Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fiji Day 2: Namale - Coconut Demonstration, Village, and Kayaking

For our first morning in Fiji, we woke early and headed for breakfast, which was located very near to our Dream House.  Will had Indian scramble and I had a veggie omelet with cheese.  Turns out you can make anything taste about the same if you add enough ketchup and Tobasco sauce.

At breakfast, we spoke to Emosi, the dive master and head of activities.  He suggested that we do not go out diving, as the seas were pretty rough.  Instead, we headed over to a coconut demonstration (Will: “Way more interesting than I thought it was going to be”).  We ate coconut at several different stages – young and ripe – and drank a bunch of coconut juice.  Fijians take their coconut very, very seriously.  We are also using coconut spa products, making us coconuts inside and out here.  We were most impressed with the young man’s ability to use a huge machete to open the coconut, swinging it without regard for life or limb.

Following the coconut demonstration, we had lunch in the second restaurant and then headed towards the reception bure for our tour of the village.  Emosi, the head of the recreation department, took us.  It was a short bus ride to the village, and the small distance reminded me how close the luxury of Namale sits to relative poverty.  Houses in various stages of disrepair were made of wood with corrugated metal roofs, and barefoot children played hide and seek with us, laughing.

At the village, we picked up a Fijian mask for Anna and Nathan from one of the women:

Returning from the village, we spent some time walking the beach and looking at hermit crabs, which were more populous than I had ever seen before.

Following the village tour, we still had some extra time, so we headed down to the dive shop to see if we could go swimming.  The dive guys hooked us up with a kayak to paddle around the bay, and also with Lai, who would become our Namale buddy.  We paddled into the bay, up a river, under the Hibiscus Highway, and tried to go all the way up, but at some point we got stuck in the plants and had to turn around.

What a great day!