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Well, it has been several days since I last posted an update and a lot has happened since. For a start, I am now 19. We left Nadi on my birthday and took the bus along the coast through rolling hills and fields of sugar cane to the small town/village of Cuvu (pronounced Doovoo). From there, a taxi took us over several kilometers of rough, unmettled track to reach Namuka Bay Lagoon.
Upon arrival, the first word to grace the lips of both Oli and myself was, "Wow!" We were greeted in the largest of the four traditional, thatched wooden bures by Theresa our host/cook/guide. As we were currently the only guests at the resort, we were upgraded to our own small bure (we had booked our beds in the dorm), complete with ensuite facilities. Inside this, a double bed (which Oli immediately baggsied) and a single bed took up most of the space. The walls appeared to have been made by weaving supple branches together and the floor was covered by wicker mats and a carpet between the beds.
Outside, the sea lay 50m away down a grassy slope. A couple of hundred metres out to sea a constant wall of white borderd a darker blue beyond as the coral sheltering the lagoon dropped away to form a deep ocean beyond. Three hammocks lay strung between tall, wind-swept palm trees, one so battered it lay at almost 45 degrees to the ground. Two thatched shelters covered tables and benches upon which meals were served; the open sides of these allowed stunning views of the ocean, which stretched the full width of the horizon with not a spot of land in sight. A seemingly permanent breeze ensured the temperature was always pleasant and the crashing waves out at sea provided a constant background noise.
Over the first three days,in addition to lazing around reading in the hammocks, we managed to fit in the following activities:
Although we were due to return to Nadi on Friday, we were easily convinced to stay another two days, especially given the wonderful food - all freshly prepared and in traditional Fijian, Cantonese and Indian style. The Indian curries with the flat,pan fried 'Roti' (a sort of bread) were a particular favourite, as was the Fijian dish of fish and vegtables served in a meaty white sauce with kasava (a dry, local root vegtable). As we needed to withdraw cash to pay for this, a day trip to the local town of Sigatoka was in order. As we were looking to save money, we walked the 50 minute route along a seldom used railroad to Cuvu and from there we caught the bus to Sigatoka for a dollar each. After replenishing our stocks of cash and purchasing two new books to read, we returned to Cuvu and walked back to Namuka Bay; by this time the sun was high overhead and the rain clouds that had threatened us earlier had moved inland - in hindsight I think the long-sleeved thermal base layer I wore that day was the wrong choice.
Today we returned to Nadi where we can do some much needed washing and recooperate from our 6 day period of, um, relaxation. We have already booked our next trip and on Wednesday we leave for the Yasawas, where we will spend 5 nights: 2 on one island and 3 on another, before returning to Nadi to meet up with the rest of our Greenforce group.