So after a fantastic time in new Zealand, we spent the last week sleeping on a yacht in Mapua bay whilst doing some volunteer work. The morning commute to work was across the estuary on a little yellow boat, couldn't complain about rush hour but were sometimes affected by tides. I loce life like ratty and moley. We said goodbye to NZ and Bula to a warm, moist Fiji!!
The first few night we spent couch surfing close to nadi airport whilst waiting for miss Ali ninja Rhoades to join us. On our first night we were welcomed to the family with a kava ceremony. So kava, as we had been warned, is the root of a peppermint and when mixed with water looks like muddy water. It has an interesting taste and we were not allowed to leave until the kava bowl had been finished. "Low tide" Anna kept saying when it was her turn for a drink again. Strict rules when drinking kava, one clap before you drink, gulp the drink down, and then three claps when you return the kava cup. Serious trouble if not obeyed!!
We explored the town of Lotueka, taken to one of the girls we were staying withs aunts house where we had lunch sat on the floor Fiji style. When Ali arrived we booked our tour of the islands and headed on to explore Nadi. So now travelling with a girl who has dreds means that we were offered a lot of weed and they kept trying to sell Ali bongs in the market.
The islands were very relaxed, Fiji time!! When told that something will happen at 7, Fiji time means it could take place between 6-8! The time of day was dictated by the three meals we were given and the daily rain showers in the afternoon/evening. Not bad at all considering it is the rainy season, man it is hot most days! Sweat-tastic.
In Mana we were staying at a backpackers within a village. We got to look round the school, play with the kids and snorkel. We saw our first White tipped reef shark eek exciting!!! Anna claims to have seen a turtle,hnm might be a bit jealous of this. Anna within an hour of being on the island found a coconut, tricky to open with a pen knife machetes are much better, had most of the milk stolen by a little Fijian kid and then injured said kid whilst trying to cut the coconut flesh out. Lesson learnt- sharing is not caring!!
Kuata island was our next stop where we saw more White tipped reef sharks and a black tipped reef shark! We went on a snorkel trip where they attracted the sharks with bait and then grabbed the sharks a couple of times to bring them nearer to the surface. The three of us were unsure of how we felt about this but it was cool to see the sharks. Anna had an interesting scramble/how long will it take to swim round the whole island when wondering whats round the next corner.
The food is interesting, lots of carbs how many can we eat in one meal, rice is a very popular dish. No shops on the islands, the supermarket is the ocean! Anna is loving all the fish, I am less keen and Ali quickly decided that she did eat fish as the other vegetarian option is lots of egg. Papaya and banana were also the fruit of choice for mana so we were very excited to get to Kuata and have some pineapple and melon. Evening entertainment included Bula dancing by the Bula boys, fire dancing which was awesome, and how stupid can we make the tourists look by making them dance. Wayalalia villagers also came across by boat and performed Fijian songs and dancing for us which was brilliant. Ali had her first kava ceremony,hmm more muddy water!
Naviti island was equally relaxed. Had a fijian language lesson and Ali's dreds got us the rude words Fijian lesson later. More let's make the tourists do silly dancing entertainment. Saw more sharks, still awesome to see though. Anna and I went spear fishing, luckily we were not relying on this for food because we only managed to spear coral. Turns out spear fishing is really hard, although we didn't manage to spear ourselves or the two local guys so we were pretty happy :-)
Nabua island - yup more Fiji time, snorkelling, a fun trip to some caves and more Bula dancing, very much pros now. Best fijian cake lady on the islands for mid afternoon snacks. Back to the main land and time for SHARK DIVING........will we all survive????
Hope this is a better length for you Rick and thanks for all the treats you sent with Ali :)