Day 39-41 - Tokoriki Island, Fiji
Trip Start May 11, 2010
70Trip End Jul 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
Sadly dinner was not up to expected standards we've had so far. A buffet with limited choices. The two most memorable things were the starter pumpkin soup and the chicken bone that I got stuck in my throat.
The wind hammered all night long with bits of jungle falling around us so sleep wasn’t so good but today the sun was shining all day which was excellent. The onshore breeze was a bit stiff but we had a good morning on the beach and then some time back on the veranda. Unfortunately the change in wind direction also meant a fairly strong aroma from seaweed collected on the north of the beach which was a little too much for Tina. We tried various nose blocking attempts including a full blocking with a plaster (her idea) and bits of cotton wool coated in my body spray that barb bought for Christmas (my idea) but she either looked like a loon with a weird nose issue or was worried she’d snort up the cotton wool
I had a good snorkelling trip and saw a small reef shark and a large colony of clowns in a green tipped anemone. Sadly too choppy for Tina so she had to soak up the sun with a bag of salt and vinegar crisps nearby. One guy on the boat said the snorkelling was better 5 years ago, it was interesting to hear for a while but then it got on my nerves after the 10th repeat of 'ya shoulda bin here 5 years ago’. He was in and out of the water in 2 minutes so it’s more likely he was just a wuss I reckon. He had earlier regaled us with tales of his canoeing round the island (his biggest mistake apparently as he got tipped in the sea) and that he was ‘not good in deep water’.
Off to dinner again. More meet and greet singing from the Fiji boy band I expect as there are leavers and joiners every day. The guitars are pretty good and there is a guy with a white painted plywood box, broom handle, and bit of rope which when taut is a sort of bass drum.
Today turned out to be pretty idyllic although it didn’t start out that way at all
Last night was fraught as we were comfortable in bed watching Desperate Housewives and some bug dropped on Tina which led to Tina leaping off the bed like a mad woman. It was a baby roach or spider but then we had to do a rapid bug check, choked on bug spray and have extra tucked in covers in the already overhot room! She clamed down then another one landed, probably stunned from the spray so that set the tone for the night. Over heated, anxious and mostly awake plus complaints I wasn’t protecting her properly … Even the Nytol didn’t work for her.
We got up a bit groggy and after a shower went to breakfast determined not to miss the trip to the island where Cast Away was filmed. By the time we had finished breakfast we were human again and on the boat we got. It was a standard dive boat so pretty bare with a couple of large outboards so Tina was a bit apprehensive but all the islands were in sight so it wasn’t very far. We landed on the island which is uninhabited (except for the tourists already there and the boatload of us and the boatload that came at 12!). We had a short tour and took pics of some locations like the caves, the beach where he made fire, the rock where the captain was buried. It is a lovely island actually but no Wilson to be found
We had a nice swim off the beach and a good snorkel, plenty to see. I swam through a shoal of blue and green damsels who weren’t at all perturbed. Maybe they have seen so many tourists we are just routine now. We did get nipped a lot and weren’t sure what that was, like tiny almost itches. Then one of the Aussies got in the water and explained they were sea lice. She also reckoned they could go where you don’t want microscopic creatures to go and they could also leave welts. Seeing as how we had both had dozens, maybe hundreds of these in the past hour we exited the sea. Apparently these critters are common in Oz. Nothing came of it though, just little red dots for a few hours then gone fortunately. I reckon it’s an urban myth so will check it out when the world is once more at our fingertips. Verity, of our new Kiwi friends we went over with, said the woman was a dag which we had to get explained. It seems to have two meanings, life and soul of the party and the last bit of poop left clinging to a sheep’s rear end. Weird. When asked to elaborate her husband David said she was ‘loud’. We understand.
We left the island just after a large boat with maybe 60 peeps arrived and zoomed round the back of several small islands in our twin 225hp engined boat then home. Only 10 mins back so not enough time for Tina to get too worried.
Later in the day in the glorious sun and deserted beach we had a swim which was excellent in the warm seas. We didn’t go far and Tina hasn’t snorkelled yet but just as we were coming in a tiny fish, maybe an inch long, started swimming round me
As we waded back, Tina asked nemo to go find his mum (who probably is now a predator…) and we headed for shore just as the bats came out. They must have been having a bat-conference as there were 50+ flocking from tree to tree, that was quite a sight too.
So all in all a pretty perfect day. Oh and no seaweed aroma either.
Last full day here.
In contrast to the excellent day, the night was fraught again. We decided to rig up a covering over the bed to stop the falling bugs but that blocked out the fan so after an hour we were drenched. So we put on the AC but that made a nice thrumming sound. Next we tried just the AC fan only but by then, maybe 2am, we had a fitful night and now Tina was worried that the ‘masses’ (4) of bugs were lying on the rigged up covering and a lizard would land on it and they would all fall on us in the night
Another pretty perfect day though. We swam, lazed on the beach and I convinced Tina to come out with me on a Perspex bottomed kayak which she did, somewhat reluctantly I agree. But sadly at the distance out she was comfortable with there was no real sea life to see. I went over the reef in it and it was pretty good. Maybe in Cairns.
No trips, transfer set for tomorrow and off to Auckland on the North island leaving what finally turned out to be a near perfect last few days (not nights). Still reading feverishly to reduce our weight for the inter Australia flights, shed maybe 3 kg already this week!
Safe, sound and relaxed
Mark & Tina