Mamanuca Islands aboard Seaspray

After an extremely early start Kate and I headed to reception to meet Matt and wait for the coch to take us to Nadi to catch the boat out to the islands.

As we got on the coach Matt cracked open a few beers and so we sat at the back drinking before going to sleep for an hour or so. We finally arrived at the harbour and were given our boarding passes. First we were to catch a catamaran out past beachcomber island, south sea island, castaway island etc before reaching Mana Island where we would board Seaspray, our 83 ft boat for the day.

On the way there it started to throw it down and the sea was really rough.. not exactly what you’d expect but we kept our fingers crossed that it would brighten up. We finally made it to Mana island and got aboard Seaspray. By this point the rain had stopped and they told us that it was an all inclusive trip meaning we could eat and drink as much as we liked……

The day started at a fairly good pace but then gradually slowed down towards lunch time. We were then dropped off on a small island with a traditional Fijian village on. When guests visit a local village, you are supposed to bring them a gift, namely kava. Kava is the root of some plant and when ground up into a powder and mixed with water is what they drink at ceremonies. We were invited to one of these ceromonies and we’re also invited to try some. it looked like dirty water but suprisingly didn’t taste that bad, i had a coconut shell full and you have to down it in one. it left my lips mouth and tongue tingling and i later noticed that my sore throat had vanished. I was then told that it has anasthetic and analgesic properties in it and so that would be why. Apparently if you drink a lot of it it makes you go high or something. We had to share it with everyone though and so i didn’t discover that side to it.

After that, we headed over to the island where they filmed Castaway and spent an hour or so snorkelling and enjoying the sunshine. After getting back on the boat we suddenly hit a tropical rainstorm. Everyone quickly dived for cover at theback of the boat and the locals whipped out their guitars hoping to lift the spirits of everyone. While everyone was huddled together at the back of the boat Matt and i decided to have our own little party up the front of the boat. it was time to abuse the all inclusive package. I tought him the rules of “clink and drink” and he quickly realised that this meant drinking pretty quick. Time passed pretty quickly from this point onwards and a stupid amount of beer was consumed in a rather short period of time.

We finally reached Mana island again to get our connection back to Nadi, Matt smuggled some beer off the boat in his backpack and so the game continued all the way back to the coach. I knew we’d done it for a good reason though as this meant as soon as we got on the bus, after failing to get everyone singing, both of us just fell asleep,only waking just as we arrived back at the resort.

As we got off the bus we remembered that there was a Fijian dance show on in the nightclub at the resort and so we headed there and watched and listened to them for a while before they invited us up to dance with them. Matt and I were there like a shot and were soon boogying with the locals, shaking our asses and clapping our hands. it was really good fun. I got a flower lai too which made me happy.

After that we just chilled out for a few hours before deciding to call it a night as we had to be up at 3am to get the taxi to the airport.

We met Ryan and Monique at the reception and had arranged to share a cab with them, as we set off it was raining and there were locals all over the unlit streets, this is when the driver just laughed and said.. kava ceremony! They all looked completely spaced out. It was certainly an interesting ride, trying to avoid cows and dogs that just roamed about.

Fiji was great and although it obviously does rain in paradise, it was great to just relax and meet some really nice people. Living on ‘Fiji time’ these last few days has just been perfect.

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