Fiji Time III – Robinson Crusoe Party

Trip Start Nov 01, 2010
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42
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Trip End Nov 01, 2011


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Where I stayed
Robinson Crusoe Resort
What I did
snorkel

Flag of Fiji  ,
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

After spending 2 nights in Nadi Bay Resort, we managed to get our washing all sorted out, Fill a bag, $9 washed and dried, does. Ran into 2 old friends at the bar, Moss and James, still drinking strong, 2 weeks later, animals. They were for Australia the next day, they done well to get them tickets signed, a holiday for the 2 of them away from the wives for a month. Looking forward to re-uniting with them in San Fran @ James' bar, Foleys, which is right beside our hostel. Managed to get highlights from the champions league games which was excellent, United very lucky to get a draw and Tevez refusing to come on for Man City, Fergie must have something in that lad alright. We skyped the bit out home, checked BBC NI news to find the new headline from back home, 'Bangor farmer angered as Rhianna runs about his field half naked' – Only in Norn Iron, we are really missing home now. Headline and news and craic caught up, it was time to check out, 830am after breakfast by Robinson Crusoe’s own shuttle bus. We were the only 2 people on it ? We were a bit apprehensive about the resort. Basically, we live by trip advisor, it’s reviews were excellent, however they continued to state it was a 2 or 3 star resort, but it was a real cultural experience with great local entertainment. The resorts we had stayed on in the Yasawa islands were top drawer and we now wished we had have done Robinson Crusoe first and then the nice Blue Lagoon and Octopus after. A member of staff was on board the bus, Keith, a Fijian, nice guy, and worked for a diving company, and was posted as instructor on Robinson Crusoe for the next 7 nights. At one point our Indian driver, along our half hour journey started to twitch as though he was having a fit, then the bus slowed and started to aim for ditch, we were shitting ourselves, but then he recovered and ignored it ever happened, dodge.


Deserted

We drove north, to a small field by the river, where we awaited the small speed boat to collect us. Whilst waiting another shuttle bus turned up, packed, sweet! About 20 people, mostly families got off and appeared to have no luggage? They explained they were her for the day visit to the island ? We thought, ok, so who all is bloody staying in this place? Whilst on the 30 minute boat journey, a resort manager, Francis informed us that ourselves and 2 other guests would be staying on the island ???? Eh? Do people know something we don’t? At that point, we had our doubts, in fact I’d considering moving LA flight forward that morning as I thought we were beached out. Anyway, we arrived to the usual welcome song from the locals, which is always a nice though. As we approached the island, we could see how tiny it was and thought it looked liked a cracker spot. They explained you could walk a lap of the island in 20 minutes. We already knew that to shower yourself you needed to use buckets of water and that the electricity went out at midnight. We’d booked a Bure (thatched little private house) which meant shared shower/bathroom facilities, no bother, sure there was bloody only 4 guests. Arrived into reception, place looked pretty cool actually, nice beach. We’d booked the cultural experience package, 4 nights for the price of 3. We thought, we might take a nosy at the upgraded room, the lodge. She showed us the Bure first, and we thought it was really nice and actually better than the Bures we had stayed in on the Yasawa’s, but sure lets look at the lodge for the craic, which was funnily enough was a available. After seeing it, that was that, how much to upgrade, $FJ39 extra per night (10 quid), be rude not to, ok where do we sign. Seriously, what is going on with the marketing of this island resort, this was 5 star accommodation. Our Lodge is near the size of our Sydney apartment FFS. No showering with buckets required, our bathroom was that of a 5 star hotel. We were proper chuffed. The island was so narrow that out our front window we were 15ft away from the shore, and 50ft the other side. Pretty happy now we hadn’t moved America trip forward. When there is a flipping coconut tree in your front garden you know it’s a good thing.

All the food which was included in the package was buffet style. Lunch was unreal. The day trip people then left about 430, and it was then it felt like we were on a proper desert island living like Robinson Crusoe. There were about 10 staff left, cooks, bar lady and some carpenters. Got speaking to the owner of the resort and island, Wayne, an English bloke who said our Lodge was brand new, it looked it too. I said how come this place is such a secret, he said it’s not supposed to be but can’t seem to get agents to advise it. There was another couple and 2 English girls staying as guests, that was it, all 6 of us. Beside the island there were about 10 yachts anchored and they would come over and eat etc. (they were known here as 'Yachties’’) I decided to head for a walk around the island, and they were right, 20 minutes, full lap, had to laugh at that. Place had sand crabs everywhere (no, none of which had numbers on them), some were massive, and they’d scamper away as soon as they seen me, thankfully. The island had no reef but every morning they ran a boat snorkel trip out to the reef. In the distance all we could were sand bars and could see huge waves in the distance which looked really weird.

Maverick and Ice-Man

That evening myself and Caoimhe joined in with the locals and Yachties for a game of volleyball, top gun style….then it was time for a well needed shower minus the buckets J

At dinner, (Beef Stew), few wines at the bar, watching on as the 2 bikini English girls (here 2 weeks now) had all the local lads following them like lost puppies. At what point they were serenading them with guitars whilst the girls sang (thinking they were on X Factor) and it was hilarious to watch. They both sounded like Vera Duckworth.

Who turned the lights out?

We then watched the South Africa V Samoa game with the locals, and we knew then it was possible to watch the Ireland V Italy game 2 days later. Some South African sailors joined us, who were sailing around the world for a few years now. Conversation popped up with an older South African/Czechoslovakian (with majaffis boat) and his wife as to what he does for a job – An atomic phycisicit, what a conversation killer haha. He worked for various governments building something I can’t even pronounce, whereby countries would throw 100 and 200 million at the project, hence the boat. If I only had of listened to Mr.Cromie at school more during physics. Hit the hay earlier, after configuring the mosquito net. The weather was soaring hot that day and we were dog tired. At midnight, the generator stopped, electricity off, fan off, oh fck. It wasn’t too bad though, and there was a huge blinding torch left for us if we needed it, plus we had our own from our campervan days in NZ (which seems like a distant memory already). Have to say, when I looked out the window in the middle of the night, it was pure darkness, and for a while Il be honest, I was freaking out, staying out in the country in Caoimhe’s home in Burren freaks me out, with cows everywhere (I reckon cows are evil to be honest, the moo’ing is traumatic). Then we both heard a lot of tapping on our lodge, then it stopped, then we were fast asleep, I woke up to happily see sunlight and the fan/elec going again. Breakfast, Snorkeling, day trip people and a night of fire throwing entertainment lay ahead on a very busy Saturday for the resort. We still found it odd as to why people don’t stay here. The eeriness in the middle of the night with loud jungle mating sounds perhaps?

One morning we woke up, made the bed and then I jumped into the shower. Then all of a sudden I heard Caoimhe scream the place down, I lept out convinced someone had broken in. Someone had let themselves in, the biggest spider we have ever seen in our lives. Caoimhe looked to have had a minor heart attack, she was panting like mad. It then scurried under the bed. Great, there is a spider the size of a chawawa under our bed. It had more hair than a chawawa anyway. We were freaking out, I wasn't the biggest fan of spiders. We had to get the cleaning lady to come, lift the bed up and spray it out. I helped her, and when she sprayed it, it lept out in my direction, I dropped the bed and near fainted haha - Finally we got the monster out, she even said it the biggest she had ever seen and she worked on the island. I tipped her well and then we could get on with our lives again. 
 
Mutant Ninja Turtles

About 80 people had arrived on the island around noon for the day for the activities (snorkeling, turtle viewing, scuba diving) and for the fire show in the evening. We decided we’d check out the turtle viewing, which as it turns out was out the back of our lodge. About 20 of us gathered around, looking out to sea, no turtles? Then one of the local leaders led us to the bushes, where there was a giant turtle shell, which was moving about. He gave us the whole spiel about how it lived there, and then after about 5 minutes, the shell jumped right out of the ground giving everyone a fright, sure there was a giant whole dug and 3 wee Dutch Yachtie kids were in the hole the whole time. It was a good laugh.

We got talking to quite a few of the guests and Yachties and swam about the pool, which had a tunnel into another pool. Caoimhe swam under water through the tunnel, mission accomplished, there was no holding back Scuba Weev after that. 

Lovo

We all had some nice Lovo diner, cooked under the ground on hot coal, just like in NZ, enough to feed all 100 of us. During the presentation, some of the locals walked over the hot coal. Some new guests had arrived, a French lad Ben, living on the island of New Caledonia (French speaking, handy) was a good spud and had the 40 bed dorm to himself. After a good feed, the spectacular show started. Tribal dancing, music, fire throwing, it was all happening. We’d seen similar stuff in the Yasawa islands and Thai islands, but this was on a far bigger more organized scale. At 1 point they were throwing fire sticks over the roof and someone was catching it on the other side. Near had the eye brows singed on various occasions.

Over dinner, we were sat with the South African Yachtie, sound lad, still don’t know his name, the atomic phycisicit, that will do. He was sailing with his ‘cousin’ , a red head from his native country of Czechoslovakia. OK, they pretty much couldn’t keep their hands of each other so I am not sure what the deal was there. Anyways, sound couple/cousins, and he offered to collect us in his dingy the next morning and we could come on board his yacht. Sweet!

The fire show was unbelievable! Very talented people getting paid buttons! Some of the lads I knew from beach volleyball, I thought they just carpenters building and renovating new Bures and Lodges.

A few wines (an emerging pattern) and it was good night Irene.

1981 was a fine year

Mr. South Africa – how does a 9am pick up sound – Jesus! Ok thanks that will do. Had our island breakfast, picked up on time, whilst red head was having a massage. All 4 of us went out to their very impressive yacht, the best amongst the others parked up by Robinson Crusoe. He built the boat HIMSELF FFS (mechanical engineer), impressive. It was huge, and under deck was very luxurious. We’d never been on a private boat before. They made us some South African tea and we had a chat, red head’s English wasn’t great, nor was her hairy armpits and legs lol We chatted all morning and then it was offski, a nice (birthday) morning. (Just turned 30– missing everybody at home, but it’s ok Caoimhe had something memorable up her sleeve) Afterwards, we headed snorkeling, had to be quick onto the boat as 168 day trippers had arrived on the island, great. We sailed out to the reef and went for a snorkel. The reef wasn’t great, not nearly as colorful as Blue Lagoon or Octopus however there was a first for me. About 10 minutes in I was looking down and in the corner of my eye I seen a giant fish, and as soon I seen it’s head I realized it was a fckin SHARK. A reef shark at that but still can be quite dangerous. Scared the schnizzle out of me, grabbed Caoimhe’s hand and power swam to the main group, I didn’t want us to be picked off at the back.

Back to buffet lunch, rice, pasta, fish, nice. Place was packed, biggest crowd since we arrived. There was about 220 or so surrounding the main stage for the afternoon dancing. We really were getting our money’s worth having seen a similar show the night before. About half an hour into the amazing show in the roaring sun, there was complete silence. Then the lead dancer girl made an announcement, (it dawned on me Caoimhe had been up to something all morning) – we have a special birthday guest with us – Please come up Brian (I could have died on the spot with heart failure. Caoimhe and the other 219 people were in stitches, cheering and roaring. She made me sit on a seat in the middle of them as 3 ladies performed a tribal dance for my birthday. I can’t fully put in words how I felt (Caoimhe ye rascal) – it felt like I was in an outdoor strip club (without the stripping) being watched by hundreds of people, awkward as fck. Half way through the song, which felt like an eternity she reached out for my hand – someone shoot me now, put me out of my misery.

They then made me copy the dance routine, when I say copy, them girls were moving like Shakira whilst I was moving like Stephen Hawkins. I wanted it to end but thought I’d better give it a rattle. Caoimhe took a 5 minute video, one that will stay hidden for a long, long time.

Caoimhe’s next surprise, an hour long beach massage. Flip, I was having a great day. Afterwards we had dinner (indian style) with the guests and Yachties. 4 new guests had joined us on the island ( another frenchy for Ben to pal up with and 2 American girls, whilst  the 2 english bikini girls departed much to the despair of their Fijian boyfriends). After dinner myself and Caoimhe parked ourselves beside the island TV, awaiting the big game, Ireland V Italy. We were even practicing the anthem FFS. Then some Fijian show started…..ok what’s going on here. Seemingly the TV only had 1 channel and chose only to show games with teams from Fiji’s group. Ah balls. Ah well we then just mingled with  everyone, about 30 of us left. It was welcome ceremony time, which meant only 1 thing, Cava. We all sat round in a circle, drank some Cava, different measures were given Low Tide, Medium Tide, High Tide and Tsunami. Caoimhe was nominated chief and I was spokesman and the Cava was blessed. Each time I was given a tsunami of plant narcotic fuel. Tongue completely numb. Then out of nowhere Caoimhe comes out with a birthday cake with candles lit, with 4 local lads with guitars singing happy birthday. This was a lot less embarrassing than events from the afternoon in the bloody coliseum ( at least there were only 30 people). A nice touch, which made me wonder how on earth they managed to get a cake for me on a desert island. One of the cooks, who helped make it then made me close my eyes and open my mouth whilst she fed me a piece. Half way in she just smothered my face in cake, a ‘local birthday tradition’ seemingly. Afterwards we all played island games which were brilliant craic, considering we were all half cut and baked on Cava. Statue themed dancing and some mental game of running around the island then back to the ‘dance floor’/beach. Sat up, some more wine and some MORE CAVA. BEDTIME. What a day of madness, a great birthday.

Monday – Lazy Day

The next day, the place was scarce, even less staff and no day trippers. Monday is the day were the islanders take it off and head back to the mainland. We decided to go kayaking and knock about the pool, totally chilled out, nursing a bit of a birthday hangover. The weather continued to be it’s normal sunny 35 degree weather. I fell out of the kayak, smashed my face of the side, splitting my sunglasses in 2, there goes pair no.23 since leaving home. Whilst Caoimhe was making jewelry from coconut shells I was playing some more volleyball with the locals. Serious sweat going on whilst them lads are running about in work boots!

Our last day on the other side of the world

Woke up the next morning at 630 to the sound of 2 geckos having a fight, right above my head. Today is our last day in the Southern Hemisphere where we have spent over 11 months, living amongst the giant spiders, saltwater crocs, snakes and vampire mosquitos - USA and heading home will be welcomed for some normality, where I don’t have to spray a half tin of Rio insect repellent on me and half choke to death. In saying that Robinson Crusoe bite count is still at zero. We’ll forgive the geckos, they sort out the mosquito problem.

* We learnt a lot about the Fijian history & culture whilst visiting the islands. Years ago they were all cannibals, and would happily eat each other. That was until the missionaries arrived and converted them to the various faiths. 
 
We managed to get a late check out/boat from Crusoe @ 430pm as our flight to LA isn’t until 10pm, excellent. I couldn’t see hanging around Nadi airport for 12 hours being a very pleasant experience. It’s a 10 hour flight, the last big 1, thank Christ, hopefully there is some decent movies on the Air Pacific flight, the same airline had engine problems and useless entertainment from NZ to Fiji. We leave at 10pm, the flight lasts 10 hours and we arrive at 1pm in the same day, talk about playing about with your mind, we go back in time about 19 hours, so the first time we will be behind Ireland, oh Jesus this is going to take some explaining to Mum about Skype call times.

On our final  day on Robinson Crusoe island I decided I’d head fishing. Paid 1 of the local fishermen to take me out on his boat, Mohamed. Sound as a pound. It was about 40 degrees and he’d a full tracksuit on, hoodie and all, sure it was Winter!? Anyways, we sailed along the reef, trawling the sea for my lunch. Not even a bite but with15 minutes left on the clock, I hooked a big daddy. Fought with it for about 5 minutes whilst Mo laughed on. Got him to the surface, a giant trevally……and then all of sudden he managed to get off the hook and swim back to his mates. I was raging and obviously no photographic evidence this took place. I came back empty handed but enjoyed it.

Sitting in Fiji airport here waiting half an hour for our food which of course is on ‘Fiji time’. Waiting for our number to be called out, Airport Bingo wa? Beverley Hills here we come. 1 month left.
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