Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Nacula (Part II)

2 October 2013

In case you didn't notice, there is a previous post re our trip to the Yasawa Islands.  But the power seems to have been turned on earlier than we expected, so I'm taking advantage of that and posting my photos while recharging the computer.

Yeah, okay, power is out - but the photos are here, and the wifi hotspot is working, so I'll go ahead and do the long version of our day.

We started out with a bus to the marina at Denarau, just outside Nadi.  The company is very organized, in a vaguely chaotic way.  People are sort of herded from window to window to check luggage, then finalize tickets, then wait for the ferry.  Which is actually a giant yellow catamaran.  But very comfortable.  We went through the process, although we only carried our small packs and a bag with the snorkel gear (and computers in a separate bag) - so the people said our luggage is too small to check, okay fine, we didn't really care - and we eventually got onto the cat.  Upstairs, the open viewing deck wasn't too crowded, and we found front row seats.  Perfect for viewing!

The day started fairly overcast and grey, with smooth seas and a decent breeze - perfect weather for a day on the sea.

The sky, seas, islands were all shades of grey.  Could have been islands pretty much anywhere, including the San Juan islands, although the shapes were a bit different, and the trees were definitely tropical.
But the parasailing made for some great color.

So, we passed little flat sandy islands, with resorts.  We passed rocky islands without resorts.  We passed little flat sandy islands without resorts.  Yup, five or so hours of this.  Pretty soon, one island would stand out because it looked like a little turtle made out of rock.  Or another island looked like maybe it was the home of King Kong, or at least a few dinosaurs, because it just had a sort of ominous look, with all kinds of jutting rock and peaks, looming on the horizon.  That island turned out to be a group of three or so islands, and I think it looked like the islands were actually what was left of a giant volcano that erupted, leaving a caldera that is now the lagoon between the islands that curve around it.  (I think this was Wayalailai Island, and I can't find any literature on line describing the geomorphology of the island and its neighbors.  But it just kind of looked like that to me.)

And, of course, we chatted with other travellers - people from all over the USA, people from Germany, the Netherlands, France, Chile, Brazil, England, Australia.  A bunch of the young people had worked for a bit in either NZ or Australia, and were taking a trip around the South Pacific before heading "home" to find a job.  Especially the young men involved in the French ski resorts, who only work during the French winter, and travel or work overseas the rest of the year. 

Most of the people are island hopping - a few nights on one island, a few nights on another - some for a week total, some for three weeks.  Our plan was to go to Nacula, and spend one week.  We thought we could see more by immersing ourselves in one island for the time, rather than rushing around from place to place.

Anyway, we managed to stay amused for the five hour ferry ride - we figured it was a sightseeing tour of the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, not just a long trip to our destination.  (Travellers enjoy the journey; tourists enjoy the destination.  We're definitely all about the journey.)

One notable item - the Brazilian young lady was carrying this small clam shell around - someone gave it to her on one of the islands, and she's trying to preserve it.  Yes, this is a small clam shell.  Because it's really one of those giant clams - remember we'd see them in cartoons as children?  People would get their leg caught in the clam?  Well, we saw these are all over this area, and we saw truly giant ones when we snorkeled around the Great Barrier Reef.  So, this is just a little giant clam shell.

Okay, the process for getting off the catamaran - each resort has a whaler or tender, and the captain stops the cat, waits for the tender to come up, the crew holds the smaller boat, hands over luggage, and helps people into the tender.  As in, "sit here and swing your feet down."  Great if one is about six feet tall.  I had to kind of drop into the boat.  Which of course bounces around, as I try to make my way to a bench.  Richard could reach the boat, but, well, we aren't the most graceful people who entered that tender.   And of course, exiting wasn't much better - we got close to the beach, but were still in some water - so I took off the Birks, tried to hold my slacks up, got one foot out, and nearly fell over as that foot sunk into the soft sand and the boat drifted a bit and my other leg was stuck.  Ah yes, we're quite the comedy routine.  I shudder to think about re-boarding the cat from the tender - I really need a small ladder or something!

So, we have a lovely little bure, maybe 17 or 18 ft in each direction (I'm counting tiles on the floor).  Roomy, with the queen bed for us and bunks for our kava children.  Or where we just spread out our stuff, or sit while on the computer, or whatever.

A nice little porch, with woven (braided?) thatch for the ceiling.  And a thatched roof, although the ceiling inside is plywood or sheetrock, painted a bright blue.

 We also have two hammocks.  With a view.  Really, this is our front yard.

So this is our week of island adventure!  

We'll keep you posted as the electricity allows.

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