28.02.2014 - 16.03.2014 30 °C
For the past two weeks of our trip we have been very indulgent, relaxing on some of Fiji's (and probably the world's) most beautiful, idyllic islands. We've called this, our holiday within a holiday!
As soon as we arrived in Fiji, I felt so chilled out - the place just has an immediate calming effect (despite the rain and overcast sky we were met with). We stayed our first night on the main island Viti Levu in their main town Nadi. The following morning, met with sunshine (yay!) we were collected and taken to Port Denarau for our boat trip to our first island - Waya, home to Octopus Resort. The boat ride took around two and a half hours - luckily I'd taken an anti-sickness tablet because the sea was quite rough, and even Ben felt a little ill! Ah well, as soon as we arrived all seasickness was forgotten - it was just AMAZING. The bluest sea and whitest sandy beach, fantastic coral and the friendliest people. We were taken to our room - a beautiful traditional Fijian bungalow, and then left to our own devices. Hmm... do we snorkel, relax on the beach, order a cocktail or swim in the pool?! Decisions, decisions!
What you can see of the resort from shore - it's set within the lush, tropical gardens of the island. Most of the resorts on each of the islands are set out this way, so as to not ruin or taint the beautiful islands.
Our four nights at Octopus Resort were really lovely. The resort is amazing, with daily activities for those who like to keep busy, and lots of hammocks and sun loungers for those that don't (the latter category includes myself!) Ben took part in a walk to the island's local village, where he met the local schoolchildren and participated in a dancing ceremony (how I wish I'd seen that!) - apparently he impressed so much, he became 'Chief' of the dance tribe!!
I managed to drag myself from a sun lounger long enough to take part in a jewellery making class - well worth the effort as I made a beautiful anklet out of shells. Very proud of my handiwork! And will make a lovely souvenir to take home.
Doing what I do best - sunbathing!
Ben took to the sea to snorkel, but I didn't feel confident enough as the water was so choppy and had very strong undercurrents, which was a shame as Ben said it was even more amazing than The Great Barrier Reef. Luckily, at low tide, some of the coral was exposed so we could go over and see it without having to snorkel. So pretty, and so many colours!
Ben even saved somebody's life who had gone out snorkelling but got into difficulty in the strong currents - very David Hasslehoff-like, he grabbed the guy and swam him to shore. What a hero!
Our last evening at Octopus Resort, we were treated with a complimentary lobster and champagne dinner for two right on the beach. Very romantic. I'd never had lobster before, but was assured I was in for a real treat. Good job I liked it as we both got a whole lobster each!! It was delicious, and a lovely way to finish off our stay. I have to say, the champagne was my favourite part though!
The following day, we were picked up by our large bright yellow boat, The Yasawa Flyer, to make the two and a half hour journey to our next island - Nanuya Lailai, home to Nanuya Island Resort. This time, we both took the anti-sickness tablet, but unfortunately as we were immediately met with rough seas upon boarding, they had no effect whatsoever and we were both VERY unwell - although, without going into too much detail, Ben managed to contain his lobster dinner, whereas mine is now decomposing in the south pacific ocean somewhere. Yuckity yuck. We arrived at Nanuya late afternoon and again - absolutely beautiful. Although there, compared to Octopus, the sea is far calmer and was almost like a lake (albeit a very blue, very pretty lake). The resort was very exclusive, with only a few guests staying there, so some days we felt we had the whole island to ourselves. We had a gorgeous Bure set within the tree tops, with amazing sea and mountain views. Our balcony was a great place for a game of scrabble!!
The beautiful view from our Bure.
Our tree-top Bure.
Our time in Nanuya was mostly spent relaxing on the beach. We also snorkelled here (after I spent a few days convincing myself there weren't any sharks etc), and kayaked around the island - this way I could see the coral and fish without having to go in the water! The food at Nanuya was out of this world too - so perhaps it was best we were only there five nights otherwise I'd have needed an extra seat on the boat back!
Ben chilling out in a hammock after a morning of snorkelling.
So after five nights at Nanuya, we travelled back down the Yasawa's to Drawaqa Island, home to Barefoot Lodge. We stayed here just the two nights, which was actually plenty as compared to our first two resorts it was rather lack-lustre. Our Bure was more dilapidated than traditional, and the food very mediocre in comparison to Octopus and especially Nanuya. We still enjoyed our few days though as our Bure was right on the beach and had fantastic views out to sea.
What more could you want when waking up to this view?!
Our row of 'traditional'/dilapidated Bures at Barefoot Lodge.
The gorgeous beach and crystal clear waters at Barefoot - a lovely redeeming feature!
For our final two nights, we travelled in a small water taxi to Mantaray Island Resort which was just 10 minutes the other side of Drawaqa Island. The resort was much nicer - well maintained with yummy food and a nice room. In fact, the room was lovely - and right on the beach where we had our own reserved sunbeds. We enjoyed our two nights there eating good food and chilling out. Ben also snorkelled and said it was really good. I wanted to snorkel (having conquered my fear!) but the sea was too rough for me to go out, which was a shame. I was happy with my kindle though - setting some sort of record no doubt, I've read 15 books just since we've been in Fiji alone!
We had some fairly bad weather whilst at Mantaray Resort, with strong winds and rain. It was quite scary waking up in the middle of the night thinking our roof or whole Bure was going to blow away! The day we left though the weather had returned to normal, which was a small blessing as I don't think I'd have survived the boat ride back had we been travelling the sea in rough conditions. As it happens, the weather meant we sat on the top deck of the boat where we got to sail past the beautiful islands and experience a gorgeous sunset. No seasickness in sight either!!
Another postcard-perfect photo. Fiji just has the best photo ops.
We've so enjoyed our two weeks island hopping Fiji's Yasawa islands. The Fijian people are without a doubt the friendliest most happy people we've met during our whole trip. Even met with the poverty and simplistic lifestyles they lead, they seem to have no worries and always offer a smile and some friendly words. It puts into perspective the issues we moan and groan about in our economically rich countries, and raises the question - just because we want for nothing, does this make our lives rich?