From Nadi to Namuka Bay Lagoon Resort Hotel.
Next morning we were up early packed our bags, ate a wonderful fruit breakfast from the pawpaw and bananas Jonathan had given us the mandarins the village had given us, plus a pineapple we had picked up along the way, then we found out there was a free breakfast in the hotels tariff, so we had toast and jam as well! Caught a taxi to the bus terminal then we were soon on a Sunbeam bus heading for Cuvu sharing seats with others as the bus was packed with two to most seats, but who cares it was a $3.00 bus trip! For an hour we travelled. The bus stopped on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and said this is where you get out; Cuvu is that village in the distance, way down a long lane.
Waiting at the turnoff to Cuvu Village
It was fortunate that another person also got out of the bus, a well dressed man who wore clothes similar to Jonathan, so we knew he was high born Fijian, turned to us and asked ‘why were we going to his village?’ When we told him we had booked and paid for accommodation and food, at the Resort.
And had been told to hire a taxi to take us from Cuvu, he got very angry and said that it was all wrong the Information Centre should have arranged our transport to this distant bay, they were just hooligans and rogues and had left us in an awkward predicament, with heavy luggage, a long way from the village and its transport, that we would have to drag along the deep mud of the lane. He told us to wait there and he would go arrange a taxi for us and he would come with us to make sure all was ok and there was accommodation awaiting us, also to make sure it was what we were expecting! Ominous!
In due time he did return, not with a taxi, he said they all refused to go to this place as the roads are bad! But he did have transport for us, a Carrier, the vehicles that the locals all use, a small truck with a canvas cover over the deck with lots of seats. It was actually quite comfortable for me as I sat in front with the driver, who’s first question to me was ‘ how come you know our village Priest?’ WOW a Priest came to our aid; God was working in His mysterious ways yet again!
Rescued by God!
The roads were of slightly lesser degree of badness than the roads Erle had to drive over, or maybe we are just getting used to them! We pulling to an open paddock by a nice sandy beach, after a 10 km drive, there was a long horned cow tied to a tree, 3 small thatched bures and a larger one plus a wooden house further along the beach, and a sign stating proudly welcome to Namuka Bay Resort Hotel!
The sign at the gate.
The long horned Cow there to meet us.
The Priest got out and said this is it; will it be ok for you? A trifle doubtfully we said we thought it would be. The staff ran out to greet us, accepted our voucher and showed us to our private bure. Our very own private Bureand hammock behind the tree.The priest came with us and checked it out, he then said it was not easy to get out from this isolated place, so he personally would arrange for the Carrier to come and pick us up on the day we were booked to checkout, not only that he would come along too in case of ‘problems’ How kind he was, and thank goodness he was!
A delightful young French couple that were staying in the private bure next to us quickly came up from the beach and greeted us. They were as glad to see us, as we were them.
We were out having a good look around very quickly, more and more we liked what we saw.
Large pink sand convolulas flowers were everywhere on the beach
The lovely white sandy beach fringed with coconut palms and bright tropical flowers, the warm shallow waters of the lagoon full of brightly coloured little fish and masses of coral of all kinds. Beautiful Red Ginger flowers.
There were hammocks in several places for our use and a kayak, an open dining room table on the beach that we looked forward to eating from. Plenty of lawn to throw a Frisbee upon and to lie around on soaking up the sun.
The private bure was smallish but it had a double bed that was comfortable and a private bathroom with a cold only shower, so yes, there was running water and a toilet indoors, but no there was no electric power! The doorway entrance was very low, you had to duck down to get, I think I managed to bump my head on the thatching every time! Inside the bure, mosquito net over bed.
First things first, we asked for boiling water and mugs so we could have some special coffee on that beach table, we shared it with the French couple and while doing so, the Carrier arrived back at the hotel with yet another couple of guests, for the last private bure, this time a very young Welsh couple who also joined us for special coffee in the sun. There is also a dormitory with 10 extra beds in a big bure but no one arrived to stay in there.
The big Bure domatory building,with the Hotels kitchen at the far end.
We were all quickly into our swimsuits and out paddling around in the crystal clear waters of the lagoon and working on our Fijian suntan.
Lunch arrived fairly soon and what a wonderful meal it was; some sort of fish chowder made with coconut cream and vegies with rice and also bananas and more coffee and juices. We all 6 of us sat down at the table together and after we had eaten our full, we sat there for a good hour happily exchanging wonderful travellers tales from around the world; we sort of instantly made friends, we were like the Mum and Dad of them all.
Natural beauty of the area.
The area around Namuka Bay is absolutely unspoilt, its just as nature intended it to be, wandering along the beach made me think of Robinson Crusoe, there were no houses in sight and not many ships out at sea. We just felt ourselves unwinding and relaxing, soaking in the peace and tranquillity. Wafting in the soft sea breezes while swaying in a hammock with a good book was really doing it for us!
Afternoon saw a visit from the Indian man Ari who owns the sort of hotel and has illusions of grandeur in large measures! He spoke to all 6 of us telling us that although there had been no generator for some time because the old one had broken down, tonight he would have a new one installed - so there would be lights! He then drew Erle and I away from the others and suggested quite strongly that it would be a great idea for us to extend our stay for a few more days; the French couple had already done so, he told us! And it was true they had extended one extra day, I would have been quite keen to do so to but for the fact that we had a pre-booked Carrier coming for us on the Wednesday morning, so regretfully, I told him, sadly we could not do that.
Then he flew into a hissy fit; ‘What do you think you were doing bringing a Priest on to my property, I’m a good Moslem man I won’t have priests here, anyway you can’t trust them, surely you don’t expect he will return for you haha. He’s not your friend, unlike Ari who was everybody’s friend’ and, a lot more nonsense, in the same vein. We mostly let it all flow past us, as we were so relaxed, just saying mildly, ‘ we were sure he would return for us.’ The fantastic sunset reflecting in the waters of the lagoon.
Fortunately we did have power for the evening, so we all ate our evening meal under the stars but with some lights, once again we all sat around chatting for hours. The subject of how everyone was going to get out of this isolated bay came up, there is no phone box we didn’t have a phone, in fact the only one that did was Ari! Slowly we came to realise getting back to civilization might be difficult. The young ones had packs and decided they could walk if they had to, but we didn’t have that option with our suitcases, if the Priest didn’t come through and arrive on Wednesday we would be forced to extend our stay! We worked out a strategy; providing our Carrier arrived with or without the Priest we would arrange for the same man to return the following day for the other 2 couples! Then all stopped worrying and enjoyed ourselves again. Wearing a sulu and my swin suit, outside our bure
We were able to pick wild banana and pawpaw as we walked along the track, bit of a bonus. Truly this was not much short of Paradise.
Erle is in there under the banana tree, picking some fruit.
Returned to our bure and opened my suitcase to find that there are some problems in this paradise beside the owner, my case was alive with ants, a whole colony had moved in and settled right down among my clothes! Managed to remove them by strongly spraying the insect spray left with us for just that purpose I rather think.
We just laughed off such tiny problems and went out and jumped into the big salty swimming pool just outside our door.
That evening we all hit the booze, well we did have a couple of drinks together, this didn’t please Ari the Moslem much and he came and had another good go at us, in fact he got quite rude, he didn’t like the way we had all teamed up so quickly, told all of us we couldn’t trust each other – but ofcause you know just who we were supposed to be able to trust! If we had thought of staying longer in this wonderful place we weren’t interested any longer. I think that we would have had big trouble getting a carrier in to collect us if we didn’t have a booking.
Enjoying a wonderful outdoor breakfast, with my special coffee.
Morning came and we were up packing everything again and preparing for the arrival of the Priest after breakfast. Ari stopped by again and said what did we think the Priest could do for us that he couldn’t? I said to Erle that I wouldn’t put it past him to go out along the track and send the Carrier back to town without us, in which case we could be at Namuka Bay for some time. The staffs at the hotel were all lovely they waited on us hand and foot, served us big hearty meals, morning and afternoon tea snacks, if we wanted them, and were always cheerful. It was great value really at $100 a night for accommodation and food. Just the owner and the ants were the flies in the ointment.
We waited on tender hooks wondering if we could really trust the Priest to come for us, the other guests waited with us.