We arrived at Mantaray Island late afternoon but were a bit gutted about leaving Blue Lagoon. Although when we passed it on the first day i did remember it looking awesome. When we arrived the water was just............i can't describe it and the pictures don't even do it justice. The resort itself looked like it had been designed by some famous architect there was private huts that lined the beach with their own private sun loungers and hammocks and the bar area was just off the beach with long leather sofas inside, as we arrived people were carving bracelets out of coconut shells and it seemed a younger crowd but still chilled vibe. The walk up to the dorm room was on a winding path through the palm tree forest and it was built into the hill side.
The main bure as they call them was situated on top of the hill with amazing views overlooking the bay. We got told that Mantaray Island was the best snorkelling we would do out of all the islands and maybe even the WORLD! haha so we headed straight out and we weren't disappointed it just blew our minds! It was just crystal clear and different types, sizes and colours of the coral were just special!! We didn't bother taking the camera down on the first attempt we just wanted to get our bearings but we saw a massive maouri wrasse which was about 1.5 meters long and about 1meter high. The sun was just starting to set so we headed round to the other side of the island and watched the sunset which was pretty good, well some of us did but Lou sat with her San Francisco book doing research excited for our family coming over.
That night we were starving despite our take away packed lunch from blue lagoon and just as we got showered; cold i might add not like blue lagoon and headed up for tea the blooming lights tripped out so we were sitting in the dark for ages............. in the back of my head i knew it was an opportunity for me to stand up and shine, be a hero if you will but Fiji electrics don't really follow the same rules as in England and to be honest i've forgot everythingI have learnt, I mean i haven't done a day's work in 7 month haha shocking i know!!!! They couldn't fix it so we had tea under minimal light conditions, it was another 3 course meal but they kind of cheated because one of the courses was classed as an entreè̀ instead of a dessert; however the meals were quite nice! That night we just retired in one of the hammocks under the stars and talked about Christmas this year.
Next morning we were excited to sample the breakfast and as always compare it to blue lagoon, when we got there the first thing i noticed was there were no muffins.......outrage!!! Just before we started sulking we noticed beans on toast.........score!!! After breakfast we couldn't wait to go snorkelling again this time i had the camera so off we went however i think we were a bit too eager because we didn't give time for our breakfast to settle and i got caught short.............i needed a poo and because the tide was really shallow i couldn't just swim back to the beach because the coral was too high to the surface so it was like the bloody crystal maze trying to find the channel we first swam out through!!
Anyway i was shattered after that.........the swim that is not the poo , so we just kicked back and sunbathed for a bit and still tried to recover from this cold i had picked up in NZ; i couldn't stop coughing. We then got the call to say dinners ready, this is done by a Fijian who bangs on a hollow tree trunk with some wooden sticks but they looked more like human bones to me and the sound echoes down onto the beach. Lou opted for fish and chips and i went for pizza!
We let our dinner settle before heading back out to snorkel but we did see the big maouri wrasse however this one was really shy not like the ones at the Great Barrier Reef its one of the only fish that can be trained because its brain is large enough. At the barrier reef you can get it in a head lock and you can even put your regulator or the thing that supplies your oxygen for you non-divers haha in its mouth. However this one wasn't trained so its hard to get near it for a picture so me and Lou devised a plan, Lou swam off and rounded it in like a sheep dog and i would swim down, hold my breath and wait as she drew it closer and i would swim out round the corner just as it was swimming past haha it worked twice!! Not that smart is it!!! Stupid fish! We also saw a little yellow box fish on that dive which is Louise's favourite fish.
We met a northern couple called Carla and Chris from Leeds that night and Leony and Amy who was actually from Cramlington and i took great pleasure in telling her that my granddad was the bouncer on the door at the workingmen's club; she knew the one! Every night there was a Fijian worker who used to organise little games for everyone to get involved with his name was solo but we called him simon because he looked the spit and double of Simon Webb from blue.
On the third day we finally got the confirmation that we were hoping for and that was Katie, Louises sister was ALSO coming out to meet us!!! FAMILY REUNION HERE WE COME!!! haha And to make it even better its Alan's birthday the day they arrive if that doesn't deserve a free upgrade i don't know what does! Lou's bed got the once over because the previous day we had complained about the mosquito nets having little bugs in them and to be honest they were brilliant they had gave us brand new nets the mattresses were off and they did the once over with the bug killer spray it was like an SAS operation to get rid of these bugs. That day was probably some of the best snorkelling we had done we went out early morning and were quite far out and we saw a a shark just swimming passed in the shadows but close enough to see, it was a black tip reef shark and probably the biggest we have seen at about 3 meters, take off 20% for exaggeration and you're looking at about 2 meters at least! That afternoon Louise was to into her book to come snorkelling so i went alone and i saw two stingray's and an octopus plus two of the most aggressive nemo's we have ever seen (the following day one of them actually nutted louise in the snorkel mask and bit my shorts.
That night we joined in a few of the games that simon was putting on and we got split up into countries and i went up for team ENGLAND!! And the game was that you had a coconut attached to a string and it hung between your legs and you had to bash the another coconut on the floor with the one between your legs...............sounds easy, its a bit like conkers and it was the first person to get his coconut across the other side. The pressure was on because the prize was an alcoholic cocktail and because they were so expensive we hadn't had one yet so the only way was to win. Turns out i was awesome and won the whole event there was a slight discrepancy on the final event but............whatever, my coconut rolled in front of the other person and i went in front i knocked her coconut and it wrapped round her leg giving me more time to get to the finish line its okay though she vas za German. Lou also had a go but her coconut string was too long and it was just dragging along the floor haha we later played another game and got into the final but ended up losing.
On the 4th day we thought about doing our advanced diving course which is a higher qualification but we weren't to sure about the instructor, he had some sort of love interest going on with some girl he was diving with so we decided against it. We were also thinking that if the snorkelling was this good was there any need to do the diving. That day was just the usual sun bathing, snorkelling eating and sleeping. We met up with Dave and Jacque who we met on the main land, that night Jacque was hammered and she fed most of her food to the dog which stayed on the resort by folk. We started talking to another lad who seemed alright until we found out he was an utter moron!! We were talking about Asian people and some times they hassle you, apparently he thinks, quote....................' When you've worked hard and saved up all that money you don't have to be polite to people' me and Lou just looked at each other and thought............. Prat! Ohh yeah and by the way this guy also sent his girlfriend home from travelling and wouldn't lend her any money so he was doing Fiji by himself haha
The last day at Mantaray was spent just sunbathing and snorkelling before we had dinner to set off for Octopus Resort. We were looking forward to it because we knew we were meeting back up with Rhiannon and Sophie and Carla and Chris and Leony and Amy the whole gang!! Mantaray resort was lovely but we both felt the same, it was too spaced out and even though it was immaculate (i mean even if a leaf would fall onto the pavement the staff would radio each other "clean up on isle 4" and before it had time to drop the staff would be there waiting with their sweeping brush) it just didn't have that intimate feel like blue lagoon did. However the snorkelling was second to none; brilliant i would go back just for that. Onto octopus resort!!! Woo woo!!
Love Adam and Louise xxx