Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 - NZ To SF - Day 38

Day 38: (20 June 2011):
- Wake up ~4:30 to lots of mosquitos.
- Catch bus @ 6:45, Fi tell me get off in front, not inside the airport.
- Feel like in India. Indian bus driver, names of organisations in sign, passengers. Paper bus ticket. Indians have straight hair, Fijians have curly, mostly fros.
- Get off at station, met Maryanne (?) fr. Quebec. Chat. 7:20 bus turns from airport, doesn't even pass station. Someone told us another coming. Bus seems to go through random streets & middle of nowhere, but arrive. Cool luggage store in back: wood door with lots of stickers.
- Check in & drop off luggage. Cruise out of wharf.
- Pass by many small islands, including notorious Beachcomber, now only a shadow of former glory.
- Reach Yasawas. Vomo (?), volcanic ash aggregations, hills & beaches. Very scenic. Cozy.
- See what could be Kuata in distance. It is. Apparently Castaway was filmed on a beach around here? Dramatic volcanic plugs, beaches, forests on Kuata & Wayalailai. Scramble of 3 boats. Say bye to Marianne. Only person to get on Kuata boat.
- Welcome song & "bula." "Special dorm": only bld. on beach! 7 beds. Bathroom. Only a trickle of water, but flush toilet with basin filled using trickle from shower. Other than that inconvenience, the place was great, and privacy is also cool.
- Lunch: only about 1/2 dozen people.
- Snorkel: standard antler coral, good fish. Go beyond, dropoff, ~5m deep. Great coral towers, very clear water.
- Relax in hammock. Chat with a local. Watch spectacle of sending guests away. Boats waiting then chasing down arriving ferry, then welcome song. Girls arrive.
- Dinner conch. Poking gecko, run up leg. "Don't poke the gecko lesson. Can. girl's story of catching gecko & tail fall off. Strange dancing games. "Drop it like it's hot" to DJ in very monotone. Apparently this is quite common in these "resorts." One girl in Canadian.
- Try the 2 beers during dinner. Chat with Canadian, but tired: go to sleep @ 10. Others talking outside. Local men sit in the hut over beach drink kava. We welcome to join, but didn't.
- Skin probs -> many people have. I had swollen finger in morning.

Photos available at: http://mandarinmanmarktravelbriefs.blogspot.com/