Tag Archives: South Pacific

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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Fiji time! (Days 1-4)

Hello from New Zealand! I’m trying to catch up from where I left off as the wifi in Fiji was like a month of Sunday’s.

Day 1
We arrived in Fiji having travelled in time over the date line. We set off from Hawaii at 1am, flew for nine hours and then arrived the following day at 9am. I think I just about understand this concept, but if I ask Tom to explain it one more time, I fear he may kill me. So yeah. Time travel.

We spent one night on the mainland, in a really lovely hostel. There were hardly any other guests, so we had a really peaceful time and even had a bathroom to ourselves!

Day 2
The next morning we got a bus to the ferry port, checked in and boarded the boat that takes you to the islands. Onboard we booked our first stop. The port is at the bottom of the islands, so we decided to stay onboard for four hours, right to the top so that we could work our way back down.

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(this guy was guarding the entrance to his island.)

We arrived at our first stop, Nabua Lodge, looking very lobster like. (Tom neck, me thighs) bloody idiots. If everyone didn’t already know we were British, they certainly did now!
(Lesson one learnt in Fiji – you can get sunburnt through cloud.)

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The rest of the day was spent eating mutton curry, wandering down the beach for tea and cake at a ladies’ hut (banana cake) and nursing sunburn. In the evening we met all the other guests, there was around ten of us, and had tea and I drank too much wine because it was my birthday. 🙂

Day 3
Sunshine! Glorious sunshine. Little did we know that it would be one of the few sunny days we had in Fiji. Typical.
I woke up early with the sun, and waited for the Fijians to bang the big drum that signals breakfast. (I quite like this idea, and I may start banging a big drum at home whenever I’m hungry and see if anyone feeds me.)
We booked onto the “Blue Lagoon” snorkelling trip. Having somehow reached the age of 25 and never been snorkelling before, there was a short drowning episode before I got the hang of the flippers and breathing through the mouth. I’ve always learnt by doing haha. Once I’d grasped it, it was absolutely incredible! In the clear water we saw so many fish swarming for the bread the instructor threw in: Bright fish, dull fish, long fish, stubby fish, nemo fish, Dory fish, sinister sting ray fish, and my favourite: bright indigo blue starfish!
It was truly awesome. I wish I had an underwater camera so I could show you. It amazes me that they’re down there, it’s a whole new magical world.

UPDATE
Liked scuba diving so much that we went again in the afternoon and I had a half hour drownathon (water in nose, mouth, throat, feet not working, flailing around etc.) and then decided to give up because I was exhausted. No steps back onto the boat and zero upper body strength so had to be hoisted in like a six foot flapping white beached whale. Oh well, it’s rare that I go a day in life without completely humiliating myself!!

(Lesson two learnt in Fiji – snorkelling is hard)

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Day 4
The day of the cave trip.
We got a boat over to another island (nice and choppy) and went to visit the Limestone Blue Lagoon Caves. We had a brief brief, and then were left to our own devices for a bit. This was bizarre as it was just Tom and I, and two Chinese girls who didn’t speak English. We found a big yellow door. (Lesson three learnt in Fiji – sometimes caves have doors) and then steps down into a big blue pool in the cave. We were alone, and so a bit like “do we swim? Or what!?” So we decided to jump in and swim around a bit. Unfortunately again, I don’t have a photo to show you, but it was stunning! Really deep blue water, and it was so nice to swim in a cave. We’d never be able to do that in the UK. We ducked through a small gap into the next cavern, which was a bit scary. But otherwise, we loved it!
On the return to Nabua Lodge, our water taxi man, David, decided to stop and do some fishing… All very nice in theory, but in reality this meant slowing right down for half an hour in choppy waters whilst we were all trying our best not to be sick. Luckily, he caught a huge fish, so that was a great sight! Needless to say, we were relieved to be back at the resort for our final night before moving on.

Things that have surprised me so far:
-in Nabua Lodge, the electricity is only on for certain times in the day. I found it surprisingly refreshing, but the head torch certainly came in useful.
– in the evenings it felt so dark – there was only one lightbulb in the dining room. It made me realise how many lights we have on at home to comfort us in the winter months!
-the tap water was unsafe to drink, so we filled our water bottles from a huge rainwater barrel. It tasted nice though.
– wifi is only available when the electricity is on (duh) and you have to pay for it, so we didn’t bother. It made me realise how long I spend looking at my phone, wasting hours. I didn’t miss it all. Well, only on my birthday haha!

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(This photo was carefully selected as the one showing the least double chin action after America!

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