OceaniaFijiNavua

Taking It Easy In Fiji

Navua Travel Blog

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Coconut bowling with Gary Coleman

Our plan for Fiji was to do very little, in preparation for hitting the east coast of Australia hard in a few days time.

We had booked in at all-inclusive Mango Bay Resort on the Coral Coast, which we had reservations about cos it looked a bit Butlins by the flyer and seemed fairly good value for money, seen as we got all meals included, too. We weren't to be disappointed. The resort was only about a year or two old, with really nice rooms, a nice restaurant, a nice seaside location and quality Fijian guys helping out with activities all day.

As we touched down in Fiji, the first thing that hit us when we got off the plane was the humidity. Then the second thing that - OK, only nearly - hit us was about ten different cars as our shuttle bus driver tailgated every car before overtaking round blind corners, ignoring the lines on the middle of the road, and honestly making me more scared than I've ever been in my life.

Fiji by day...

Glad to be alive, our first day started off with some coconut bowling - which is exactly as it sounds - made more fun by the fact that the coconuts were hand-picked from a 25-metre tall tree by one of the Fijian guys. That almost made up for me coming last in the scoring. Here we met a legend of our stay and of our travelling so far - John Payne - who looked like a taller Gary Coleman and was always keen to help out wherever he could. I refrained from asking him to say, "Whatchoo talkin' bout, Willis?"

As soon as the game came to a close - predictably, because there had been obvious signs of heavy rain over previous days - the sunny start to the day turned to heavy rain. The rest of the day the resort became absolutely drenched and, almost symbolically, the activities written in chalk on the blackboard washed away.

..and Fiji at dusk
.  It was no biggie as we were happy to relax in the restaurant where they played movies and brought us food, which was top notch all through our stay.

The next day was fine all day, even though it was apparently raining at either side of the island, narrowly avoiding us somehow. Despite wanting to relax, it still became a pretty active day. A weights session at the 'outdoor gym' with the Fijian guys was followed by some snorkelling around the beach area. There wasn't much to see but some attractive bright blue fish and some star fish as all the coral was pretty much dead where we were, apparently due to the insectisides used by farmers around the shore. Then we took a kayak out, which was all good fun until you-know-who thought it would be a good idea to try and jump out.

Two locals
As she 'slipped off', she tipped the boat and took me with it, much to my distain and much to the amusement of the Fijians on the shore.

In the afternoon we had a swim in the pool before an epic game of 5-a-side footy. Faced with a 3-1 deficit, we pulled it back to 3-3 in the last minute before losing in extra time by a (flukey) half volley that deceived our keeper. Gutted, we cooled off in the pool with some volleyball, again losing, but not so gutted this time.

Our last night was spent watching a Meke show put on by the Fijian locals. Some rousing songs and some crazy spear thrusting was the showpiece, before some rather embarrassing audience participation where we had to conga dance around to the Macarena. It was one of those moments where you looked like an idiot if you declined participation, but looked more of an idiot if you didn't.

Chilling out in the pool
We were given a garland of flowers by the locals and danced away for as short a time as we could get away with before retreating to the beach where a bonfire was lit. There we were sung more Fijian songs, tried some of the local drink, kava, prepared by mixing water with a powdered root. It is supposed to make you feel a mild euphoric high before sending you to sleep, but I felt absolutely nothing, to be honest, other than a pretty gross taste in the back of my mouth.

Gutted to leave, we did so as it started tipping it down again. An awesome couple of days, nonetheless, and good preparation for hitting the east coast of Australia hard.

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Coconut bowling with Gary Coleman
Coconut bowling with Gary Coleman
Fiji by day...
Fiji by day...
..and Fiji at dusk
..and Fiji at dusk
Two locals
Two locals
Chilling out in the pool
Chilling out in the pool
What the dickens?
"What the dickens?"
There is absolutely nothing gay at…
There is absolutely nothing gay a…
A local Fijian
A local Fijian
The Pacific from above
The Pacific from above
Navua
photo by: dan2105