Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunshine and Hammocks

Bula!!  I just returned from a six day trip to the Yasawa Islands which is an island chain off to the northwest of the Fiji mainland.  So I guess where I left off I had arrived in Nadi unsure if my boat was going to be able to leave in the morning to start the trip I had booked for the Yasawas.  The boat ended up leaving the next day and the weather from the cyclone that hit Fiji a few days before was clearing up but it was still a bit rainy.  I left Nadi in the morning and arrived on the island of Kuata around 10 in the morning.  The island is pretty small but has really cool rock structures like the one in the picture. 
 For my trip I had booked the most inexpensive accomidations I could find, which meant I was staying in dorms with people I didn't know, there was no air conditioning, cold showers only, and electricity was on only some parts of the day.  All of those I pretty much had no problems with so what we did get were meals, a bed, a bug net for our beds, beach time, and lots of hammocks.  There were seven people staying at the resort that night, most of us were in the dorms, I was the only American but everyone spoke English.  It was a ladies night and there were two
Germans, two Dutch, a Canadian, and a Scot.  Everyone was really nice and it was fun to hear about everyones travels.  Each of my accomadations were run by Fijian people.  I found them to be the most hospitible, kind, and happy people I have ever met.  Most have them have never left Fiji, all the people on the islands are part of one large family, they like to sing and laugh.
For my first day on Kuata I was pretty exhausted from my traveling and still sick so I mainly just walked on the beach, went swimming, and laid around in hammocks (to think of it that is what I did most of the week).
After dinner the Fijians did some entertaining.  It was one of their birthdays so we joined them in a Kava drinking ceremony which is a traditional drink made from Kava root.  Drinking Kava is supposed to have a relaxing effect and it sort of has a peppery taste and numbs the tongue when you drink it.  I hear if you drink a lot it can have a hallucinagenic effects but it mainly made me feel relaxed and sleepy.  They also had everyone go around and sing their national anthems, since I was the only American I had to sing alone and I'm just going to say it: I killed it.  I didn't forget any of the lyrics and got a large round of applause when I finished.  I am going to attribute that to all my nights of karaoke in Olympia.  We also learned a dance, played a game, and did the limbo.  The next day I was headed to White Sandy Beach Resort on Naviti Island.  It is a bigger island and further north that Kuata.  I arrived and didn't feel very well.  I was pretty sure I had a fever so I made myself lie in bed all day only getting up for meals.  It was this evening that I started an involuntary weight loss plan: poop out food before I have the chance to digest it - really fun.  It was a pretty miserable day but by the next day I was feeling a lot better.  Here was the only photo I managed that day at sunset.  This is from the dorms that I was staying in.

That day I walked to the other side of the islands to a different beach.  I went with two friends of mine - they were a canadian and a scot both working as teachers in Australia and were in Fiji on holiday.  We took snorkel gear and did a little snorkling.  One of my friends started to feel very sick - I am pretty sure she had caught part of what I had because she was pretty feverish so we soon went back.  That afternoon I also did some snorkeling off the beach we were staying at and it was amazing.  I wish I could have pictures but I don't have an underwater camera.  What was really awesome here were the coral structures.  They were massive!!  I had been waking up early because I was still on American time but it was nice because I would be up for the sunrises.
Before we left one of the guys climbed a coconut tree for us to have a coconut - it was amazing the tree was very tall.

So the next day, Saturday I was headed to my last destination which was Nabua Resort on Nacula Island, I had to say good bye to my friends I had made but was headed to the most beautiful area of the Yasawas.

The water here was just so blue and clear and the weather had gotten really nice.  There were also a lot more people staying at the resort so it was much more lively.  The first day I arrived I didn't do much - just read, swam, laid in hammocks again.  Dinner was amazing with fresh caught fish, eggplant, spinach stuff, it was way more than I could eat.  The Fijians again entertained us with song and dance.  The next day I went snorkeling at the best place in the Yasawa's it is called Blue Lagoon - it was the best snorkeling I have ever done.  I probably saw hundreds of fish and over one hundred different kinds of fish.  The coral was also amazing here as well.  My (scary) highlight was I saw a snake it was about a meter long and it was white and black striped it was very beautiful because it was almost shiny but it scared me.  I asked the boat driver about it and he said it was poisenous!!  I finished snorkeling and got a drink at the bar
The next day I packed up and took a long boad trip back to Nadi.  I had such a good time.  It was nice not to have any contact with computers or any technology.  I got some good reading in - I will probably finish book four of the Harry Potter Series tonight!!   I have more picture and experiences to share but must say good night.  Tomorrow I am headed to New Zealand to start my WWOOFing - I will keep you updated.



Anonymous said...

Those pictures are great! Fiji looks like a beautiful place.

Holly said...

Yay Melody! It sounds so wonderful (despite the rough start). I am going to live vicariously through your pictures and descriptions of hammocks, tropical drinks and walking on the beach. Keep 'em coming! Can't wait to hear about New Zealand..

dom said...

Sounds like an incredible stay! Nice work knowing all the words to the national anthem. We all miss you here in Olympia!

Justin said...

Yay Mel! Sara and I are living vicariously through you. Glad you are feeling better and enjoying the slow pace.

Gretchen said...

nice hat.

Melody said...

Since is has been 3 years since you have returned, your blog is so so full of information, please make me coconut pancakes for Mother's Day or anytime, loved how you lived, you are so brave and adventurous. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Love you lots, Mom and Dad