I'm now back in Nadi after having spent a very lazy 12 days on 6 different islands. I arrived in Nadi last Friday evening and had a lovely surprise of having my own room and bathroom!!! My STA travel guy had booked it when I organised my trip but I'd completely forgotten!! It was lovely, but having shared a room with lots of other people for 4 months it was a bit strange!! That night I woke up and had no idea where I was and couldn't find the light switch anywhere! Haha, it took me a while to remember I was even in Fiji!
So, I started the Tropical Awegasm tour last Saturday morning. The 'Yasawa Flyer' (big yellow boat that took us to the different islands) left the port at 8.30am and we arrived at our first island, South Sea, shortly after! It unfortunately wasn't the best start to the trip, about half of the 32 beds in the dorm had bed bugs (so yep, I got eaten, even through leggings and 3 tops!!), the weather was a bit rubbish (had about 2 hours of sunshine over the 2 days, and A LOT of rain!!) and the water on the island wasn't working properly, so toilets didn't flush...it was gross!!!
So yeh, we didn't really enjoy our first island experience, but have had a wicked time since then! Six other people also started the Tropical Awegasm on the same day so have been travelling with them, and we also met another lady on the last few islands. It's been so much fun, we've laughed A LOT. Not really sure what about half the time, but my stomach muscles actually hurt!
After South Sea we got the boat to Kuata. With our trip all our boats, accommodation and food were booked so all we had to do was make sure we were in the right place at the right time!
However, Fijian time is another story! You have to allow about an hour before and an hour after the actual time, so it's a bit of a guessing game! Kuata island was great. When we arrived on Monday we could go on a village visit trip on a nearby island which was really interesting. We got a tiny boat (which was a bit like a tin can!) there. These boats also pick us up from the big yellow boat and take us to the islands. I loved these boat rides, they're always quite rocky and 9 times out of 10 you get wet, but they're great fun! In the evening we played musical statues which Laura and I won! Woo! The evenings on the islands generally didn't go on to late, think the latest we managed was 1am but usually bed time was around 10pm! I mean, we were so busy during the day - laying in hammocks, eating, playing cards, snorkeling, eating, sunbathing and a bit more eating by the evenings we were shattered!! Haha.
On some of the islands the staff put on entertainment during the evening, lots of singing, dancing and fire shows which was all really cool! We were taught the 'Bula dance' which we had to perform at nearly all the islands! One evening we did crab racing, mine made it into the 2nd round but refused to move after that!
The food has been really good on all the islands, eaten way too much as usual but it was too yummy not to! When it's time to eat, an activity is starting or the boat is leaving we are summoned by a drum! But for meal times everyone is usually ready and waiting to be the first in line! As you can tell, our days pretty much revolved around food! If the weather was bad there wasn't that much to do on tiny islands so meal times were a big event!
I did 2 summit walks, one on Kuata which was MUCH harder than the staff let on, and the other on coral view. The views from the top were definitely worth it though! I also got the chance to do a cave snorkeling trip! One of the girls in the group unfortunately wasn't well so she gave me her voucher. Not gonna lie, I was quite terrified, especially when we had to swim under water into a pitch black cave!! But it was very cool. I think my highlight of the 12 days was snorkeling with Manta Rays. I didn't even know what they looked like but soon found out they're not hard to miss!! Some are 5 meters wide!!! Massive!!! It was so much fun, we had a 30 min boat ride to get to the site where they are most regularly spotted and then the driver person of the boat would just shout "jump in" when he saw a one and tell us to "follow the Manta"!! Quite hard work as Mantas swim against the current and it was a very strong current the day we went out. when we'd lost the Manta Rays we'd get hauled into the little boat and jump back out when another one was spotted! It was so cool!!! Another thing that I've loved about the Fiji is the welcome and goodbye songs we get sung by the staff at the islands! It's so cool, I'm determind to buy a CD before i leave Fiji that has my favourite song that they sing on it so i can play it back home!!!
On Sunday morning we went to a Fijian church service where we had to "run, dance, jump and shout with fire"!! (Not literally btw!) It was really funny and who would have thought you'd get so much exercise at church!? Other than that we didn't understand anything as it was all in Fijian but it was a cool experience! My favourite island was Manta Ray, it had a really lovely feel to it. Played volleyball in the afternoon and made bangles out of coconuts the next morning which was so exciting!! The accommodation was also really nice, on most of the islands its been quite basic and smelly lol, but on manta ray they had compost toilets (and you showered under the stars which was so cool!) And they were the cleanest, non-smelly bathrooms out of all the islands! The dorms we've been sleeping in have all been pretty big...the biggest was 120 beds at Beachcomber Island!
Yes 120 beds all in the same room!!! Luckily it wasn't full! Travelling makes you sleep through most things though, at home i remember waking up at any little noise but music can be blaring and i wouldn't know!! Although, i was woken up last night lol, when a mobile phone dropped down on my head from the top bunk!!!! In my dream i was hit on the head with a coconut!!! hahaha and then i realised that my head actually did hurt!! Anyway, back to the weather, think you've all had about as much sunshine as we've had over the past 2 weeks...if not more! Its been a bit mixed, about half the days have been sunny but when its not shining we've just played a lot of cards which has been great!
Tomorrow I'm starting my journey to Labasa which is where I get picked up by the tribe-wanted people. I get a bus to Suva where I'll stay until 4am on Saturday which is when the next bus leaves. Then gotta get a boat and another bus...not quite sure how it's all gonna work but the travel lady assures me I'll arrive in labasa around 4pm on Saturday! Fingers crossed!! I hope you all had a lovely half term! Good luck to everyone doing exams. Loads of love to everyone, can't believe I'll be home in less than 6 weeks! Cannot wait to see you all!!! Xxxxxx