The next resort, down the beach from Nabua Lodge was called Safe Landing. Dave and Abbie didn't like Safe Landing.
Our first tip off that it was ney good was when we arrived there was a fat, white, Australian man sat in the dining area counting money! Instead of welcoming us, he looked at us funny and finally when we approached him, he screeched at one of the Fijian girls to deal with us.
After we had been 'dealt with' he decided to bestow upon us his conversation. Keeping in mind that we were already booked up, he then began to tell us how great the place was, incomparison to Nabua. He really hadn't picked the best people to boast to as we love Nabua and Ron and hated big fat Australian men. He tried to tell us that he had a lot of people come to him from Ron's place, he was an arse!
The rooms were more modern and they had a bigger beach but, the food was poor and there wasn't much of it, Ron always made sure you had so much you couldn't move. The showers were still cold, but they were dirty to. And the electric was on for exactly the same amount of time. We got speaking to some other guests over a game of volleyball and it turned out that two other couples from Britain had had words with him that very morning.
We didn't let it bother us though. We met Ollie and had a good time, Bula Dance of course and a few expensive beers and good company. That was Safe Landing in a nut shell really.
The next day we climbed aboard the Big Yellow Boat once again and randomly picked our next destination. The Bay Of Plenty.
After the Safe Landing, episode, I was a little apprehensive and sceptical as we travelled to the new resort. Firstly, and Ollie took the mick for this, the people that collected us didn't have very clean t-shirts and I decided that was a bad sign. It seemed to take ages on the transfer boat and when we began to slow we were headed right for an awful looking beach with rubbish everywhere and enough animals to fill a petting zoo. There was no one on the beach to meet us and I was scared. Turned out we were just stopping to pick something up from another village and then we continued round to the next bay. I then felt awful as that was obviously a communities home and I had dismissed it as a hole.
When we arrived at the next bay I knew we were in the right place, the whole family were one the beach waiting for us with guitars, loud song and....... squash!
Squash is important as we had been drinking just water for three days and it was nice for a change. The people were welcoming if not a little intimidating. The Bay itself however was less treasure island and more swamp thing. But the welcome was so nice, I thought we'd better give it a chance and Ollie had declared he had a 'good feeling'.
Dave was feeling proper poorly so we went for a lie down, it was so hot that day and our rooms (very good room) were on the top of a hill with the dining area and make shift bar were at the bottom. After an hour or so I was wide awake so I went to find Ollie and the Tiawanese girl who had arrived with us Janet. We were the only ones there. When I couldn't find Ollie I hoped he hadn't been captured by a hill tribe, and if he had, at least everyone kept reminding us that Fijians were no longer cannibals so he was pretty safe, I hoped.
After a while just watching the world go by, I noticed that lots of villagers were also going by. It looked like everyone Gran and Grandad included had made the journey from....somewhere for some special occasion, all the children were even dressed in what looked like it might be their Sunday best. Dave came and joined me and after a while of watching this unfold, a small boy came charging toward us and demanded we followed him.
Argh! I was scared! We followed him down a path to the back of the 'guest area' into I guess where the family lived. After having a baby (later introduced as Jojo) shoved in my face, we were invited to join them for tea! Inside a three sided hut were Grandpa and all the ladies of the family, sat on the tradional mat drinking lemon tea from bowls with what looked like Jacobs crackers floating in it. We sat down and copied what the child and the others were doing and low and behold, they were jacobs crackers in lemon tea. I know it sounds mank but it was really nice. There was loads of biscuits and cake and crisps, turns out it was a birthday party! It was so nice, we were really being included. We didn't really talk to them, they spoke in Fijian and we just sat quietly trying not to do anything considered rude. It was hard though as we were surrounded by hundreds of flies!
We noticed that the men folk weren't there either and it turned out that Ollie had been taken fishing for our dinner, and Janet had gone to. Normally the fishing trips cost $50 for a couple hours, they were gone seven and it was free as they was just helping catch everyones food.
The fish was gorgeous and was accompained by a Fijian lesson. No one else really interacted with the 'guests' but these guys made us feel like part of the family. The next morning we were shown how to husk, crack, milk and flesh a coconut! It was amazing and we were really sad to leave, but onwards and upwards.
To White Sandy Beach..........