Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fiji! - Around the Island

Fiji! - Around the Island March 29, 2012 9:21 pm (March 29, 2012 3:21 am in Aspen) Breakfast - coconut pancakes, lunch - salad with grilled fish, dinner - grilled fish with a fruit/citrus chutney. (We pre-order lunch and dinner at breakfast and it's been really hard to remember what I ordered by the time dinner rolls around.) It rained all night and we awoke to clouds and wind but no rain. It was really choppy out so I wasn't sure if we were going to go out on the jet skis. I waited a bit and one of the staff, Vasiti Ratulevu, who had said last night that she wanted to go with us showed up and shortly after, Kelly (his nickname - Fijian names are impossibly long)showed up with some paperwork, two life vests and two jet skis. Kelly and Va climbed on one and I climbed on the other and we were off.  We headed around the island clockwise and for the first quarter of the loop, it was extremely choppy with rather large waves. I was exhilarated and concerned at the same time.  What had I gotten myself into and was I going to be able to pilot this thing all the way around the island? It was tough holding on and steering in the chop, not to mention the fact that the majority of time there was so much spray in my face I was functionally blind. But we stopped for a short rest just past the northerly point and Kelly said the worst was over. Suddenly I'm thinking, "Oh! That wasn't that bad!" We headed off again and after a little Keystone Cops moment where Kelly and Va were switching drivers and both ended up in the drink with the emergency stop lanyard still attached to the waverunner, we headed on with no incident. We circumnavigated a small island in an inlet, motored through some relatively calm water, ventured out into a bit more challenging stuff and then stopped for another, longer rest and a snack, at which point we encountered a a few from our group, taking a counterclockwise boat tour around the island.  After a bit, we headed out again, detouring though a small bay and stopping to drop Va off at her village. Kelly and I then proceeded back to the resort, stopping to do what I called donuts in the parking lot on the way.  Excellent way to spend the morning.  After lunch, we visited the largest village on the island and had an audience with the chief. They took advantage of the tourists, parting us from our money, but it was still interesting seeing their homes. Pigs, goats, dogs, a fair amount of litter and small one story buildings except for the three churches in this little village. Aki, our tour guide, keeps joking about how they're Christians now, so they're no longer cannibals.  Another beautifully subtle sunset with the colors peaking through the breaks in the clouds. Cloudy all day but no rain which was actually kinda of nice since it cut the temperature a bit. Tomorrow up at 4 am to take a boat to the "mainland" to go rafting.  We had a bit of a debate about whether we just stayed over on the mainland for our flight on Saturday, rather than making the crossing two more times in less than 24 hours but finally opted to schedule massages tomorrow evening here instead of spending the money on a hotel room in Nadi.

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