Coralview Island Resort - Day 281-283
Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
254Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Nadi to Tavewa, Yasawa Islands (Coral View Resort)
A three and half boat journey this morning to the first destination on my island hopping itinerary, Tavewa in the Yasawas group. On the way to Tavewa the boat cut through the Mamanucas chain passing tiny little sandy paradises. Some of the islands are only a couple of hundred metres long with a few rustic huts and a couple of dozen coconut palms for shade. Certainly some of the most picture perfect tropical islands I've seen on my travels. Had a cig on the back of the boat and a brief chat with one of the boat workers. He told me that we're on the fastest catamaran in Fiji, faster than the coast guard apparently. I can believe it, it's a quick beast as we skim across the turquoise waters of the pacific.
Arrived on the Tavewa to a group of traditionally dressed Fijian's singing and shouting "Bula" or "Hello/Welcome". The island is a tiny 3km long tropical paradise. Staying here for two days but I'll probably be completely bored before it's time to leave. I'd love to be able to relax and do nothing but it's not in my nature. Not a lot to do in Fiji except lay in a hammock tied to a couple of palm trees by the beach. I know this sounds like heaven, but it may just drive me a little crazy after a few days. Maybe my last two weeks of travel this year could have been better spend in New Zealand tramping. We'll see how it goes, too late now anyway, I'm here so I better make the most of it.
This evening's entertainment after a good feed was crab racing. The 20 crabs were auctioned off with the three top placing crabs winning their owners the prize fund. A circle was drawn in the sand, the crabs released and a lot of excited crab owners willed their crustaceans to the finishing line. Very funny!
Talked to one of the locals this evening about life on the island and how it's changed since tourists flooded onto their little patch of paradise. From what he said it seemed like a positive change from a financial perspective but all these tourists coming to their little island must have a negative affect on the culture and environment.
Day 282 - 01/12/08
Tavewa, Yasawa Islands (Coral View Resort)
This morning I visited a cave a system on a neighbouring island. It was only a 40 minute ride in a small boat to the fresh water filled caves. When we arrived, the first thing we did was jump in for a swim to explore the caves. The water is many metres deep in places and some of the locals began climbing the slippery walls of the cave to jump in from a great height. Very alpha male behaviour ensued with guys climbing higher to impress the lady's swimming down below. I didn't take part, I just observed the caveman behaviour, pardon the pun. Returned to the resort, had some lunch and spend the afternoon in a hammock tied to two palm trees. I actually managed to relax and listen to some music without feeling the urge to do something. Talked to a really cool German couple for a while and then it was time to shower and get ready for dinner.
A drum is beaten to signify events on the island, meals, activities, etc. so at 7pm when the drum is beaten, it means dinner-time. Another excellent meal and plenty of it too, defiantly won't go hungry here. More silly games tonight after eating. All the guys had to take their shirts off for a hairy chest contest. The hairiest bloke winning a drink. Thought I was a dead cert with my gorilla like rug, but I was beaten by an even hairier Spaniard. Slightly gutted to be honest! The girl doing the judging said I was defiantly the second hairiest, but there're no prizes for second, this is life :o)
Day 283 - 02/12/08
Tavewa, Yasawa Islands (Coral View Resort) to the Wanna Taka boat
After lazing around in a hammock for a few hours this morning I decided to have a bit of a walk around the island. Followed a track through a forest of palms to the other side of the island. The beach here is far more beautiful than the beach at the resort, but the place is totally deserted and it's only a 20 minute walk away. Returned back to the resort after an hour or so to wait for a boat to take me to my next destination. As usual I retreated to a hammock until it was time for me to leave the very pleasant Coral View resort. Said my goodbyes and jumped into a very simple open boat with a gigantic engine and bounced in a bone crunching fashion to the waiting Catamaran which whisked me to the Wanna Taka cruise boat (A.K.A Party Boat). I'm staying on the "Party Boat" tonight before heading to another island further south tomorrow.
Boarded the Wanna Taka which a big lime green coloured cruiser. A dozen of us are staying on the boat tonight and they seem like a fun bunch so we should have a good laugh later. After settling in we cruised to a nearby island to visit a traditional Fijian village called Soso. We brought an offering of Kava root and gave it to the chief in a special ceremony. Kava is a potent grog which is interweaved within Fijian society and at some point I'll get a chance to give it a try I'm sure. We walked around the village, visited the school and Methodist church and went to the village square to watch a Fijian dance. As with all native dances I've seen on my travels, at some point the silly tourists are asked to join-in at some point. So we joined the guys with the grass skirts for a dance. The local kids found it hilarious, it was good fun.
Back to the boat for more crab racing which appears to be a national sport in Fiji. Then the tone of the evening was significantly reduced with a variety of dirty drinking games and challenges with photographic evidence existing on someone's camera. So glad I'm not on Facebook!