell.

The best thing is that you see happy people and that is what is really important. The whole town joins in the main square which in turn becomes an improvised rugby field, not counting that they really have a real one. It's like pediments In the villages of Spain, every town has to have one.


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

One thing has been recorded, the reception of each of its islands is always the same. A couple of locals singing a song to the sound of a guitar. This is Fiji and on another occasion we hope to visit more islands, we have many things to see.


Fiji - Mamanuca Islands

Practical data on the Fiji Islands

When to go to the Fiji Islands?

The best time to visit Fiji is from May to October, right in the winter. It is the dry season, the temperatures are quite mild and the water is not excessively hot. During the summer (November to April) the sun is scorching and storms are frequent.

How to get to the Fiji Islands?

By plane of course. There are flights from Los Angeles and numerous points in Australia and New Zealand. Logically cheap is not because from European or South American countries, it is necessary to make 2 or 3 scales.

If you pass by Fiji as an addition to a trip to Australia or New Zealand, things change. The flights + hotel They are not excessively expensive, despite being 3/4 hours away. The cost is around 600€/800$ per person (4 nights / 5 days), depending on the hotel where you stay.

If it's a Honeymoon, do not forget to notify the Hotel so that they give you a special gift.

What to wear

Want to relax and some money to eat…. The all-inclusive concept does not exist and prices are not especially cheap. There are 2 supermarkets in Malolo Lailai where we can buy basic foods such as fruit, sweets, ice cream, meat, frozen, beers and sometimes they have prepared products of the place. The price of the supermarket is European.

By the way, if you do not master English and wish to watch a movie during your instance, do not forget to bring a hard drive USB. The TVs of most hotels support this type of storage.

Where to sleep?

There are several hotels in Malolo Lailai among which are :

  • Plantation resort : kind of urbanization of camping-style bungalows full of devilish children.
  • Lomani Island resort : Access to devilish children is prohibited. Cozy and quiet with all activities included in the price.
  • Musket Cove resort : Lomani style, but children are allowed to enter. It has a supermarket.

Travel insurance

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