Hello there! I decided to do my first journal entry since joining the team as I managed to see a bit of Fiji on my own and it was so lovely it has to be mentioned! Photos coming later.
Well the team is down to three after losing the wonderful Gemma Curtis (aka golden haired b****) but we are soldiering on bravely. The team has now changed it's name to Wizard Sleeve by the way and it was banter galore at the airport culminating in the purchase of a bumper pack of Toblerone- awesome!
After a fabulous flight with Air Pacific we landed in the tropical paradise of Fiji. Unfortunately the word tropical can only be followed with the words rain storm as this was the situation we had arrived to. But with hope in our hearts we got to the hostel and settled into the resort. But alas, the rain did not let up for three days solid! The first of those I spent sleeping (we worked out I averaged a total of 15 hours in a day), only waking to eat and for a brief spell in the evening reserved for cocktail drinking- "Lady Love" being a particular favourite ironically enough!
The second day of rain actually started off rather well and the team braved the pool. When the storm began we made a group decision that we would remain submerged as the fun was never ending. I learnt many new skills on that day- a "running man", a "bomb", and a front flip but I am yet to master the art of a DSW-esqe "head dive". Jakey never quite got the back flip but it was hilarious watching him try and, to be fair, his belly flop (which I point blank refused to execute) was brilliant. We also practiced some tricky lifts with DSW bottom, Jakey on his shoulders and me on the top. And to be fair we were damn good- who cares about a little bit of rain?!
More cocktails and dreams were to be had that evening. The convo's were awesome as always with coutnless words of wisdom from the lads. One classic was centred around the nature of mosquitoes and why Steph Cook continued to be eaten alive depsite dousing herself vigilantly every four hours with repellent. The lads had two profound statements on the bloodsucking b*****s for Steph- DSW: "It is all about adapting and overcoming Steph". Jakey: "It's evolution". Cheers lads- any ideas on how I can adapt and overcome the problem of waking up roughly every half hour to scratch profusely?! Honestly 40 bites on one foot is just plain greedy! There were plenty more feet in that resort!
As it neared the end of the boys time in Fiji Steph Cook decided an excursion to an island must be done come rain or shine. So I booked Robinson Crusoe and on Friday I set off on my own llittle adventure hoping for sand, sun, and maybe an escape from mozzies? However I was confronted with a girl on the returning boat whose legs looked as though they had become a resting ground for a colony of scarrubs. "This is a mistake" I thought! (However, the mozzies on Robisnson Crusoe had yet to adapt and overcome Jungle Formula Repellent so I did not follow suit).
On the boat across we were told plainly that Fiji people "no like our English Bula" and a traditional Fijian Bula came straight from the heart. We had to practice this for the entire boat journey or else we wouldn't get lunch. No lunch! I don't think so- Steph Cook "Bula'd" until her heart had no Bula left to give, so terrified was she of missing a meal. This paid off, you will all be glad to hear.
The island was quite quiet on account of the coup and the rain, but contained a group of 18 year old lads on their year out, some German and Dutch people, and two girls from Weybridge with two lads from Bagshot! Pantiles was discussed animatedly and we all agreed it will be missed when it is shut down despite being the dive of all dives!
That night, after an interesting cold water bucket shower (see pictures), I made my way to the Kava ceremony. Kava is found in the root of a Fijian plant which is ground up and added to water. All new islanders have to take part in the ceremony as an initiation but we were told it tasted of Pina Colada so I commenced gulping my bowl voraciously only to discover that it tasted exacly how it looked- like dirty dish water. But wait- it has after effects which include numbness- I waited patiently for this as I thought at least if it numbs my taste buds I will no longer have to endure the after taste. These never came so the minute the ceremony ended raspberry fanta was bought and gulped even more voraciously- this also tasted as it looked- artificial and sugary- yum!!!
After dinner and a few Bounty (58% proof rum) and Cokes later, the party was in full swing. Island games consisted of jumping around onto other people's backs, rolling around in the sand and Conga-ing round the island, and were surprisingly great fun even for a sophisticated gal such as moi. We then took the party to the island "night club" which was basically a shack with a CD player. The 18 year olds took a bit of a fancy to the Cookster and me and the girls decided they obviously saw me as a mother figure as it transpired that I was the oldest islander! They were very patient and took it in turns to dance with me to the legendary song "African Queen" which is now an anthem of Robinson Crusoe and one which I must attain for my own collection. We chatted and danced drunkenly the whole night through- or actually until 12:00 when the generator shuts down and the whole island is plunged into darkness. But that is when the beach fire is lit and a guitar is produced so the fun went on! Although walking back to the beach huts in the pitch black was an experience I don't want to repeat (I know there is no such thing as monsters but....).
The next day brought snorkelling (sea snakes and Nemo's galore), volleyball, jewellery making (from coconut!), and lots of lazing around reading and napping on hammocks.
That night was the dance show which was frankly fantastic. Fire eating, knife twirling, coconut bikini thingies, men in tight pants and grassy leg adornments, the works! I was transfixed!
To sum up Robinson Crusoe- it was absolutely excellent. I loved every minute- even the huge crabs which wander freely as though they run the place and the black cat which ate a gecko whilst I was eating my dinner- yes maybe I should have given it some of my food as it was sitting staring at my plate when said gecko appeared but I never could stand beggars.
Anyway there you are- now on to Auckland then Christchurch to be reunited with team Wizard Sleeve and to eagerly await the arrival of our new member- Ben Holmes.