STOP PRESS : Wow! Just swam with Manta Rays – pictures and details to follow.
Wednesday 2nd July 2017
The Blue Lagoon has kept us captive for a few more days than expected. The waters have remained calm despite some high winds, the beach is long, with white sand and backed with palms, the snorkelling is great and the resort has a cruiser friendly beach bar, why leave?
To encourage a tentative Gilly to join us, we started with a gentle snorkel off the beach. Our expectations weren't high but the few people already there seemed to be enjoying themselves. What a great surprise, the small reef was teeming with fish and when Matt started feeding them with the bread we had bought we were inundated with Sargent Major's. The next day we stepped up the level and took the dingy out to the large reefs in the channel where we found pretty coral, a huge variety of small fish, Matt even spotted a turtle chomping on the reef.
. Gilly feeding the Sargent Major's
Sunday at lunch in the Boathouse Bar, despite the rain it was still warm and pleasant, we saw the resort ran tours up to some limestone caves. We could have sailed up in Raya but thought it would be nice to let someone else take the strain for the day. What we hadn't counted on was that this meant we would arrive with all the other resort boats. Our hearts sank, the beach was full, luckily nobody on our trip was in a hurry, so we waited in the shade until things cleared. The caves were reached by following a path around the cliffs and then descending down some steep steps. The water that filled the first cave was lit by a large gash in its side letting in daylight, the second cave, reached by diving down through an entrance in the rock, was in complete darkness. Rather eerie until the guide shone his touch upwards and light filled a smaller cavern. Luckily Matt had his dive torch as well to light the many crevices. Fun but not an unmissable experience.
Limestone caves at Saw-I-Lau
Tuesday we felt it was time to stretch our legs, we had been told that the path up and over the island led to, bizarrely, a tea house that sold chocolate donuts. The view from the top of the hills was magnificent, revealing clearly the reefs we had painstakingly navigated around just a few days previously. After a hot but pleasant 40mins we descended into a small village of tidy gardens and colourful dwellings and right on the beach, Lo's Tea House. In true Fijian style most of the items on the menu were unavailable, we settled on lemon tea and, of course, donuts. The tea comprised of three lemon leaves, freshly picked from the tree outside the back door and boiling water, it was surprisingly tasty and very refreshing. In contrast the donuts were probably the most wicked things you could eat, dripping in oil and sugar, they were delicious.
Lo's Tea House
In between all these activities we have finally got out the kayak and actually managed to steer it around the bay. A good couple of days