A Great Island with Great Friends!!
Coral View Day One:
Today was the earliest start yet! I was up shortly after 5am for a morning shower before our hike to see the sunrise! At the campfire last night we were able to convince our new friends Jenna and Audrey to come along with us. The sunrise was nice, unfortunately it was still a bit covered by the island so it wasn’t exactly what we expected but still a great way to start the morning. I think I am becoming addicted to hiking!
After sunrise we got to once again read in hammocks while we waited for breakfast and morning activities. After breakfast we had about an hour to read and lay in the sun it was a nice rest after our early morning. Our first activity was once again fish feeding so we had fun doing that for a second time. we wanted to do it again because A it was fun to do and B we got to do it again with Jenna and Audrey because they were not there the previous morning and it was their first time.
After our fish feeding time we headed down the beach in search of crabs for our lovely crab race! I found mine I named it Shelly and Michelle named hers Squirt because we have been quoting the movie Finding Nemo all trip! Neither of our crabs won but we did all make it to the final round!
After the crab races it was time to husk and crack coconuts again and then we were off to the boat. It was a bit stressful riding out on our little boat to the big boat considering there were 19people on the little boat and 15of us all had luggage and some sort of backpack or hand bag. Michelle and I figured there had to be close to 3,000lbs in the little boat, which had to be over the weight limit because we were sitting mighty low in the water thankfully we all made it safely! The boat ride was nice we got to sit our front in the sunshine and enjoy the views as we made our way to our next stop of Coral View.
Once we made it to the island we relaxed in our lawn chairs till our sunset hike up the mountain for a lovely view of the sunset. We made it to the top just in time to see the AMAZING sunset! After our lovely hike we showered and headed to dinner with our new “gang” Jenna and Audrey had friends from school also traveling in Fiji and we all met up on this island for the next two days. After a great dinner we had the famous bula dancing and played a few game of the “stick game” it was fun to get up and be silly for a little while. There was also a birthday on the island so the staff sang happy birthday and had CAKE! Not as good as your birthday cake mom but it was nice to have some desert! We are off to bed early tonight because we will be up for another sunrise hike in the morning, Can’t wait!
Our sunrise hike was a great success. We took off shortly after 5:30am, we also ended up running into the polish boys from our Waya Lalali Hike to go with us for sunrise again. going up was a bit harder than the previous night because we were in the dark and only had one torch (Thanks again Dad) but over all still a great morning. We did end up with some pesky bug bites (one thing I wont miss about Fiji) but an okay sacrifice for a great morning.
After our beautiful hike we headed back to the dorms to lay down and rest till breakfast. After breakfast and tea we gathered up a few things and Michelle and I headed out to go Cave swimming! It was really really cool and the largest cave in the southern hemisphere! We got to hang out in the one really big cave for a while and it was bright because the top was open, we swam around and jumped off the sides and had a great time. then they said we could go into the second cave but because it was high tide we had to swim down under the water to get into it. At first this seemed fine to be then I realized I did not have a mask to see under the water and began thinking this might not be as great of a plan but still excited to see another cave. So we got up to the wall of the first cave and one of the guides with a mask said he would go with me so I knew where to go, he grabbed my waist and said hold your breath. (in my head I was like wait, what, can I get a count down or something here?!?) so I took a deep breath and down into the darkness I went…then all of a sudden my guide LET GO! What was he thinking I don’t know. But I started freaking out reaching back for him swimming around because I was underwater in a cave in the dark unable to see anything! He just pushed me forward a little and I continued to freak out while running out of breath….all until I ran face first into the wall of the cave (yes I have a bit of a scratch on my nose!) I shot up out of the water hoping for air and SO thankful that I had made it into the second cave with air! When I got into the other cave another guide was waiting with a waterproof torch to light up the cave and brought me to a rope on the side of the cave I could hold on to and catch my breath and recover from the whole process. Once Michelle made it into the cave (she had a bit easier time because a nice man from our group let her barrow his mask because he had already gone in. The second cave was dark and a true cave the only way we could see was because the guide had a torch, he took us for a swim about the cave into a few different winding areas and showed us around. It was really neat and I am glad I did it! Getting out of the cave was much easier. We headed back to the first one to swim around some and then headed back to Coral view to meet up with our friends.
The boat ride was bumpy but fun because we got to see some other areas of the islands beside where the big transfer boat goes. It reminded me of being out in the ocean in the keys and was a lot of fun. Once we got back to Coral View we headed to the chairs where Jenna, Brittney, Audrey, and Jon were waiting for us and we had a relaxing afternoon and lunch together all getting along so well. shortly after lunch us girls headed to the Blue Lagoon. This is the same Blue Lagoon that Brook Shield did film the movie Blue Lagoon. We snorkeled around and it may have been the best snorkeling yet! Because the tide was going out we were right on top of the coral and very close to the fish, plus the water was so clear and so blue! It was so much fun we saw heaps of different kinds of fish including nemo! After snorkeling a bit before we headed back to our island we had a bit of a girls photo shoot in the blue lagoon, it was great fun!
That afternoon brought afternoon tea and sunshine. We enjoyed being together as good friends in a beautiful place. That evening Jon, Brit, Michelle and I headed up to see sunset again. Michelle and I were the only two with real shoes and not just thongs so it was a bit of a slower hike then the night before because Brit wasn’t quite prepared but it was still fun! We made it up in plenty of time because we knew to get started a bit sooner. The sunset was once again amazing! And being with friends always makes it better!
Dinner brought more great fellowship and fun, we were seated next to an older Australian couple and they were so fun! They were just traveling around because they were in the process of retiring and were just so interesting and fun to talk with. Full of advice for us youngins! After dinner more dancing! We all got into the game and I even made it to the top five, sadly I didn’t win ☹. After dinner and fun games we all just hung out talking, looking at pictures and enjoying each other’s company knowing tomorrow we would all split up going our separate ways.
After breakfast and packing up our things we “checked out” of our rooms and headed for the lawn chairs for one last morning in the sun together. Just before lunch Michelle and I ventured over to the other side of the island on a little trail our Australian couple told us about at breakfast. It was beautiful but also high tide so not a ton of space to walk about but we enjoyed a change in scenery.
After lunch we had another hour or so until boarding time for the big boat. We spent it laying out and chatting. Once we were on the boat we knew what was coming our good byes. We first said good-bye to Jon and Brittney and sent them with a note to our friend Ziggy at Korovou. It was so sad to wave good-bye to them as they drove away on their little boat towards shore. Just one stop later it was time for Michelle and I to head off the boat and leave Audrey and Jenna behind ☹ this was such a sad moment seeing them up on the big boat knowing that tonight they would be on a plane back to the US as we motored towards our new island.
It was so sad to say goodbye to all our new friends. Michelle and I talked about it know we had only known these kids for a few days but it felt like a life time. we both almost shed a few tears saying our goodbyes I can’t imagine what it will be like to leave Australia for good. When you are traveling you just form bonds so much faster with the people around you and everyone just gets along so well, we couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to hang out with during out stay in Coral View. I am keeping my mind in the present enjoying my last few days of Fiji before worrying about anymore goodbyes or list and stresses of home. We only have a few more short days here in Fiji and are trying to enjoy ever minute of the sunshine and warmth we can, even if it involves reading for our Criminal Justice exam. Not exactly the pleaser reading I would like to be doing on a holiday but I suppose it is a study break for a reason! Now off to Mantaray Island!
2 Corinthians 4:7