Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Visitors from New Mexico - Yeah!

Joe and Leah, our long time friends from New Mexico traveled all the way to Fiji to see us - and to play in the water and do some birding - of course!
Joe and Leah relaxing and cooling off!

We had a great visit with lots of time for exploring and catching up.

Beautiful Leah
First thing - we bussed them to the Nadi fruit and vegetable market for supplies (and lots of culture).

Snorkeling the Sand Bar
Then we untied the lines and headed to Musket Cove for some play time.

We even got to put up the sail - so nice to be on the water again even if we weren't going fast!

Love these Blue Starfish
We spent a couple of days enjoying Musket, but the winds were kicking up.

Touring Garden of the Sleeping Giant
So we decided to head back to Denarau and rent a car - road trip!

Our first stop - viewing the beautiful orchids at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.

Over 2000 varieties of orchids - it is amazing to see all of the colors and shapes. Plus, what a beautiful setting.

Love this place - always something new blooming.
Wow - so many beauties

Next to Nadi to tour the Sri Siva Subrahmaniya Swami Temple.

Sri Siva Subrahmaniya Swami Temple
It is said to be the largest and most colorful Hindu temple in the South Pacific - completed in 1994.
Very colorful

We were allowed to enter the temple as long as we were properly dressed - no knees showing and no shoes.

So much to look at
So many colorful paintings and so much symbolism.  Next time - we should have a guide explain it all!

Raintree Lodge - cuties
Then a 3-hour ride to Suva to stay at the Raintree Lodge.

What a great place - wonderful rooms and scenery, good food, and it is right next to the Colo-I-Suva Forest Reserve.

View around our lodge
The cost - about $150 FJ a night for a two story room - perfect!

The Reserve has miles of paths, waterfalls, amazing mahogany trees, plus lots of birds - which is just what we were looking for.

Lilly pond pretties
We had a great time strolling around with our Fijian guide looking for birds.

Sorry I didn't get any pictures - it was pretty soggy (Soggy Suva) when we started our hike.  Oh well!

Grand Pacific Hotel

We also visited the Fiji Museum and a quick tour of the newly renovated Grand Pacific Hotel - it was gorgeous.  Wish it was in my budget!

We also found a great places to eat - Cafe Victoria in downtown Suva, plus the food court in the MH.  Check'em out!

Natadola Bay Golf Course
On our drive back to Moondance, we stopped at the famous Natadola Bay Golf Course.

This is where the Fiji Open is held - it is beautiful - but can be windy!


Back on Moondance, we loaded up and sailed back out to Musket Cove for some more fun.

We hiked, did some birding, snorkeling, and lots of R&R'ing, plus enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Dick's!

Leah relaxing on Honeymoon
Just for fun (and some snorkeling), we took Moondance around to the little island of Honeymoon.

Leah and I relaxed while the guys snorkeled, then we all checked out the tiny beach.

Even scared up an eel - yikes.
Namotu Island

On Joe and Leah's last day, we motored back to Denarau with a quick stop at Namotu Island where the famous Cloudbreak surf break is.  The picture doesn't capture the colors of the water - it was beautiful.

Love that water
Leah and I were just getting in for dip, when the guys mentioned getting stung (Sea Lice). Not for the Girls!

Sad to see Joe and Leah leave, but know that we will see them again soon.

Frogging it
Thanks for coming to visit and for bringing the Sadies Salsa - yum!
Getting ready for company