Day 163 – Island hopping in Fiji and participating in a Cava ceremony

We had a very early start in the morning to get on the boat. A big coach picked us up from outside Mama’s resort which took us to the pier. It was full of backpackers. But things didn’t go well in the morning.

The islands are pretty much a cash only place with no cash machines. We worked out how much accommodation and meals would cost (meals come as a package with the accommodation as that is usually the only place which serves food, no restaurants about) but it’s hard to estimate how much extra we would need for activities, alcohol and snacks. Our credit cards appeared to have stopped working. We tried several times and hen watched others use the same machine to take cash out so it was definitely our card. We figured it was probably because we both took out our maximum allowances on there last night but that wasn’t going to last us 7 days!

I headed over to the check-in desk as we didn’t want to miss out boat because of the cash machine. They had no record of our booking for the boat. Damn hostelworld! I sorted that out while John tried to get some cash somehow. In the end, we had to use our emergency HSBC cards which charged us £5 on each withdrawal plus a really bad exchange rate. Bummer!

With a few minutes to spare we were on the boat, with a stash of cash and ready for an island adventure.

The Yasawa Flyer boats

The Yasawa Flyer boats

The boat took 4 and a half hours to reach our first resort, the Nabua Lodge which was located the furthest away on the southern end of Nacula island in the Yasawas. We had a great welcome on the beach with a song and dance which ended with a big Bula shout. We then headed to our own private room (more like a hut) and then for lunch!

We then decided to go on a group line fishing trip on a small boat; that didn’t turn out too well. On the boat of 10 we managed to catch 1 tiny fish, it then started to rain so we headed back slightly early.

In the evening we ate a huge meal all together and got to know some of the people who were staying; all were around our age and backpacking around. We had some drinks and then played some dancing games organised by the owners of the lodge which was really fun in the end.

After that we tried some cava in a traditional Fijian ceremony. Made from the root of a plant, cava is mixed with water and passed around a group. It’s meant to have different effects from making you pee loads, numbness in your mouth, slight light headedness and relaxation. However it didn’t have much effect apart from numbing your month and making you pee, but that might have been due to drinking loads of it.

The cava ceremony, the cava is mixed in the big bowl

The cava ceremony, the cava is mixed in the big bowl

Low tide for me

Low tide for me

The drinking was fun as there was a routing to drinking, first asking for a different size of drink, low tide, high tide and tsunami. You clap your hands with your hands cupped, say “Bula”, down it, then clap three times and say “mathe”. So although the drink wasn’t great  the process of drinking and explanation was all very interesting. Power then went out; it only runs off a petrol motor so we only have electricity at certain times of the day. So we headed to bed in our little hut!

Cava for the group

Cava for the group

About Julia Chan

I’m Julia and I've just returned from the adventure of my life. I went travelling around South America, the South Pacific and South East Asia for 12 months, and I'd do it all over again if I could! Julia on Google+
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