10/29/2007 - 11/11/2007 0 °F
Ahhh! I am so far behind. I've been pretty busy and a lot of places the internet has been kinda shaky. I think I'm out over that now as I'll be in NZ an Australia for the next two months and then SE Asia, where there are internet cafes on every corner. Anyway, this is going to be a really long entry, so be prepared.
Going all the way back to the Yasawas. On October 29, Lee and I took the ferry to our first stop, Tavewa Island in the north of the Yasawa chain. The resort, Coral View was pretty small, and the dorm was full, so we got upgraded to a private bure, which was cool. The staff there was really good. Annie, the receptionist, memorized every guest's name and addressed everybody by name all the time. I met a lot of really cool people there and hopefully will be seeing some of them again further on down the road.
On the 30th, Lee and I decided to try to walk around the whole island with Chris, an English guy in our hut, but got stopped by sheer cliffs coming down to the water, so we wandered inland and were directed back along the beach by some friendly villagers. I went for a dive in the afternoon. It's been awhile since I dove, so I got a little freaked entering the water, but it all came back to me and I was fine. The dive itself was kinda underwhelming. The corals weren't that bright, and the fish we saw were all pretty small. We ended up playing volleyball on the beach that evening, but the weather wasn't great. There was a hat contest that night. Chris ended up winning, but I still insist that was only because he had two girls to walk him down the runway and I only had one.
Chris in the middle with the coconut contraption
Lee, Kari (Norway) and I after the hat contest
On the 31st, we took the ferry to our next stop, Manta Ray Resort on Nanuya Balavu Island. We got there in the afternoon and hung out until dinner. After dinner, we ended up playing some really funny drinking games with a bunch of five Swedish guys travelling together. I also won $20 off them playing poker!
On the 1st, we just hung out on the beach and swam, and then got the ferry to Wayalailai Island on the 2nd. As soon as we got there, we ran into Sara (UK) and Tori (Aus) from Coral View, who were heading up on a hike to the top of Vatuvula, a mountain in the middle of the island from which you can see the whole island chain. It was a pretty intense hike, especially barefoot (I had left my sandals at Coral View and the rest of my stuff was back in Nadi), but definitely worth it. The views from the top were incredible.
Lee, Sara, and I on top of Vatuvula
Village from the top of Vatuvula
Waya Island from the top of Vatuvula
The villagers put on a firedancing show for us that night, which was pretty cool. They closed the bar around 11, but Chris decided to walk to the village to wake up the bartender to see if he could keep serving us because nobody wanted to go to bed. No dice!
On the 3rd we took the ferry over to Octopus Resort on Waya Island. Definitely the most resorty of them all, but the food was good and we ran into some more people we had met earlier in the trip. Hung out on the beach and swam in the pool a lot.
On the 4th Lee and I went back to Nadi and on the 5th we took a local bus south along the coast. The place we stayed that night was really dead and we had an early night, so we decided to head out in the morning. We ended up a little further down the coast at a place called Mango Bay. Brett, the owner wanted to give us all sorts of discounts and upgrade us to a hut if we stayed a few days (the place was empty and obviously hurting) but we were supposed to meet Kari and Erica (Norway) the next day in Pacific Harbour to go diving with sharks, so we didn't do that. Unfortunately, the girls ran out of money and had to cut their trip short so, we ended up staying at Mango Bay for a few days.
On the 7th, we went out on a boat trip to Yanuca Island. We went snorkeling and I saw a sea turtle. The crew spotted a school of skipjack tuna feeding and we went fishing. There were so many of them that as soon as you dropped a lure into the water there was a bite. We landed about 20 of them about 10-15 pounds apiece and had a few for lunch on the island.
Tuna for lunch
Afterwards we went to the village on the island and had a kava ceremony with the chief and hung out there for a while.
Lee makes a friend
The 8th and 9th we hung out at Mango Bay playing sports and swimming. It was a nice relaxing place to stay.
On the 10th, I went back to Nadi with some girls we had met at Mango Bay, Helen (South Africa), Lizzy and Leona (UK). They're all friends from Auckland and offered me a place to stay when I got there. Free rent is always appreciated!
I flew out to Auckland on the 11th. While I was checking in at Nadi Airport, the woman asked for my proof of onward travel from NZ, because NZ immigration would want to see it before giving me a visa. Since I have an e-ticket for my flight to Sydney next month, I didn't have anything on me, so I had to go to an internet cafe in the airport and, since the internet cafe didn't have a printer, I had to email my confirmation to the airline agent, then she printed it out for me before she would let me check in. So of course, NZ immigration never asked to see it!