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Thursday 21 Mar 2013
South Sea Island, Fiji

The best sunset yet...?

I am sure people reading this are going to get fed up with me talking about sunsets soon.  Well, that is just too bad.  Fiji has the sunset crown at the moment and I'm in awe of the place.

Yesterday I travelled back down the Yasawa chain to the Mamanucu islands, specifically South Sea Island.  This island is little more than a coral sandbank with one building, a few trees and a swimming pool.  It is possible to walk the circumference in under 5 minutes.  During the day, it hosts up to 150 day trippers (can't work out how they all fit!) but at night there are a maximum of 20 guests in the dorm.  Last night there were just 8 of us, all but one of whom either were or spoke German. 

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Marion, Ilka and I arrived at about 5.30pm, luckily after the day trippers had departed.  We all had the same thought - drop the bags, grab a cold drink and head to the beach for the sunset.  I got myself a can of Fiji Gold and sat on a sunlounger, marvelling at the beautiful cloud patterns filling the sky.  Behind us, the mainland was getting well and truly rained on, but we were still in the sun.  This created a beautiful strong rainbow arcing gracefully down to meet the sea.  By standing at the end of the island, it was possible to see the sea and horizon for almost 340 degrees.  While the sun was setting on one side, the mainland and rainclouds were lighting up in reds and oranges.  I have never been anywhere like this before, where it is possible to see so much sky in one place, with so much happening in each direction.

I got creative with my beer can on the beach, taking photos of hammocks and palm trees in the background.  Then I got a bit too clever and placed the can on the sand where the waves could lap around the bottom of it.  Unfortunately, I managed to time it perfectly for the one-wave-in-ten that comes in further and faster than the others... Oops.  Beer and seawater does not a god combination make, much to the amusement of the Fijian guy who had been watching me at the time. 

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My package had included a half day sailing on the Seaspray, an old brigantine that sails the Mamanuca islands.  Unfortunately, the Seaspray was in dry dock for a few weeks so I was offered a day trip to Mana island instead (which should have been an extra $60) or a refund of that portion of the package.  I took the trip to Mana, but in hindsight I should have taken the refund and stayed where I was.  What I hadn't realised was that I would return to Nadi (mainland) straight from Mana, which meant I had to take everything with me.  On arrival at Mana, my backpack was stored in a hut on the end of the jetty but I wasn't willing to leave my valuables there - especially after the debacle in Yangon airport back at the start of the trip. 

We were given a guided tour of the resort for 20 minutes, before reaching a decked area by the pools and restaurant, overlooking the coast on one side of the island.  Our guide said we could leave any bags here and they would be 'safe' as she would be there most of the time.  This apparantly didn't include the time it took her to walk groups around the island to the various activities that were available.  As a result, I ended up carrying a 7kg rucksack around for almost an hour while I went on the glass-bottomed-boat tour and tried to find the shop we had passed on the way in from the jetty.  Not much fun on a hot day.

After a delicious barbecue lunch and icecream I started to feel a bit less grumpy, but I was still annoyed that I couldn't go snorkelling without leaving my bags unattended.  In the end I set up camp on a very comfortable sunbed in the shade and used the swimming pool to cool down instead.  I befriended a lovely kiwi couple next to me who had two very entertaining young children in the pool.  The mum was obviously enjoying her time off and enlisted her husband to take the kids off for icecream while we enjoyed a cocktail together.  It turned out to be a very nice afternoon.

Smuggler's Cove was thankfully less insect-ridden than my first night and I escaped without any new insect bites.  Marion, one of the Germans from South Sea Island, was on the same flight as me so we shared my transfer to the airport and kept each other company as far as Sydney.  I used up the last of my phone credit for a three minute conversation with Dad.  It wasn't long, but it's still nice to hear a voice from home while I am so far away...

 

 

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Zobeedoo's Big World Adventure, Part I

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    South Sea...

    Fiji

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    South Sea...

    Fiji

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    South Sea...

    Fiji

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    South Sea...

    Fiji

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