Archive for the ‘travel journal’ Category
As if Mana Island wasn’t beautiful enough, we island hopped to neighboring Castaway Island next, just a 20-minute easy journey. Known in Fijian as Qalito, this island is said to be sacred, and is one of the only ones owned by a local chief.
From the cruise ship, we boarded a smaller boat with the smiling locals. Castaway Island sparkled in the emerald sea, with just a tiny mound of lush greenery sloping into a cluster of thatched roofs ringed by powdery sand. The sand jutted out into the sea in a white halo, framed by rings of bright turquoise punctuated by formations of dark green from the reef below, before dissipating into a deep blue that stretched out in all directions endlessly. It was the most beautiful setting I’d seen in Fiji, and the sight of it left me awestruck.
After spending time on the northern island of Savu Savu and on Fiji’s largest island Viti Levu, it was time to head out to some of Fiji’s purest islands for some quiet beach time, underwater exploration, and surreal turquoise waters. Saving the best for last, we headed out to the Mamanuca island chain, just off the western coast of Viti Levu. Island hopping to the Mamanucas is easy and if you keep traveling north, you’ll hit the adjacent Yasawa Island chain, which is even more isolated and rugged.
Continuing on from the Eastern Coral Coast and the interior of Viti Levu, we drove westward along the southern coast, which is dotted with resorts, villages, and local temples. This time our destination was Outrigger on the Lagoon, and as we pulled into the resort driveway, the man at the gate shouted out what must have been the biggest “BUUULLLAAAA!” in Fiji—arms extended, his voice resonating in our wake. Inside, the lobby was filled with song—musicians strumming their guitars next to a breathtaking view of the ocean spread out below, making me feel like I was perched high up in a treehouse of sorts. Best of all, we were welcomed by our very own butler who brought canapés and champagne to the room.
When in Fiji, one of the most unique Fijian experiences you can have is to visit a local village, where if you’re lucky you can attend a traditional Kava Ceremony where you meet the village chief and drink kava (Fiji’s unofficial national drink) together. So what is kava? It’s a plant native to the Pacific that is consumed throughout Polynesia. The roots are used to produce a brown watery drink similar to tea that packs a punch, numbs your tongue, and has both sedative and anesthetic properties.
After spending some time in Nadi and Savu Savu, we continued to explore Fiji. Taking off in another tiny plane, we island hopped first to Taveuni, then over to Suva. The Savu Savu airport was manned by one single worker, who waved away my passport in complete disinterest when I took it out to show him instinctually. In fact, he wasn’t concerned with identification at all—my first name was good enough for him. He only wanted to know my weight—since the plane was so small that the weight of everything on board mattered—and I had to step right up on the scale. There was no x-ray scanner, no metal detector, and no security or bag checks for the passengers. What an entirely different world!
Your life in cheese? What does your favorite cheese say about you? Mine is Gorgonzola, which according to an article in the Huffington Post indicates the following about my personality:
Sometimes you think everyone at the party is talking too quietly and you wish they’d speak up to match your volume. You love karaoke, swing dancing and shouting, “WOO HOO” when you’re having fun.
I have to agree, this seems quite spot on. (I actually do frequently shout “Woo Hoo!”)
Photo editor Tyson Wintibaugh’s is definitely Feta, which indicates:
You are an unexpected daredevil. People probably say, “I didn’t think you had it in you” to you a lot. But you knew you did. You knew it the whole time.
Again, spot on.
The flight to Fiji aboard Fiji Airways was a relatively quick 10 hour jaunt across the Pacific Ocean from Los Angeles. We landed at Nadi (pronounced Nandi) around 5 a.m. when it was still dark out. As we de-planed, the sun began to rise, and I began to adjust to the warm, tropical humidity seeping in all around me. All of us bleary eyed travelers were greeted by a welcome trio dressed in tropical shirts and leis, strumming their guitars and singing cheerfully while shouting “Bula!” (hello in Fijian) in between songs.
Greek food is the best food in the world. On the Greek islands, everything is absolutely fresh, and you can taste this freshness. Literally everywhere I ate in Greece was a momentous culinary experience, and each time I thought the food couldn’t get any better—it did. One of the most memorable restaurants I visited was Dionysos in Atlantis Restaurant on the island of Santorini. Here are a few quick snapshots from my first meal there…
Looking for something fun and freaky to do on Halloween in San Francisco? Get your science geek on at the California Academy of Science’s annual Halloween bash “Creatures of the NightLife.” You can wander among the reptiles in the rainforest, watch butterflies flap all around you under the glass domes, and stroll through the deep blue waters of the aquarium among costumed revelers as DJs spin tunes. Enjoy monster cocktails or take in a show in the planetarium.
Travelers who visit Argentina will be faced with a hard choice: which jaw-dropping landscapes to visit. With a vast amount of land to cover, (Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world) and no quick way to get between regions besides a limited number of flights or the alternative, extremely long bus rides, your mind will soon be overflowing with choices. There are luscious tropical rain forests in the northeast, with the spectacular Iguazu Falls on the border with Brazil. There are the deserts and red rock formations in the northwest. In the middle of the country are the pampas (plains), sizzling cities, and Argentine wine country. Then there is the mysterious windswept terrain of the southern regions: Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.