We got a free shuttle to the Mango Bay Resort which is on the Coral Coast in Fiji, it only took 3 hours to get there and the scenery was pretty amazing all lush tropical plants. There was also numerous traditional villages along the way, which were a cool site. We were escorted to our Safari Tent by the fitness that is Junior. Our tent overlooked the stream and the beach and the sea beyond. Our "tent" had a raised verandah at the front with deckchairs so you could enjoy the spectacular views and inside our spacious tent there was a double bed and two singles. The huge African safari tent was raised off the ground on stilts and had decked flooring. The tent was so tall that there was no issues withÂ standing up, which was obviously good. At the back of the tent was our private bathroom with canvas ceilings and brick walls, also on the end between the brick walls and the canvas ceiling it was open, which was pretty cool. Although whilst in the shower Sam was visited by a bird who flew in to see her!!!
We had some lunch overlooking the beach before wandering aroung the resort which has an activities shack, a bar and restaurant, a night club, a pool and it's own private beach dotted with hammocks and sun lounges. Sort of like you would imagine paradise to be, jealous?! That afternoon we joined in with the coconut demonstration with Uncle Batti and Joe. They explained the traditional uses of all parts of the coconut tree and then showed us how to weave with the leaves to make baskets and matting. Lau had a go at the weaving, which was harder than it looked. Uncle Batti then showed usÂ how to weave a basket in about 10 seconds, we got to keep the basket which was really cool. He also showed us how to make rings out of the leaves as well as glasses and even made Fi a windmill, which was very cool!! We spent quite a while chilling in the hammocks before going back to our tent and watching all the guys playing football, it's a hard job but someone's got to do it!!
At dinner we met Brett, the owner, who was really enthusiastic about everything and friendly, making us feel really welcome. After another Kava Ceremony with John and Nelson, where the Kava was really strong we participated in the quiz with Charlotte, Fiona and Karl. The questions we really random general knowledge questions and even though we'd done ok, it turns out that we had actually won!!!! How cool! So we got free Mango Daquiris as a prize which we sipped while watching others make idiots of themselves playing drinking games. For the rest of the night we were on the beach around a massive bonfire where John played his guitar and sang and we chatted to Nelson and some of the other resort guys who were all really friendly.
We managed to nab the best placed sun loungers the next day and proceeded to spend most of the day in the pool and sunbathing, not a bad life! In the afternoon we made coconut sweets, with Junior, which are the traditional Fijian sweets for kids. It was quite hard because first you have to grind the coconut flesh with a funny lemon zester contraption whilst sitting on a stool about two inches off the ground!! Junior, with his muscular arms made it look really easy but after persuading Sam to have a go she found out that actually it was quite difficult. After grating all the coconut we cooked the coconut with sugar on an open fire and created gorgeous coconut sweets which we ate out of coconut shell bowls. We all enjoyed it so much and it tasted so delicious that we made about 6 batches, Fi had a go at making them and they tasted really good. Can't wait to make them for everyone at home! That night a movie screen was set up on the patio by the pool, so we all lay back on our sun loungers and watched The Departed, a classic film!!
On our final day at Mango Bay we hardly had a minute to chill out and relazx and sunbathe, as first off we fed the fish with Junior. There was loads of fish and they were all really cute and seemed to love the bread we threw to them. After feeding the fish we went snorkelling in the sea, which was pretty cool even though their was no pretty coral only seaweed. But the fish were gorgeous and there were loads and loads of them! Before lunch we had an hour session of pool volleyball with Junior, just the 4 of us. It was really good fun and we were all getting good at it by the end, although we couldn't lift anything for the next few days!!! The afternoon was spent making coconut jewelry with Uncle Batti, Junior and Ben (Arms). We had been looking forward to doing this all week and even though it was a really long process, it was well worth it. We all made bracelets and pendants which we sanded for a good three hours before varnishing. They all look really amazing and we were very proud of all our hard work!
Whilst sitting in the hammocks watching the sunset over the ocean we were able to watch a traditional Fijian torch lighting ceremony which Joe performed every night. It consisted of Joe dressing up in a mulit-coloured grass skirt and paintig his face before running down the beach with a lit torch to light all the torches lined up along the beachfront. It was really cool because they bang the drum and shout some Fijian words before it starts. It was cool to see one of the traditional Fijian rituals. After dinner we spent most of the evening chatting to Joe in the Activities Shack, before he built a bonfire.
We left early the next morning and it was really hard to say goodbye to our new friends and a little piece of paradise, that we loved!