I have to admit I was looking forward to exploring Fiji. A popular holiday destination for many Aussies and Kiwis, I was eager to experience it for myself. But I never expected the ethereal beauty we witnessed sailing to Dravuni, as many little islands with blonde beaches peeked out from the mist that lingered on the horizon. And every time I looked we seemed to be passing a different rainbow; half rainbows, double rainbows, or full rainbows arching over the sea.
First view of the Fijian islands
But our first stop was to be a small volcanic island called Dravuni, one of many islands in the Kadayu group of Fijian islands. We had been told ahead of time that Dravuni was only 0.8 sq kms in size, and had only 125 inhabitants. There would be no roads or cars or even shops on Dravuni, though it was likely the locals would greet us with small makeshift stalls with home-made gifts. And so, we looked forward to a lazy beach day.
First view of Dravuni
The tender at the pier
Anchoring off shore we were tendered to the island, and spent our time wandering and exploring the quiet tropical island. Warm, crystal clear water greeted golden sand beaches littered with massive sea shells, the largest I’ve seen anywhere, and washed up coral. Craft stands and stalls dotted the beach offering island massages, hair-braiding, coconut oil, and native crafts for sale. And we indulged, purchasing wood bead bracelets, coconut shell necklaces and coconut oil. And although Samoan’s are nick-named the “Happy People”, I think it would be a close competition with the Fijians, who welcomed us with wide beaming smiles, and an enthusiastic “Bula, bula” in greeting.
Martin wandering the beach
The beautiful beach
Up on the grassy bank the locals put on a performance of native singing and dancing, the drum beats reverberating in cliché island style as we explored.
As we sun-bathed and took the odd dip in the wonderfully warm sea, small wild piglet’s foraged in the sand and bush for food, edging their way closer to our backpacks, as tourists edged closer to them to get their perfect photo.
Cute little wild piggy
Martin enjoying the warm, crystal clear waters
A mist of rain descended on the island, we looked at our watches, said goodbye to the island piggies, and made our way back to the ship. All-in-all it had been a wonderful, and dream-like introduction to Fiji.