Heading off for Australia, I was daunted by the 42 hrs it would take to get from Charleston to our final destination in Sydney.
Thankfully the long flight was not as terrible as I imagined and Anne and I spent a very pleasant 8 hrs in Fiji. There's something so incredibly wonderful about a shower and change of clean clothes after traveling for 30 hrs. After leaving our big luggage at the training center, we got to be tourists for just a little bit.
As with most third world countries that are open for tourism, there's such a stark contrast between the wealthy, touristy sections and the way the locals live.
The islands are beautiful, but most people live in small buildings with old or sometimes dirt roads. Chickens, goats and dogs roam freely. For the first time in a year, I felt like I was back in Africa.
As soon as you get close to the resorts, the roads become new and smooth. The grass is well groomed and you can see that thought has been put into the planning of the landscape.
And let me tell you, it is absolutely, breathtaking beautiful.
Between odd babysitting jobs, writing my book, and packing for my trip, I haven't had much down time and it felt wonderful to breath in the smells of the ocean and relax.
When we got into Sydney later that night, we really wanted to go straight downtown to see all of the buildings aglow for the last night is Vivid, but our rumbling stomachs and tired eyes won the battle and we headed straight to Maroubra where we're staying in Sydney.
The next morning we got to actually see the Maroubra beach in the sunlight before going downtown to view the Opera house and still through the Botanical Gardens.
Later we took a ferry ride to the lovely little town of Manly.
As soon as we got off the ferry, Anne and I were excited to find an Aldi, so we stocked up on snacks and food to eat on the beach.
I did a bit of exploring about and found a cave carved into the rocks by the ocean.