Flying High…

June 19, 2016

We started the last day of our trip with a 3 hour jet-ski tour in the morning. Having never been on a jet-ski for more than 30 minutes at a stretch, we were certainly excited about the opportunity to jet-ski for almost 2+ hours (remainder time reserved for snorkeling). After breakfast at our hotel, we made our way to the Sheraton Resort for the tour. As we walked over to the resort, we noticed the dark clouds and started to wonder if the tour would be canceled. To our surprise, it was not, despite the rough seas and the weather conditions. Our instructor and tour guide provided us a little more detail about the trip (location, duration, etc.) and we were on our way to a nearby island. Now, Akshita and I like to think that we are are pretty adventurous but this jet-ski tour was something else. We had never been in waters this choppy and a tour of this nature would never be allowed in the US in such conditions. Regardless, this is Fiji and we were soon following our guide and “cruising” at speeds of 50-60 miles/hour. We had to stop on couple occasions because of the choppy waters but enjoyed the whole experience nonetheless. I even had to borrow glasses from our guide as I was barely able to see in the rough conditions.

We finally reached the shores of the island and gathered our gear for snorkeling. As we were about to jump in the water, our guide instructed us to stay on the jet-skis as the water was too choppy for snorkeling. He told us about another location that could potentially have calmer waters and we were soon on our way. Once at the new location, we put on our snorkeling gear and jumped into the water. The water was still pretty choppy but certainly better than the previous location. Unfortunately, the snorkeling itself wasn’t comparable to the snorkeling we did in the Mamanuca Islands. The water wasn’t as clear due to the weather and we were therefore unable to see much marine life. We told our instructor about the starfish we had seen in the Mamanuca Islands and he was kind enough to dive about 20 feet to the sea floor and find a starfish for us. That certainly was one of the highlights of our jet-skiing tour.

After a fun-filled 3 hours we were back on Denarau Island and made our way to the room. We quickly showered, packed our bags, and walked over to the front desk area for our next activity of the day. While relaxing at the resort yesterday, we had the great idea of signing up for skydiving. After a lot of discussion, we decided what better location than Fiji for an experience of a lifetime. We were both quite nervous as we waited for the tour company to pick us up. Thousands of thoughts were going through our mind – what will it be like to jump from a plane?, are we stupid for doing this?, will we survive?? Akshita even recommended that we record “our last” video in case we didn’t make it haha. Guess what? We actually recorded one and it is still funny to go back and watch the video.

Once at “Skydiving Fiji”, we signed several waiver forms and met our tandem instructors. Both our instructors were European and essentially travel around the world for skydiving jobs (typically signing a 6 month contract in each city/country). This was jump number 4760 for Akshita’s instructor. Sounds ridiculously high right? Our instructors actually told us that they were jumping on average 5-6 times a day here in Fiji. You do the Math – even 4 times a week for 6 months (assuming a 6 month contract in Fiji) amounts to about 500 jumps. After harnessing us, the instructors went over the instructions and we drove over to a small airport nearby. Next thing you know, we were all cramped up in a small plane and about to take off. We witnessed the beautiful Mamanuca Islands in the distance as we gained elevation and made our way to almost 10,000 feet. My instructor tapped my shoulder and asked if I was ready to jump (as if I had a choice at that point). The moment when he opened the door and I looked down was still the most surreal part of the whole experience. There I was just hanging from the plane harnessed to my instructor who was sitting on the edge of the plane. What I felt for the next few seconds cannot be put into words. The free fall was amazing and definitely the most adrenaline-filled activity I had ever done. After safely landing on the ground, we were both ready to do it another time lol.

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With the local kids

We were greeted by a bunch of local kids at the landing spot who were fascinated by the parachute. After talking to them for a bit, we headed back to the hotel and spent the next few hours by the pool before heading to the airport for our flight back to Los Angeles. We weren’t ready to go back home but all vacations must come to an end. We are very happy with the decision to spend our honeymoon in New Zealand and Fiji and wouldn’t have done it any other way. Until next time, Vinaka and see you soon on our next adventure.

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