Fiji days 5-7 in which we met manta rays and got ill.

Day 5

We went back to the big boat after three nights in Nabua Lodge. We were equally sad to leave, as the staff were so nice, and we liked our burre, but happy have a change of scenery.
We had a bit of an ominous start: Tom wasn’t feeling too well, sleeping in a hammock with his hoodie on, and no appetite (never a good sign)

On the boat we tried to book a night in Long Beach, as we’d heard good things about it, but unfortunately it was “fully booked” so we were sent to the Gold Coast Resort. On the ferry we both started to feel worse and worse. My entire body was aching and I felt really weak and shivery and Tom had poorly tum tum.
As we were pulling up to the beach in Gold Coast, everything looked completely run down and derelict, and there was no one in sight. Tom asked if I was okay and I said “yeah, but I think I should have brought my banjo…”
It turned out we were the only guests at the resort, with the oldish couple who ran the place. There was no communal area where we could sit, and it was pissing it down and so windy, with weird manky dogs everywhere. The next 24 hours were spent being violently ill, and there wasn’t a bathroom door, there was a curtain instead. I’ll leave that image for you to dwell on for a moment. HA

Anyway, that was the low point of our time in Fiji and we moved on the following day!

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(This is the only photo I took at Gold Coast and it didn’t come out looking as sinister as it felt!)

Day 6
Still ill, but back on the big boat and very happy to be on the move again. This time we were even allowed to go to Long Beach! When we arrived, there was three other human being guests, and when we asked them, they said it was equally quiet the previous night. So there was definitely some bull shitting going on on the boat, which is frustrating but there’s nothing we could do about it!
Day spent mostly in bed, listening to Sum 41 and groaning whilst clutching our bellies.

Day 7
We were finally both feeling on the mend, which was a relief. It’s hard being ill away from home, and we’d consumed our entire drug supply, so it was a good job it was over! We got on the big boat again and went off to Barefoot Manta island, along with Beth and Spike, who we’d met at Long Beach.
It was sunny! And there were lots of people milling about. There was even happy hour at the bar!!! It was such a nice atmosphere, but very different from the other islands. We later learning that it’s owned by Australians, and you can really see the wealth there compared to the family run Fijian resorts.
We dropped our bags in our burre, and heard someone banging a big drum and yelling “manta! Manta!” We panicked and shoved our swimmers on, and legged it to the dive shop to get signed up to swim with the manta rays. (In the panic, I even forgot my new found snorkel phobia)

After getting kitted up we jumped in the boat that took us to one end of the chanell that dragged us over the manta rays swimming against the current. They were absolutely amazing. About 3 metres wide, and slowly flapping effortlessly below us, almost like they were flying. At first, I was so stunned I forgot to breathe for a bit!
The boat picked us up at the end (there were steps up to the boat thank god, although I still made a tit of myself trying to get up them with my flippers on. – I later realised you were meant to take them off in the water haha!!)
We repeated the operation two more times, so we saw three giant mantas in total. They’re my new favourite animal 🙂
Back to the resort, showered, and ready for happy hour. I was delighted to have a cocktail and watch the sunset. We had tea, got a bit pissed then went to bed. Great day!!

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image(the above is the burre where we slept)

image.image(i couldn’t resist a snap of Tom going to the loo because I was half expecting Indiana Jones to burst out from the undergrowth at any moment.)

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