leaving at 9am Minh and I have plenty of time to grab breakfast before going on our sailing trip. Minh booked it last minute and at $220 Fijian it isn’t bad value to visit new islands and get lunch, wine and beer included. We end up having to wait a long time for the connecting ferry to Mana where we board seaspray and it is very Fiji time. Not many on the boat just 2 Aussie girls over for a wedding making me think Fiji would be a very cool place to get married however definitely not convenient.
At mana the boat is there so can jump straight on with the usual transfer by small boat first. As soon as we get on it they give us cava although not the nicest and cakes. We sit on the very front of the boat dangling our legs over catching the sun and get the good views of all the islands we pass. They do look all the same a bit been mountains but cool none the less. It is quite rocky out so keep the alcohol mainly until later with just a wine after the cava again not so nice.
Our first stop after a good hour is castaway island Where the Tom Hanks film was done. We are able to snorkel here and it isn’t too bad seeing quite a few fish of various colours. Snorkelling right to the beach where some people who didn’t want to swim are dropped off its a nice but small beach. It’s also weird that one side is like a bath compared to to the one I swim up on, which also has a really strong current as you come up on shore throwing you all over the place and covering you in sand.
Swimming back to the boat trying to go a slightly different route snorkelling, it’s not a bad place to see fish but have heard the diving is better off here. Back on board the lunch is being served and it’s a nice chicken bbq with salad – probably the best salad had for ages along with potato salad which I’ve not had for ages and is one of my favourites.
The next stop is a local Fiji village where we have a KAVA ceremony with the village chiefs, which is their local sacred drink. It looks like muddy water and tastes like mud too it is meant to really relax you and have seen local Fijian after many act stoned almost very delayed with their actions. We all only have one each so no effect apart from making my tongue numb. When we come out there is ladies selling souvenirs like necklaces and charms and sarongs and I buy a nice turtle necklace for $15 (£5) as that is the animal seen most throughout my travels and so graceful in the sea.
After we have a short walk around the village and you can see how impacted it was from the cyclone as the palm trees are all stripped back and looking very sorry for themselves. It’s interesting how the village works with a small town hall where the town meet weekly to discuss any issues or crimes. They have solar panels here and seem quite equipped for being so remote with deliveries sent weekly. There is also a cute little church and school that we don’t have time to see.
After here we jump back on the boat and head to mana which takes about an hour. On the way back I get chatting to a girl from Upminster Lucy having a few beers on the boat making the most of the free stuff. Really nice girl and shame she was heading back to Nadi. Before we get off at mana the crew sing to us all which is typical Fijian and nice as the sun is setting. As we swap to the main ferry we have to wait at mana a little while so get to check it out although where we are seems like just one big resort so don’t get a real feel for it. Overall a cool day and definitely worth doing while in Fiji.
When back at beachcomber we miss the sunset, but have a walk round anyway with a couple of other English guys just here on hol from living in Auckland. They seem good fun lee and Darren and end up hanging out with them most of the night after dinner with another 2 English lads Brandon and victor. It’s funny as realise after couple hours that Brandon was on the same kiwi bus for a short time and at River Valley, so without me knowing have lots of photos of him as I was token photographer that night, so have him doing the under the table challenge and the neck wrestling he did with Harry.
The bar is totally empty tonight despite there being another group of 35 Danish students as they all sleep early and just stay on their phones using the wifi. So Minh suggests doing a bonfire, which we are told we can do so start collecting word and burning material like coconuts. It takes us awhile to get it going and lit using toilet roll as our igniter, to then only have it burning for about 20mins before we are told we have to put it out as too windy. All feel pretty gutted after working so hard for it, but all cool and we just head to a different spot trying to find the turtles on the way they breed for conversation. however the cage is pretty small and doesn’t look look great but who is to judge hopefully it is helping.
The stars are out in force so we all just chill on the beach watching the stars, making cloud shapes and drinking rum. We spend time on the hammocks too that are actually quite comfortable once you get hang of it It ends up being a later night heading back about 2ish ready for the boat in the morning.
17th May 2016