We woke up and moved to the top bunk near the window to watch the sun come up. It was just utterly beautiful and we could hear the staff setting up for breakfast and laughing and joking with each other. One of the staff members called Moses had the most infectious laugh you have ever heard. You could help but smile whenever you heard it!
We said our goodbyes after breakfast and headed to the boat to make our way to Waya Lai Lai (why-ya-lie-lie). It took about an hour and a half until the boat stopped in between two islands and we took the smallest little boat at about 40mph speeding towards the shore. We were welcomed to the island by the staff/locals who live here with singing and dancing and shown to our room. Because we are here out of season the islands are so quiet, it's wonderful. We have a whole room to ourselves - complete with veranda and an ensuite!!! It's amazing! After lunch we wandered down to the beach and did some snorkelling and chilled in the hammock. There were a couple of people that we knew from Southsea (Judith and Dom - Dom is incidently Freddie's doppelganger and only 4 days older then Henry!) who are travelling a day ahead of us, so we spent some time catching up with them and in the early afternoon I went with Judith and the local women to their village and we sat with them and made shell bracelets and drank fresh coconut water from green coconuts. It was the most traditional "tropical-holiday" moment so far!! We had dinner and watched the sunset.
Today was Sunday, so there are no organised activities. We had a very chilled day on the beach hammocks, sunbathing and listening to music. In the evening before dinner the resort put on a proper kava ceremony for us and explained all about the traditional artefacts that they had on show. In Fiji most islands are experts in one particular craft, the lady who ran our resort came from an island where her father was the best wood worker in all of Fiji. She showed us a beautiful traditional club he had made and explained that historically Fijians were canabals. Ew. She also showed us the stunning mats that had been made by the wayalailai women. They are all weaved by hand from banana leaves! In traditional Fijian weddings the mothers of the bride and groom have to collect as many mats as possible for the wedding to spread out around the ceremony. We had dinner and went to bed as we had an early start the next day....
We got up at five to do the hike up to the highest point on wayalailai to watch the sunrise. It was an hour hike straight up through some pretty tough rocky terrain and we were seriously sweaty by the time we reached the top!! It was so worth it though. The sunrise was was so stunning and we could see for miles. It was a pretty awesome moment, watching the horizon turn from pink to orange to gold. We are so lucky to have seen it. The sun looks so huge here too. It's amazing.
It only took us 15mins to get back down the mountain and we grabbed a swift breakfast before heading off to go swimming with the sharks! The tour guides kept swimming down and encouraging the sharks up to the surface so they would swim among us. They weren't huge, the biggest was maybe a meter and a half, but they still look pretty scary when they are heading straight at you! Apparently you can upgrade your shark experience to free swimming with bullsharks. We didn't do that because we don't have a death wish.
We caught the boat to our next island, white sandy beach. We had heard some bad things about this Island, but we're determined to put on a brave face..
There is one redeeming feature here and its the ability to go swimming with mantarays, which we did when we arrived. We saw three and they were just incredible. I hadn't realised how HUGE they are!!! There was a black one, a grey/blue one and a white one. We must have spent a good half hour in the water with them. They came so close I could've reached out to touch them! It was a day full of incredible activities. White sandy beach is an experience in itself...
You all know I can be a bit snobby, but I've thought that the accommodation we have had here has been pretty good. Yes, its very basic and a bit dirty in places. We haven't had hot water since we arrived and I've shared the bathroom with a lot of creepy crawlies but this place is something else...
The food is utterly inedible, I'm writing this on the evening of our second day and I haven't eaten anything yet (probably no bad thing after all the food we ate in the states!), the beach is dirty and the rooms are awful... It says a lot about a place when you won't shower for fear of getting dirtier... We have both been ill despite the fact that we've used an entire tub of antibacterial hand sanitizer.
To sum it up... sitting in the hammock earlier, being eaten alive by ants and dealing with hideous stomach cramps, the son of one of the staff members got up on the wooden shacks used to house the snorkelling equipment and took a pee over the edge onto the beach....
It's put a bit dampner on the trip here to be honest... fingers crossed the resort tomorrow is better!!!!
19 - woke up and watched the sun rise. Had a tasty breakfast then jumped on the boat to Waya Lia lia.
This resort was just as beautiful as the last. We had a little welcome party. Which included the locals and also Dom and Jude from South sea resort who are travelling a day ahead of us.
Spent the day chillaxing on the beach and had a tasty dinner of curry.
20 - today was Sunday so nothing happens. Whole day spent on the beach in a hammock and a bit of swimming.
21 - this was going to be a busy day. Up at 5 to climb a mountain to watch the sun rise (all Fiona's idea). It was beautiful at the top just bloody early to do a hike.
A quick breakfast and then off on the boat to swim with sharks. This was awsome, they were only small but it was cool to see them and the Fiji boys diving down and bringing then to the surface.
Then it was back to the island a quick check out and then back onto the boat to move onto White Sandy Beach Resort.
We had already heard negative things about this resort but were determined to have an open mind about it.
We got off the boat and into the little speed boat to take us to the island. The boat couldn't take us to the shore as the tide was low so we had to walk over the rocks to get to the beach.
We checked into a less than clean dorm room and had an unappetizing lunch. But then headed off to swim with the mantarays which was amazing. They are massive and swam so close to us. Definitely the only reason to go to White Sandy.
Dinner was an interesting affair. We had vegetable soup (hot water with some cabbage floating in it), followed but a mound of rice some veg covered in oil and some chicken nuckles (I say this because it was all bone and no meat).
I had decided to get drunk so didn't much mind not eating.
22 - woke up with a banging headache and feeling very hung over, so decided to spend the morning in bed to sleep it off. Which was a good idea as it meant I didn't have to see the filth they served us for breakfast. It also meant I used up a lot of the day sleeping, which is what I spent the rest of the day doing as there was nothing else to do on the island, you couldn't even swim in the sea because of how shallow and rocky it was around the island.
We made it through day two and had another disappointing but at least edible dinner.Read more
Day 19,20,21&22 -Waya LaiLai&White sandySeptember 17 in Fiji, Namara