Once Around The Sun

57076 km


NAMATAKULA

...actually Mango Bay. Namatakula is the village on the other end of the bay. Quiet, secluded place, again about 2-3 miles down a dirt road from the main road, Kings Road, that circles the island around. We did not hesitate to take the walk. Seemed pretty easy downhill, until the rain caught us. Luckily a car passed us very soon and we have been fortunate again. The car stopped and the guys offered us a ride. In that short 3 minute ride we have had time to realise that these guys are the managers and owners of the Mango Bay Resort, where we were headed. Yepp, a resort, again. But in my defence the deal was actually pretty sweet for what it was. Beach bure with an outdoor private shower. A proper shower in a garden, nothing like the cabrio shower in Vatia Beach.

The first issue arrived rather soon, when these nice manager slash owner guys informed us that what we are paying is the not so fancy off the beach and not so fancy regular shower room rate, so in order for us to enjoy the bure on the beach we would be charged extra. Soon however we've worked out that the mistake is on their end and we were good to go for our fancy beach front bure on a discount price as advertised. It's nice when they can take the hit and admit their mistake, what's not cool is that I was almost convinced that I have made the mistake. But we've put that behind us. The bure was pretty lofty, half open to elements, had a hand was basin in one corner and a rest room in the other. Between them was a door and behind it that outdoor shower I was so excited about. Like a small garden shielded from all sides but the top and in the middle a shower. I didn't get to fully experience it for the first 2 days as it was raining and you know shower in the rain is just a rain. Once the weather was right, sunny as Fiji should be, it was pretty amazing feeling to see the sun and the clouds above myself. And so our (almost) week went down in Mango Bay. Beach, pool, lunch, outdoor shower, more beach, walks, sunbathing. Uninterrupted and relaxed as should be. Except... The first night our bure got infested with some giant migrating wasps. So we had to be moved in the middle of the night to the next bure. And the next day those migrating giant wasps migrated to our bure again. Probably they didn't like the pesticide they were sprayed with. So we had to move again. This time the apologetic manager gave us his 'best' bure as a sort of compensation that we didn't ask for since is not something predictable, these migrating giant wasps, but we took the offer anyway. And so the days went back to normal. Beach, walks, tanning, outdoor showers, dinner, drinks....

Since I thought I've learned some of the ways of the locals I didn't mind to walk out on the reef at low tide and watch the villagers collect clams and snails, catch fish and hunt octopus. I must admit the first time I've walked the 300 metre stretch of exposed coral barefoot. Even locals were not crazy enough to go barefoot. But I've learned and the next day I've followed them around in my flip flops. Interesting to watch how much can the ocean provide. Many spent hours on the reef every day trying to provide for their families. After a week I had a strange feeling about Mango Bay. Nice location, but the facilities were a bit dated and used, the kitchen didn't really impress and the staff wasn't really as Fiji-like welcoming as the Octopus Resorts Nanalauwaki villagers. Something strange I couldn't figure out...

We have left Mango bay and returned to Nadi for our last couple of days on Fiji. It has turned out to be one of the most difficult places to leave behind. Fiji is not a budget backpacker destination by any means and it was difficult at the beginning to find a foothold. But as I know now Fijians are welcoming and friendly, they will make you feel at home and if you trust them (and they trust you) you'll be rewarded by their hospitality, maybe even friendship...

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