A Travellerspoint blog

Coral View

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!
Day two:

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.

Day 3:

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!

In Him

2 Corinthians 4:7

Posted by Dykemah 15:47 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Korovou Day Two

An action packed day!!

We had an AMAZING DAY today at Korovou. After coming yesterday and a few setbacks with electricity and roommate drama in the middle of the night we weren’t so sure about this island and we were missing the beautiful island of Waya Lalali but after today we don’t want to move on tomorrow.

We woke up early because we had gone to bed so early last night. So we were up and ready to go nice and early, so we headed down towards the beach to read in the Hammocks till breakfast it was fabulous. I don’t think doing devotions and journaling in a hammock with the sound of the ocean as the sun come up could ever get old. It was a very peaceful morning and I just reminded me again how blessed and grateful I am for this opportunity.
After having a great pancake and pineapple breakfast (the pineapple here is so good we love having it!) we headed back to our hammocks for a bit because they were just so wonderful. After a little more time we headed for the pool to set up camp in the sunshine. We were only by the pool for a short time when our morning of activities started. First on the list for the morning was fish feeding! It was really fun except I learned the hard way not to put your hands in the water when other people are feeding the fish around you because they will bite your fingers! We used the left over pancakes to feed them and they came up nearly on shore. There were heaps of fish to feed and feeding them didn’t ever get old it was a great first activity!
After fish feeding we were down on the beach and ended up meeting a nice couple on holiday from California and we chatted with them a bit before heading up to the deck for a lesson in coconut husking and cracking. We didn’t get to really try this but the guys assured us tomorrow morning we could give it a try and it was still fun to watch!
After we did that and got to eat some of the coconut, of which I am not a huge fan of but Michelle loves (so I told her id be sure to always send her one from the keys) we got the chance to climb up a coconut tree. The guys taught us the climbing technique and it was pretty fun. A bit scarier then I thought it would be when you got up high but still fun!
Our morning did not end there, we had to do something with the coconuts we just pulled out of the tree so the guys got their machete and we chopped off the tops to give the milk a try. This was MUCH harder than it looked but fun to have tried. I wasn’t to keen on the coconut milk drinking but I gave it a try. It was sweeter than I expected but still not something I wanted to drink a ton of .
Once we finished all those lovely and eventful morning activities we laid in the sun some and then went for a lovely swim while the tide was high. It is much easier to swim in salt water then it is fresh water! The water was so clear and blue you could swim with your head above the water and still see the bottom and the coral perfectly. The cold water felt wonderful and so refreshing from the hot sunshine. We got out with enough time to dry off before lunchtime. After lunchtime it was time for more reading and sunbathing with another swim before afternoon tea(which is amazing here). But before all this even we took a walk/hike to the other side of the island to what is known as Honeymoon beach. It was BEAUTIFUL! Like the postcards of Fiji! We did a bit of swimming and played in the sand some. It was a great afternoon trip before heading back to the sunshine by the pool.
Then we ended up talking and hanging out with some of the native boys who ended up being around out age they were very nice and ended up taking us sunset set fishing in kayaks because no enough people signed up to take a real boat, this was really nice of them because they didn’t have to they could have just cancelled the trip! So our fishing adventures began with a search for bait….Hermit Crabs! We walked the beach with a big bucket picking up crabs to take with us for bait, we got heaps of them!
Then after we got our bait we dragged the boats to the water and set off on our sunset fishing adventures! The sunset was amazing and even better from the water. Once the sunset we stayed out fishing for another hour maybe hour and a half so our sunset fishing trip ended up being a moonlit fishing trip, which was great fun as well! and to top it all off I caught the only fish of the night! Even though we really only caught one fish (mine!) it was a fantastic night swapping stories and learning about Fiji and the island we were on and about their coulters as they learned about ours.
We headed in from fishing when we heard the dinner drums! After dinner we headed back to our room and change into dry clothes before the Bula dance of the night. Some of the boys danced on the deck for us before once again making everyone get up and dance with them.
While we danced we bumped into a few girls who were also from the states. Come to find out they were both also from Minnesota which is where Michelle is from and go to the University in Michelle’s home town and one is best friends with Michelle’s neighbor! Honestly could the world get much smaller!?! After all the dancing was down we headed to the beach for a lovely bonfire in the sand! This was wonderful! It is something I have wanted to do for so long and we finally got to do it! It made me excited for summer bonfires back home! We sat by the fire for a few hours talking and they passed a guitar around so we heard lots of different songs and just had a great time. At one point after going around and saying your name and country we went through and had to sing your national anthem I said I felt like I was at the Olympics hearing all the national anthems it was pretty neat.
Our day turned out better than I could have asked for! We had so much fun in everything we did and are sad to be leaving this place tomorrow. We are getting up early to once again hike to honeymoon beach for the sunrise with our new Minnesota friends Audrey and Jenna. We want to get as much as we can in before leaving tomorrow enjoying everything we can do here in Korovou. But we are still excited to see what our next island brings, learning you can’t judge a book by its cover or I suppose an island by its beach! Now its time to head to bed because we have to be up and ready to hike nice and early!

In Him,

2 Corinthians 3:18

Posted by Dykemah 07:05 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Island Three - Korovou

Day one

We started our day nice and early with breakfast at 7am after packing up our bags. After a quick breakfast Michelle, Chris and Rob (our two new polish friends from the night before headed off for a hike to the top of some rock formations on the island. This was a great hike! Up to the top was about 40minutes of pretty strenuous climb, we were all a bit tired and very hot once we reached the top. It was a muddy climb, a bit slippery and very steep at times but we had a wonderful time and the view from the top was so worth it! Our whole journey took around 2hours and was a fantastic way to start our day.
We came back down and cleaned off our shoes and legs from the mud and finished up or last bit of packing. Michelle and I spent some time relaxing in hammocks before it was time to head to our next island. The boat ride to Koravou from Waya Lalali was just over and hour. We spent some of it inside the cabin part of the ship soaking up some air-conditioning because we were still warm from our hike and then ventured off to the front of the ship to see the views and enjoy some sunshine.

We arrived in Koravou just in time for lunch on the deck and it tasted GREAT! After lunch Michelle and I had a rather lazy day laying in the sun by the pool. Yes they do have a pool but I have yet to see anyone use it due to the Very Very green color of the water!
When we got hot we opted for the ocean a much more appealing blue color!
Our afternoon was very chill with afternoon tea at around 3pm and then we just spent some time chatting and reading on the deck as we waited for dinner. The sunset as we waited was BEAUTIFUL! I am glad we were sitting on the deck so we could enjoy the gorgeous colors of the sunset.
After dinner was served we sat on the deck and once again enjoyed the sounds of the ocean while playing some cards and I finally beat Michelle in cribbage TWICE! The atmosphere around here is very quite tonight because it is Sunday and there is only around maybe 20guest total at the moment so our night wasn’t crazy eventful but enjoyable. We are back in our room sort of early tonight but it seems so late because all of the lights are out not working, apparently they blew a generator or something so only the main dining hall has power so it is a good thing we packed torches (aussie for flashlight – Thanks for bringing me one Dad always taking care of me). I am sure our night will be early with the no light situation. Tomorrow will mark our half way point and I ask for prayers for safety good weather and positive attitudes even when things done turn out quite right. Also for patients with the so called “Fiji time” (basically they get to do whatever they want on their time and as Americans and college students when you say something is going to happen we expect that it will happen at that time, here in “Fiji time” not so much the case and it has been taking some getting used too. Other than that not much to report all is well on the island!

  • * Update from the sunshine coast** Today started the Good byes, Sam (Michelle's roommate) left today for home. it was so sad to see her go, we got up and had tea this morning and spent some time together before her final exam and then again afterwards before she left. It seemed to mark the beginning of the end. Michelle is going down to Melbourne and maybe back to Tasmania where Sam is from after i leave in the beginning of July so they took the good bye rather well. I was rather sad tho knowing i probably wont get to see Sam for over a year until she comes to the US to see Michelle. I am getting prepared to say good bye to this beautiful place and head home, it is nice that it is starting slow for now, i can ease my way into good byes. after saying goodbye to Sam we headed to the beach for a nice day in the sun although it was much colder and windier then what we are used to! It was my last day packing a surf board for the beach and enjoying the oceans waves as i had to put my board up for sale considering Grand Rapids is unfortunately not a Huge surfing town. I am sad to see it go but it is just one more thing marking the end one season of my life and the beginning of another. Tomorrow my friend Clair from New Zealand will be here on the sunshine coast so it will be wonderful to see her again! I can't wait. Have a wonderful day!

In Him,

Romans 12:16

Posted by Dykemah 06:46 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Waya Lalali

Day Two

It is out last night in Waya Lalali, we will be sad to leave such a beautiful island in the morning but are excited to venture on to see what else Fiji has to offer! Today was another great day of sunshine and fun! After a cereal breakfast which surprised us some because we had been spoiled by our last islands breakfast that had pancakes, heaps of fruit, toast and jam, and best of all and egg station where you could have an omelet or fried eggs or even poached eggs, So Good! So this morning was a change and we made it work sitting in the sunshine on the deck there really wasn’t much to complain about!

Once we finished eating we headed back to the room to pack up a few things for our reef snorkeling trip! This was amazing! Our boat trip out to the reef was a little wet, we fit 15people on one of these little boats they have an I think that’s why we were getting so splashed in the back (a little to much weight for the boat!) Once we got out to the reef the water was crystal clear and pretty calm. We jumped right in. Even where the coral was deep you could see it perfect because the blue water so amazingly clear! We followed our guide and snorkeled around for a bit. Our guide brought along a long skinny metal poll and a spring along with a bamboo leave, you may wonder why….well he was SPEARING FISH! When we were like right next to him it was crazy! He did it with such ease and precision! He did miss a few times but he ended up with some fish on his makeshift rope, needless to say I was impressed! We kept snorkeling around enjoying in amazement the beautiful colors of the fish and the reef till we got to a bit of a cove and our guide began to pull off one of the fish and scratch it up, heaps of little fish began swarming around him. And then they started to come…Yup you guessed it the SHARKS! They were chasing him around in a circle as he twirled around underwater holding on to the dead fish. Then he would put his hand up in the air out of the water and they would dart away usually towards us, the first time one of them swam at me I was pretty frightened then we all got used to them swimming around us. At one point I think I counted seven different sharks swimming around us. We got a chance to reach out at touch them as they swam around us, they felt strong and their skin was tough and kind of leathery feeling. Over all a great time snorkeling!
After we got back from out trip we laid in the sunshine until lunchtime! After lunch it was time to head back to the beach for a few hours. Michelle fell asleep and I did some reading! After a few hours we took a nice walk down the beach collecting some lovely sea glass and took a short swim. We also met a nice native girl who seemed to be about our age, she wrote our names in the sand “Hannah Bula Michelle” so we could see it from the deck of the dinning area when we went back up there later that day. We went up and took pictures before showering for dinner as we watched the sunset!
Once we got back to our towels a few clouds had come out so we were contemplating what to do when some native boys were playing Volleyball so we decided to join them. This ended up being around a two hour round of beach volleyball as the teams changed up as the boys had to come and go, it was a blast! Once we were to tired to play anymore we headed for another swim to get all of our sand off and cool down it felt GREAT! Plus the tide was high so it made swimming much easier.
Then we headed back to the rooms to shower and change before dinner. We had a little time to relax before heading down to dinner so Michelle did a bit of reading and I loaded our pictures on to my computer so I could organize them into days for these post so hopefully I can update you soon!

Dinner was good as usual, we had a bake potato that was so great, I think it may be the first time I have had a baked potato in nearly five months! YUM! After dinner we stayed down on the deck in hopes of catching another dance but because it is the weekend no dancing happened. But we did meet some very nice boys to play cards with! Two of them were from Poland and one from Belgium. We taught them how to play a few American games, of course Kings Corner was first on the list, then Matthew our friend from Belgium wandered off to have some kava with the natives so Christopher and Rob our two new Polish friends taught us a Polish card game! I also got a chance to ask some questions about Polland and what not, trying to learn about my heritage. Chris was trying to teach us how to say his full name and then began telling us what it meant, I don’t recall what it actually meant but I did ask what Zych meant, sorry to say Grandpa Ray it doesn’t mean anything besides it just being a last name. The game they taught us how to play was called Makau (said kinda like Ma-cow) it was kinda fun and I did win once but I think they were making it up as we went along, every few hands they would add more rules and usually to help them out! It was still fun and now I can say I know a Polish card game and how to say Hello. We are back in our rooms now and it is around 11pm we are headed to bed now so we can get up early and meet our new friends to go on a hike after breakfast before catching our boat to the next island! Tomorrow should be another great day in Fiji. We are praying that the weather remains good and our next Island is even better than this one!

In Him,

1 Thessalonians 4:11

Posted by Dykemah 13:16 Archived in Fiji Comments (1)

Island two - Waya Lailai

Day one

Our last night on Beachcomber ended with a nice night of cards and cribbage (Michelle’s mom sent us a mini cribbage board so I am learning how to peg now too! I am still not as good as Michelle but I am learning and starting to give her a run for her money) we were really tried but after cup of what we now believe to be caffeinated tea after dinner we were up chatting for a while! The next morning we were up to pack and have a nice walk around our island before breakfast because you guessed it THE SUN WAS SHINING! Our boat transfer came shortly after breakfast to bring us to the beautiful island of Waya Lailai! Our small transfer boat onto the island was an experience! It was a very small boat where we fit about 10 people on it and we had to sit right on the bottom of the boat, there were no seats or anything and maybe only two lifejackets for the entire boat! We all had to scoot to the back so that the front of the boat didn’t sink, like I said an experience! Thankfully we all made it shore dry and safe.

So far Waya Lailai is my favorite island (I know it is only our second but it is wonderful here) and a lot of my love for this island may have to do with the fact that Michelle and I have our own room complete with bathroom and our own real beds! It is nice to have some space to ourselves we even have a porch where we sat and played cards after dinner.
Our day on the beach was fabulous. We got to lay in the sun and even spotted a few pods of wild dolphins from the beach! Lunch was great we got to sit out on the deck and eat. After lunch we did a weaving lesson and got to weave a bracelet out of coconut tree leaves, I even got to do an anklet too! Michelle did a bookmark and a ring! The black colour in the weaving is also dried coconut tree leaves but they soak them in the mud for a week to change them from tan to black. It was fun to take part in the village culture.

After our weaving session we took a nice swim in the ocean, it is really shallow for about 10meters or so from the shore and rather rocky so it is a bit of a challenge to get out far enough that you can actually submerge your body farther than your knees but well worth it! The water is so clear and blue you can see all the way to the bottom the whole time. as we hung out in the deep water we even had a few small “Dory” Fish swimming around out feet! Then it was time for a lovely nap on the beach! we also got to see some dolphins swimming about in the bay it was really cool to see!
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After our nap we headed back up to our room to change in hopes of going on a hike but we were told we could only go with a guide, it was sorta a downer but we turned our frowns up side down and went for a short run on the beach instead! It felt great although I am not sure sand will ever be my first choice running surface, it is hard work! On our run we went past the village where some of the dogs were laying and they came and ran along side us trying to get us to play with them.

After our run we sat in a hammock on the beach cooling down and watching some of the people get ready to head out in a boat to do a bit of fishing, after they headed out we headed up to grab our books and sit in the hammocks near our room and read before showering for dinner, it was lovely! I did a bit of schoolwork to start and then got a chance to read for pleasure!
Dinner was nice they had tablecloths and everything on the tables to make it feel like home. They also had a few of the native guys singing and playing the guitar, ukulele, and even some little drums. They had this at lunch as well, a bit of music to dine to! After dinner we headed back to the room to once again play some cards before we went back down towards the dining area for a nice traditional show, Sadly we missed a lot if it because we didn’t know it was going on until we saw some smoke from a fire down from the show! We made it in time to see their last dance and participate in a few dances they taught us, everyone was smiles and laughs it was great fun!

Now that that is all over and Michelle once again beat me in Cribbage (though they were close games, and I did beat here in peanuts or nubs and she would call it) we are back in our room cleaned up for bed journaling about our beautiful sun shining day ready to do some reading and head to bed in a nice quiet quant room! Remember be God is Good! And be positive praising his name, it is a wonder how it truly can change everything around!(a bit of sunshine doesn’t hurt either!) I encourage you all to spend some time in Gods word today, I got a chance to start reading through Galatians today in a hammock and it can brighten your mood and make you feel that much closer to our Amazing God! We get to enjoy his handy work all around us (even back home in Michigan!) I know making sure I spend some time in his work and thanking him has really helped me remain positive and joyful over the past few days and I am so thankful for that! I reckon that is another God thing that I don’t have any wifi to play about on my computer at night or in the morning I have more than enough time with few distractions to lay in a hammock and read, enjoying life and praising God! Thank you for the love and support back home!!

Good night from Waya Lailai

In Him,
Hannah Joy

Galatians 2: 20-21

Posted by Dykemah 02:32 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

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