A coach pulled up outside our resort, so I jumped on, about half an hour later later we arrived at the harbor, where this massive yellow boat stood shimmering in the early morning sun, the heat was amazing….. well that was until we actually got out on the open water and the wind picked up….but still it was hot enough for me to get my first coat of a tan!!
Coasting across the somewhat rough-ish sea, the blues and greens very prominent, cruising past blobs of land in the sea, white beachy shores reflecting the sun of them…..amazing place, you have seen Castaway with Tom Hanks right? well this is exactly what these islands where like, just hidden in the trees where the places to stay, I continued up north to the furthest place and got off the boat, oh my amazing resort lay awaiting me, picturesque building, beautiful pools and my own gorgeous room, I trekked across to the other side of the island, oh my paradise stood there, made of wood, oh yes there was no beautiful concrete building, oozing character, what was looking back at me was, wooden made huts, but you know I liked it, there was something quite quaintly pleasant about it, I really felt I was absorbing in to a different culture, gorgeous!!
We were greeted by an amazing array of food and a welcome song……I grabbed a bottle of water, to replace all the liquid I had lost and instantly relaxed! What was so amazing about the place was how basic it was, this is not sarcasm, the showers where only heated by the days sun, the electricity was switched of on all the islands at about eleven at night. The first night I lay in my own personal hammock, gently swaying in the wind listening to the waves gently kissing the shore and looked out towards the horizon, so many stars littered the sky like a thick black sheet had been chucked over the earth and the only lights where from holes made by a pin! Shooting stars flew across the sky and here was me, listening to my ipod witnessing a great show! I fell asleep in the hammock and woke at 2 and thought I best get to bed.
The silence of the morning was broken by the clatter of a pan, our wake up call to say breakfast was ready, fresh fruit and fruit juice was to be out morning breakfast and dam it was nice! Healthy too….makes a change from McDonald’s and my master pieces I created myself.
This day consisted of a trip to the caves, again expecting a nice boat to come and pick us up for a 40min boat trip to the sacred caves, to be invited on a dented bathtub with a motor, a dented boat, what is it with me and dented things, first the shark cage and now the boat I was on, someone trying to tell me something? Again not what I expected but good all the same, I sat at the back only cm’s from the waters surface, now before I went people said don’t bother taking anything just wear your “speedos” (not the budgie smuggler type either) I followed the advice, I am so glad I did, we set off from the shore and about 30 seconds, a wave leaped over the front of the boat missing everyone, that is everyone bar me, I was drenched, this was 30seconds in to the trip and I already probably could have swam to the caves myself and have been drier!
This wasn’t the only thing that happened, three quarters of the way to the caves and the engine cut out…..oh yes, now you see this was cause for concern, the birds started circling high above our heads, our lips began to crack from a lack of water, people eyes began to glaze, around the boat the odd fin scratched the surface of the water, yes there are sharks around fiji too, tiger sharks!!! Okay so I may be exaggerating a little bit, okay a lot, there where no fins, but there was birds above our heads, menacing rocks meters from our boat, we where at the mercy of the sea, 5 mins passed, the futile attempts to start the engine again did not work, 15mins passed…..we where doomed, we could swim for shore, but there where sharks, my lips where cracking, but only because the amount of sea water that hit me and the sun was drying it and then the chug of another engine split the silence….another boat arrived, they tied us to theres and took us the remaining distance to the caves. Thankfully !
The caves where superb, we climbed up some steps, worn down by time and people to a huge chasm, the water was calm in the caves and so clear, so we jumped in, it was deep too!! we listened to the story of the caves and why they where sacred and where tribes hid when attacked, we then moved to another cave, to get to them we had to swim under water for a short while, a torch being our only guide, the next cave was pitch black, so dark that you couldn’t actually see your hand, there was no where to stand and you had to cling on to what you hoped was a rock, we heard a story as about the cave, aptly named the spitting chimney I think, sounds gross but let me explain, when a tribe was being attacked on they where hiding a look out would spit in the chimney like opening of the cave, when the spit hit the water, the noise ripped through the caves and tunnels, you could slap the water and you would not have such an effect and honestly it was loud!
Guided by our torch we climbed up through a labyrinth of dark tunnels and caves, to the pregnancy chest, named this because, if you where pregnant and didn’t tell, the gap would not let you through, but according to legend as soon as you admitted it the gap would get bigger and you could get through, of course I am not pregnant so I squeezed through, I maybe should have one or too less pies though!! We jumped back in the pool we started in, and left the caves, to the welcoming sound of our engine working on our floating bath tub!!! One thing though I remembered not to sit at the back and the return journey was lovely and dry!! ha ha!!
Oh the day got better, when I returned to the island from whence I came, but on the other side, in baking heat, with no t-shirt or thongs (flip-flops) now I am not a local so my feet aren’t really made for fire walking, which is exactly what it felt like, hopping and skipping across to the other side of the island, not on purpose either!!! Jeez my feet burnt, you could smell them cooking….trying to find a bit of shade to allow them to cool a little before hopping and a skipping across more hot baking ground, walking past one or two locals, as cool as you like bear footed, and I’m there trying to look cool!! ha ha!!