Time is passing way too quick!
I'm now in stunning Fiji, chilling out and savouring every minute under the sun!
It's cool being here after Australia and New Zealand for so long: more of a culture difference...I was riding in a minivan the other day and felt like I was back in South Africa, then yesterday having lunch in town it felt like I was in Singapore or something! I arrived late Tuesday night to this new and foreign land with nothing except advice to get straight off the mainland, and a bed booked for the night. It was humid and I was tired and ended up having a stupid dispute with the hostel I booked into so I didn't even end up staying there! Got transferred to this crummy place next door, in a room with about 20 roommates who decided they'd have a party when they got back after midnight. Great! However, I managed to sort myself out and took a boat straight to Robinson Crusoe Island the next day, for three nights.
We had a lovely Fijian welcoming song as we drifted into shore, and had to shout a hearty 'Bula!' as we arrived, or we weren't allowed off the boat! It means 'hello' but also happiness, health, and lots of warm wishes and was a word we got used to saying a lot! The Fijians are so friendly and always laughing! There were about twenty of them working on the tiny island, and about maybe thirty of us guests at any one time. On our first evening we had a traditional welcoming ceremony, drinking kava (a herbal drink, really looked like muddy water!) out of a coconut shell and making introductions. Upon completion of the ceremony, we were official islanders, and when the day-trip visitors came we really felt quite territorial!
It's unfortunate that we experienced a bit of rain and cloudiness until the day I left, (when the sky was as blue and clear as it could get!), and at first it felt strange - with no sunbathing to do, what was left?! You could walk around the island in about half an hour, and there was no TV, internet, radio, no distractions whatsoever. As soon as we got used to this though, it was so liberating - just endless space and time. Our meals were sounded by a drum call, and inbetween we sat playing cards, talking, swinging in hammocks, taking bush walks... One afternoon I also proudly carved my own bracelet out of a cocunut - sawing it, scraping it out, and sanding it down! We lived really freely and basically, even filling water into buckets hung up on ropes for our showers! Fun! And insane thinking how little water I actually need to use everyday.
In the evenings, we were entertained by Fijian dancing, fire catching and our own dance-offs too! Sometimes we just sat round the bonfire on the beach with a guitar, enjoying the sunset. So nice.
Almost don't want it to end....!