Yay!!! We are back in North America. We have again been staying with John, Susan and David while we prepare for the next leg of our trip. We plan to leave Wednesday and head south and east. The cell phone decided to stay in Fiji so email will be the only way to contact us.
We will do our best to sum up our week in Fiji as best as we can without boring you all to death.
I would like to start off by saying the islands of Fiji are beautiful with a huge variety of places to stay depending on your budget and intrests. The island people are very warm and friendly. It was great to be greeted with a song at each new destination and then sent away with another song. Bula! (hello in Fijian)
Departed Auckland arriving in Fiji around 4:30 pm.
We were shuttled to our hotel The Club Fiji Resort on the island of Viti Levu, shown our beautiful new digs and immediately hit the beach. We later made our way to the bar for a glass of juice. We were then given an Fiji Island welcome and invited to join in a Kava Ceremony
. It was a great way to get involved with the Fiji culture and meet some of the people.
Today began early with a taxi picking us up at 7:00am to take us to the tour bus that would take us to the Denarau Harbour to meet our ferry/water taxi. It was a beautiful 5 hour cruise up the Yasawa Islands stopping at various resorts and villages to pick people up or drop them off. This was done with small boats shuttling people back and forth from shore to the boat.
We arrived at Coral View Resort on Tavewa Island and greeted on shore by singing staff members. After being checked into our bure
we did some exploring. It was very windy and cloudy. So much so that we got chilled while trying to lounge and read.
Supper was a buffet of curried dishes. The staff entertained after dessert with songs and dance. We retired to our bure for cards and dice.
One note: This part of our adventure was a lot like summer camp. No watches were required. When it was meal time, or an event was scheduled, the staff would beat on drums to signal “something is happening, please join in”.
There is also the issue of “Fiji Time”. Just because something is scheduled to start at a certain time doesn’t mean it will. An event that is to start at 2:00 is just as likely to start at 2:30. Why? Fiji Time!
Today we had signed up for the Sawailau Cave Trip. After a 40 minute boat trip to another island we were led up the side of a hill to an opening in the rock. After entering the low, dark opening into the cave it opens up into a large area of water. After jumping in and swimming about 15 meters the cave opens up and you can see up about 30 meters to an opening where light comes in. Beth made the swim into the next 2 caves where you had to go under water to get to it. The description that follows describes the caves.“The Sawa-i-Lau Caves are limestone caves located on a Fiji Island called Sawa-i-Lau or Sawailau, which is a small island off the southern tip of Yasawa Island. They are famous for being one location for the movie The Blue Lagoon from 1980 with Brooke Shields.
There are three different caves. The main cave has a huge chamber with a deep pool and the highlight of every visit is to swim inside the cave between limestone walls. It is easily accessiblle and there are inscriptions on the wall which have been examined by archaeologists. The second cave is Qara ni Bukete (Pregnancy Cave”),named so because it does not allow any woman who is trying to hide she is pregnant. And finally there is Qara ni Kasivi (Spitting Cave)."
I named the second two caves, “Not Gonna Happen” and “Are You Kidding Me?”
After we returned and had lunch we decided on an intro to scuba lesson. We got all the gear on but just swam around on the surface of the ocean for ½ hour. There were many species of fish and coral to see. It looked just like an aquarium! The only thing missing was the treasure chest that opens and closes.
We have transferred to Korovou Resort on Naviti Island. It is a very nice spot with only 24 guests. It has a pool! The snorkelling here is great. More fish and colours than you can believe, and the water is so clear. The weather has been clear and low 30’s C.
During afternoon tea, the owners’ 2 ½ year old grand daughter gave an impromptu performance of dance and, after supper the “Bula Boys” entertained.
Today we were ferryed to Kuata Natural Resort on Kuata Island. The rooms are very basic and the resort is quite animal friendly. We learned this as during the first night as Mynah Birds built a nest in our ceiling dumping stuff all over the floor and our bed. We changed rooms.
The afternoon adventure was supposed to be “reef snorkelling”. It turned out to be reef snorkelling on steroids. We were boated five miles (30 min) out into a very rough and scary Pacific Ocean (16 foot, 30 hp boat with no seats) where we anchored next to a reef. We jumped into 6 meter deep water to swim with thousands of beautiful tropical fish and sharks. That’s right, sharks. The guys who brought us out in the boats were hand feeding 2 meter long Reef Sharks. It was unbelievable. Sorry but we don’t have an underwater camera to prove any of this.
Today we spent the better part of the day “chilling”. Reading and shading (sunning in the shade). We hiked in the afternoon to the top of a tall hill and were able to view most of the island and a lot of mountain goats.
The evenings entertainment was “fire dancing”. Please see the videos.
What can we say? Another day of sun, sea, sand and warm temperatures.
The morning was spent exploring and playing with crabs. In the afternoon we transferred to Bounty Island for our last evening here in Fiji. We took a sunset walk around the complete island (40 min) and went to bed with our gecko friends guarding the bathroom.
Oct 31 The 48 Hour Day
We boarded the classic sailing schooner “Seaspray
” for a day of sailing and island exploration. Highlights included visiting Modriki which is where the movie “Castaway” was filmed, a visit to a Fiji Village and a wonderful barbeque lunch on the boat.
We then returned to the harbour where we took a taxi to the airport.
Our flight left Nadi Airport at 10:00pm and we arrived in San Francisco at 5:00pm the same day! Cool!
Our south sea island adventure was something we’ll never forget.