Fiji Pg 5

Soon it was time for the jewellery making class.  I wanted to get there on time for the 3pm start just in case it started on time but didn’t expect a lot after the last one being 40 mins late.  We arrived about 5 minutes early to find it in full swing and I was given a few rather non-descript shells to work with as all the fancy ones had been taken.  I was also given a piece of fishing wire to thread through them but quickly got frustrated as it would not go through any of the shells I had.  I said to David “Is this the discard pile or what?”  David came to assist me and of course got the wire through the first shell he tried LOL  In the end I found the knack, though it certainly didn’t go through every shell and the ones I was using were very small.

Suddenly someone said that it was going to rain and began urgently gathering up all the equipment.  It didn’t seem to me to be a big deal if it rained but I joined in and we all picked up and moved to a mat on the floor around the breakfast/pool table.  Well,

Thomasi in the Torrential Downpour

Thomasi in the Torrential Downpour

the heavens opened and the rain threw down in true tropical torrential style!  I sent David to take some photos while I carried on with my shell creation which resulted in a video that you have to turn your head at right angles to your shoulders to see ROFL  I looked out at one point to see one of the staff, fully clothed, emerging from the swimming pool.  David said Thomasi had just walked straight into it because he was already soaked.

During the downpour a new intake of guests had arrived on the boat.  The transfer boat from the deeper water to the shore has no roof so they were drenched and one of the men looked to be dressed only in boxer shorts.

I suppose at this non-relevant juncture I shall put in a photo of my weaving that I should have put in before.

My Weaving - a Bracelet and a Bookmark

My Weaving - a Bracelet and a Bookmark

I made a bookmark and a bangle that I was quite pleased with.  The shell creation, an anklet, is just a row of shells on fishing wire so not worth showing.

One thing that bugged us a little each day was that the drinking water from the bar was at room temperature.  The only way to get cold water was to buy bottled water and with the quantity we drink we decided to endure the warm.  It took several days to get used to it but we never did get to actually like it.  According to the brochure in the room their ice machine was ‘busy enough coping with the bar requirements’ or some words to that effect.  Then I suggest they need a bigger ice maker!!!  But truly, there was very little to complain about and a very great deal to enjoy.

Dinner tonight, prefaced by some games of Rummikub, was a fish BBQ with lots of very yummy salads and an even bigger dessert!

Wed 15th
After breakfast it was time to take the plunge (ha har) and snorkel properly.  I put my contact lenses in and we went to the Dive Hut to get flippers for David plus a floatation vest each so that we felt safe.  Someone told us that we couldn’t sink in salt water but they said that of the Titanic so we chose to ignore that and feel safe instead.  My heart was pounding after yesterday’s attempt.  I actually felt scared today where yesterday I’d been fine – more inquisitive then than anything else.

We sat in the edge of the water trying to put our fins on, getting buffeted by the waves and laughing, then we put our masks on and were ready to be adventurous.  We found it really difficult trying to manage the shallow water, the waves and the fins but eventually managed to get into waist-deep water.  Just as we were putting our faces down for the first time I lifted my head in time to see the landing boat about to hit David on the head.  I reached out in a hurry and pushed his head down and tried to hold back the boat with the other hand which of course was futile but we paddled away quickly and safely I’m pleased to report, and soon we were in deep enough water to snorkel properly.  And safely!  But I didn’t like being head down and alone so held tightly to David’s hand, as much so I knew he was safe as feeling security for myself.

It freaked me out a bit each time water went into my ears as I’m not supposed to get water in my left ear and have spent most of my life making sure this doesn’t happen but it really was interesting looking down there seeing the secret lives of fish.  The coral had some very pretty colours, pink, yellow, purple, and the fish were adorable.  There were some small electric blue fish which were gorgeous but my favourites were the black and white striped ones that came so close to our hands and were exploring us as much as we were them.  All of a sudden I let out a big sigh and my breathing slowed down and was relaxed and I was enjoying myself.

David spoke so I lifted my head to hear what he was saying and we had a little chat.  I just could not get myself to be upright in the water so my back was bent backwards in a rather uncomfortable way with my feet determined to be behind me instead of underneath.  David tells me I should have had my toes pointed so I’ll know that for next time.  We then prepared for heads down once more.  Again my breathing was a bit too fast followed by a sigh and then relaxation.  We’d gone a bit further out than we wanted to so we started to come back towards the boat channel and I scraped my knee on some coral again.

After a while I lifted my head to tell David that I felt sick.  Sea sickness while snorkelling!  I’d certainly not considered that possibility and our lovely German family giggled about it when we told them as they were all really good at it.  I felt OK floating on my back so David and I linked arms and I kicked while he directed us and we came back in to shore.

We’d done it anyway.  We can say we snorkelled and it was fun.  Not my calling in life that’s for sure but I’m really glad that I’ve done it now.  And I would again if I was dosed up LOL.

Fijian Cocktail

Fijian Cocktail

I don’t have a waterproof camera so we have no photos at all of our snorkelling to share. But here’s one of my cocktail.  The pineapple on the top looked like a little bird – it had a piece of pineapple leaf each side of the pineapple segment so that they looked like wings and a tiny quarter slice of carrot on the outside of those which looked like its eyes from the right angle.

Dinner on this night was an Indian buffet and we ‘lost’ the children to another table while 3 new German travellers joined us.  If I have my facts right they were spending some time on a private yacht with some friends of theirs who had been sailing around the world at their leisure for 13 years.  The man worked in Dubai but I couldn’t hear the ladies, they were softly spoken and up the other end of the table from me.  They spoke quite a lot in German which I was very happy to listen to and try to pick meanings from.  Anything I understood I translated for David.  They also spoke in English some of the time to include us and it was a lovely night.

After dinner the activity was a film night and we had 3 films that we could vote on which to see.  The winner was ‘Milk’ and they set up the projector and large screen under the pool table roof having moved the table to one side.  Normally they have the screen across the pool from the Turkish sunbeds but there was a possibility of more rain so it was held undercover.  Let us just say that the film was not to our taste so we left after about 15 minutes and had an early night.  We like comedies and romances and light adventure – Milk was more of a social commentary.

Thu 16th
Suddenly there’s only today left as a full day on the island but we determined not to let the sinking feeling dominate but to continue to enjoy ourselves.

Our Bure, Hammock & Sun Loungers with David in Residence

Our Bure, Hammock & Sun Loungers with David in Residence

Here’s an outside view of our little bure, our lovely twin hammock, sun chairs with David in residence plus our thatched sun umbrella.  I was standing in the ocean as I took this.

After breakfast we headed for the stairs as usual and climbed to the top.  On the way down I said to David “Again?” and he said no so when we reached the first landing I asked him to wait while I climbed that section of the stairs again.  I enjoyed once so did it twice more as well and when we reached the next landing I made him wait while I did those stairs 3 more times as well and so on down to the bottom.  On my second last climb of the bottom-most stairs I stumbled and grazed my already twice coral damaged right knee, bruised my left knee, scraped my left ankle and drew blood from my middle toe on my right foot.  Well if you’re going to do something do it well huh?  I brushed the sand off my hands and was fine, and very happy that I’d kind of climbed the stairs 4 times but it sure felt easier doing it in sections of up/down than doing it 4 times going the entire height each time.  I don’t think I’d have made it that way actually but I felt a sense of achievement anyway.  After climbing them twice on Saturday I’d had shaky legs for a while, today I just felt really good.

We spent the rest of the morning laying in the hammock, laying on the sun chairs and reading and then in the afternoon the activity was ‘handicrafts and afternoon tea’.  When I’d done the weaving lesson a few days before, that had been followed by ‘lemon leaf tea’ which I’d really loved and I was hoping that this would be the same thing so along I went eagerly.  But it was the same kind of weaving as my bangle and not really a lot of point as I already knew how, plus I would not be able to bring it home.  But the teacher – a different girl – prepared a pandanas leaf for me with 5 strands and I dutifully wove it.  She was a little grudging truth to tell and dropped a very large hint when she saw my headphones for my MP3 player that hers were no good.  I ignored this as I still needed them.  For some reason no other students turned up.  I think that if I hadn’t asked her (not knowing what the activity was to be), the activity would not have gone ahead and there was no sign of any lemon leaf tea L  But it was just lemon tree leaves brewed in hot water and served with sugar so I am looking forward to finding a lemon tree and trying it with honey myself.

I have to admit that the lunch menu was getting a bit repetitive but this was only a sign that it was OK that our holiday was drawing to a close so I accepted that as a happy thing.

During the afternoon we walked along to the far end of the beach once more and saw a local family there.  The 3 young children played a game of approaching us and then running away as if we were scary and we all laughed together.

During happy hour that evening we played Rummikub with Opa once more and dinner was even more delicious than usual, consisting of an eggplant soup that everyone declared tasted more like mushroom soup – so it probably was LOL.  After that was a fish pie followed by the most incredible chocolate mousse that I’ve ever had.  Somehow there ended up being 2 spares on our table and I was one of the lucky recipients.  Slurp!!!

We got a photo taken of us with our beautiful friends at this, our last dinner together.

Our Beautiful 'German Family' with David & I

Our Beautiful 'German Family' with David & I

After dinner the activity was ‘international crab racing’ where people bought a crab and their shells were numbered.  They were all put into the middle of a circle and the winners were those to reach the edge first.  All money raised went to the education fund for the village children.

On other nights after dinner there had been beach games on the volleyball court in front of the dining hall and there had been all sorts of fun games like a limbo competition, balloon couples dance, a drinking race, carrying a potato between your legs and dropping it into a bucket and so on.  David and I enjoyed watching but did not take part.

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