Today we went for breakfast at the Sonaisiali Restaurant. We met for the cruise at 8:15 and headed for the skiff then to the bus to the marina, where we munched on raw sugar cane.
It was then that I heard a chaperone (not one of ours thankfully) ask Rony if Fiji was a third world country. Thankfully, he ignored her question. Sometimes, people’s ignorance astounds me. We got to our cruise ship, greeted by music and orange juice. We took seats on a couch, and the boat launched. We had morning tea with fresh fruit, and then participated in a traditional Kava ceremony.
After about an hour, we arrived at the island called Tivua Island (or Mystery Island.) We took skiffs and glass-bottomed boats to reach the shallow waters that the yacht couldn’t, then waded through the shallow water to the sand. Despite the wait and effort it took to get there, the island was beautiful. We got mats and laid them out under straw umbrellas, grabbed snorkeling gear, and headed to the reefs with a group of people and an instructor. It took a while to adjust to abnormally large flippers, face mask goggles, and breathing tubes. But the views of the coral and trpical fish was above and amidst were amazing- it was like being in “Finding Nemo” or the aquariums in the doctor’s office. We saw clown fish and angel fish, then headed back to land to take a glass-bottomed boat ride. We could see the sea floor from the boat, but too many of the obese variety were in the boat, and it kept getting water logged, so everyone had to get out and walk back to land. on the way, we hunted for sand dollars and blue starfish and hermit crabs.
Lunch time: chicken and fresh fruit, what else? We headed to the kayaks with canoe paddles and life vests. I took the single and my roomies took the double, and we raced which was a lot of fun. When we went back to shore, we went snorkeling again, eager to get close to the sea life again. This time, I held a sea slug, and noticed a lot more sea life than I had earlier. I guess that’s what happens when you stick close to your guide. Afterwards, one of my roommates and I talked with him some more. He was extremely hurt that we hadn’t learned anything about Fiji in school. When we went ashore to change back into our clothes, I couldn’t tell bug bites from sea lice bites (they’re little bugs that come to bite during the first days of the month in warm waters.)
When we had finished changed in the little hut with five other strange ladies (flashback: high school locker rooms), we got in the skiffs and went back to the yacht, where we had afternoon tea. We watched a coconut breaking demonstration, then listened to the band (equipped with claves, a ukulele, and guitar) just have a good time performing for the group.
We got to the marina, and went to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe to celebrate our last night in Fiji. It started raining mid-meal, so we took our plates under an awning to finish retelling our favorite Fiji memories. On the bus back to Sonaisaili, it was dark and bumpy. There are practically any road rules here, so it felt a bit like a Disney roller coaster.