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South Pacific adventure begins

Our long anticipated scuba diving adventure with the "Fiji Fanatics" began late Thursday night when we all gathered together at the San Francisco International Airport for the 10 plus hour flight to Nadi, on the largest of Fiji's 330 islands, Viti Levu, Fiji. Our flight would cross both the Equator and the International Dateline, hence we would lose a day on Friday, December 8 arriving the early morning of Saturday, December 9. Once we had all our baggage we boarded a smaller turboprop aircraft for the one and a half hour flight to the island of Taveuni.

Our final destination was Paradise Taveuni, a relatively small resort with less than 20 rooms, nested on the south-west shore of Taveuni, the Garden island of Fiji. It is reached in about 75 minutes from the airport through a road which is unpaved for the last part of it.


The staff of Paradise Taveuni is simply incredible. Everyone greeted us by our first name, and did everything or anything to make our stay more comfortable. While waiting for our bures (rooms) we were treated to complimentary tropical fruit, refreshing beverages and foot massage.

Karen and I were staying in the Hibiscus Bure with an air-conditioned bedroom, living room, bathroom including an outdoor private shower/bath and lovely ocean view expansive patio.

After unpacking our baggage we headed back to the open air dining area for lunch along with a staff and facilities introduction. Later that same afternoon we all did our "check out" dive offshore with the diving staff to make sure all our diving equipment was working properly.

Unlike most resorts, the food at Taveuni was excellent and not buffet style. Instead, every morning guests order their lunch and dinner from a selection changing regularly. Whether it is the fish of the day, a burger, pizza or any of the specials, everything was tasty - not surprising when you know that the owner is also the head chef! Cocktails are excellent, too.

The resort has a very pleasant pool overlooking the sea, and a well-equipped diving center with a camera room. There are two dive boats (a larger, slow one as well as a faster boat for 6-7 divers) both usually heading to the famous Rainbow Reef.


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