Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Barefoot Resort

My apologies, once I got to this island I got my blog up to date, and then gave it a rest, as I figured things weren't happening as fast - it's easier to retrospectively write about things sometimes, than it is writing about things happening in the recent past.
I believe this photo was taken on the day of my arrival - I figure that as it is of a sunset, and from the place where we ate our meals - in this case dinner.
On arrival to the resort, I knew I was going to like this place as it had a lot going for it, a lot of other people, 3 beaches, a dive shop, and a fellow Kiwi that worked at the dive shop (which is a bigger/rarer thing than you'd think - other than him, the only other Kiwis I had come across were in the hen's party on the Sea Spray yacht.)

The first thing I did was sorted out how I was going to use my activity voucher - the down side of pre-paying for all the activities was the fact you had to be organised and plan when and how you would fit the activities in - especially as often it would require 3 others to be keen too, due to the price of petrol. Anyhow, the next day was Sunday, and I was keen to check out a Fijian church, so I asked about that, and ended up using the voucher for that - the church we went to was actually in a village on another island - if you look at the photo below, it was well beyond the point of the next island (where the sun is rising).

So once I got that sorted I had a fantastic snorkel from the beach in front of my cabin before dinner. Dinner was awesome, basically a Fijian hangi. I ended up sitting next to an Irish guy and his Venezuelan wife - who I ended up sharing several meals with in the following days, they were great company.
The next day I woke up early. I decided to get up and make use of it, so I snorkeled around the peninsula that the resort was on (from one beach in front of my room, across another, and into the other on the opposite side to the one I started from. It was nice, but started to drag when I got around to the other side as I was fighting the current, and then due to it being low tide, struggling to find a way in without damaging coral or myself.

Once I made it in breakfast was ready, so I chowed down on that, and then got ready to go to church on another island.

I hadn't realised how far we would have to go by boat, I had imagined that a village was nearby, in fact it was probably about half an hours boat ride through some rough waves (in the above photo we had crossed that channel and went around the point where the sun is rising). - For a moment I felt like I was Ed Hillary on some epic journey, but then remembered Ed would do it himself, I really was just relying on the locals, which made me more like wimpy English hero in Africa, with a a pith helmet and some half dressed natives.

The church service was good, and fully in English, except maybe some of the hymns. Fairly traditional, but not boring. The village we went to (and other villages I ended up visiting) had a sense of being quite poor, but then you realise it is all in how you define rich and poor. I think the villagers had all they needed, and lived in family groups - a lot more communal than what we westerners do. They also of course live in virtual paradise. I may touch on it again later, but for now I will just say that despite the Government being a military dictatorship, it seems to function well - the island children all get educated etc.

Once we went back to the resort I had lunch and then did a bit of reading, and later did a snorkeling safari, which was pretty cool.

The next morning I woke up earlyish again, but decided to go for a walk instead, so I went to the other end of the island to see what was there - see photos below.
Pineapple plant. Interesting to see how they actually grow - I think I would've imagined that they hung off a tree like an apple otherwise.
The other end of the island, looking at another island, in the direction of the mainland (South-ish)
A cool looking bridge I had to cross.
The drum used to call the guests to mealtime.
For the rest of the day I kept myself busy getting ready to move to the next island, reading and chatting. I wasn't planning on swimming as I didn't want to have to deal with wet clothes, however the heat got the better of me eventually so I had a quick snorkel from the beach in front of my room with the bare minimum, ie just my gym shorts mask/snorkel, and flippers.

I was sad to leave the island as I had finally caught up with some people that I had met previously at other resorts (most of the time you'd met someone and then never see them again) and it also meant that I had no more new islands to explore - I had a night to go back on South Sea island, and then it was back to the mainland.