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Monday 18 Mar 2013
Nacula, Fiji

Beach art, bonfires and waterproof iPhones

I woke up in the night to hear a terrific rainstorm outside.  My bed was closest to the window and the wide corrugated metal roof outside.  The rain was thundering down on the roof (and the clothes and towels left on the balcony - not my shoes this time) so I sat and watched it for a while, enjoying the cold breeze coming in through the fly screens on our windows.

Luckily by morning we were back to blue skies and sunshine.  Today's trip was around to Sawailau caves, a natural cve system further up the island.  We had to climb up the side of the cliff a short way and then follow a path down into the cave as far as a natural ledge.  From there, we jumped down into the water and swam around to the side, where an opening let the daylight in.  This cave was also used in the filming of The Blue Lagoon, (mental note: must try and watch that film again).  The cave wasn't very wide but it towered above the water, with rippled stalagtites and rockpatterns all over the sides and top.  Under the water, it was probably 12' deep.  There was an enormous column of limestone on the bottom which had broken off the ceiling at some stage - glad I wasn't in the cave when that happened.

In one corner, it was possible to swim under water and come up in another cave next door, which was completely enclosed and pitch black.  I went underwater to have a look at the swimming route - one guide had gone through first and was shining a torch back to show the way - but I was still not convinced, so I stayed in the main cave and listened to the screams and laughter while the rest went through. I'm sure I was capable of swimming under, but I've realised something on this trip: I have nothing to prove to anyone that I meet, so if I don't want to do something because it scares me, then that's just fine.  I survived New Zealand without doing a bungy jump or the 10m cliff jump and my trip is none the worse for it.

My bravest move on this trip was to test out the waterproof case I bought for my iPhone.  It is a thick plastic bag with a ziplock seal on the end, which rolls over several times and velcroes shut.  It looked secure enough, but it still took a lot of courage to lower it into the water completely.  Luckily it was all good and I was able to take photos in the cave through the bag.

On the way back again we saw a group of seagulls diving into the water just in front of us.  Our boat guide quickly flipped his fishing line over the back of the boat and drove straight toward to birds.  In less than two minutes he had a bite and reeled in a big silver fish for his lunch.  He was a very happy man.

I made another Fiji picture on the beach with shells and coral, managing to keep the dogs away from my beach art this time.  I think this might become a tradition in each country I visit now.  The evening sunset was no less spectacular than the night before.  I don't think I will ever get bored of watching sunsets.  We finished the evening off with a few quiet beers around a beach bonfire, talking to a couple of our hosts and looking at the stars.

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Zobeedoo's Big World Adventure, Part I

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Marahau Bridges, Abel Tasman

Marahau Bridges, Abel Tasman

The first part of my trip will take in South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia. I'm looking forward to seeing new places, revisiting some old places as well as meeting friends and family along the way.

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