A Travellerspoint blog

December 2011

So, should I tell Mark....

by Kt

... about the massive spider which just entered the room. He is asleep by the way.
We are hauled up in our room as the weather is rather atrocious today.
He has drifted off, after an hour or 2 ready - it really is a hard life here - and so he missed the visitor who just scampered in through the door frame.
We are used to sharing this room. We have at least 6 lizards living with us who we see from time to time - mostly at around 6am when they seem to like to venture out for some reason. They are noisy little blighters too. I didn't think lizards made noise - do all of them do that? I'm sure have never noticed it other countries. Anyhow, these ones do - a rather loud squeaking noise, rather like guinea pigs. So you always know when they are around, even when you can't see them. I have actually found myself talking to these little fellas quite a lot and have grown rather fond.
But having a new visitor so late in our stay, I'm not sure how I feel about him. He is most welcome if he gets at the one or two mosquitos we seem to have inadvertently let in. Mosquitos are very much becoming my nemesis. And I have the scars to prove it.
He is rather big though, and I'm not sure, with the light off, if I want to hear him scampering around with the possibility of scampering over my head.
And should I alert Mark to his presence? He's not scared of spiders as such, but pre trip he became slightly obsessed with the size of the huntsman spiders in Australia, so I think he has more of aversion to them than he's let on in the past. So is he better off not knowing?

Mmm - since beginning writing this I have actually lost him (the spider, not Mark, rest assured, he's still here, snoring away), so I guess it's probably not worth mentioning. He may have left of his own accord after all. Yes, that's what I'll tell myself and will just hope that the visitor doesn't introduce himself in the depth of night!!!

Posted by KtandMark 16:05 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Free at last... but

by Kt

So today I am finally de-burnt enough to venture out under the rays.
The morning was fairly nice and managed a bit of kayaking and lounging on the beach - but early afternoon the rain kicked in and hasn't really left.
We had a cracker of a storm - literally - there was a thunder crack so loud it seemed the whole building would fall down - everyone jumped and looked worried - staff and tourists!!

After my 2 lightening strikes at home and having blown up a toaster yesterday (not just that it stopped working - it crackled and banged and blew up), I am slightly concerned by my being a magnet for electricity and lightening. Lets see if I can get off this island un-frazzled.

I have sat on the laptop for a few hours this afternoon, (outside looking out to sea, I might add before you consider me a total loser).
I've been monotonously cropping and re-sizing photos for a great deal of time and organising files on the mac. Mark has commented how tedious it all is, but rather worryingly, after a few hours doing that I think I'm the most relaxed I've been so far this trip. Oh dear. Oh very dear me.
Maybe I should stay away from trying to find myself, as I'll just find that I am in fact, by nature, a control freak, anal nerd!!!
But hey, at least I'm one in Fiji, with a beer :)

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Posted by KtandMark 19:49 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Bubbly skin is not a good look and other observations.

by Kt

Have had to hide in total shade for couple of days after getting majorly sunburnt while sat in what I thought was the shade on an air seat/hammock thing.
I had no direct sun on me - must have been reflecting of the sand or sea or something. And I'd covered head to toe in the most expensive sun cream money can buy. Mmm - seems that talk about the ozone layer missing above oceana seems to be true.
I have some very attractive bubbly, blisters, so I at least don't feel alone with my scaly appearance when the 6am lizards come visiting.

We had massive storms yesterday. It's funny how I normally loathe the rain, but I love it here. Probably because it's not normally long until the sun comes back out again. Plus, rather than dreary, drizzle, the rain and storms are so much more dramatic. Thunder and lightening and rooms shaking - very entertaining.

Plus, the aftermath can be entertaining - leaves from palm trees that have become dislodged, falling down at random points of the day, onto un-suspecting backpackers.

Some of them deserve it to be honest. On the whole, people are friendly and pleasant but there are some people who tend to get my back up somewhat.
At first I thought it was an age thing - but no, it just seems some people are a bit rude (thought the young americans have tended to lead the pack so far).
There is a tendency to talk the staff in a way that they clearly wouldn't dream of talking to their friends. In essence talking to them as if they are staff, erring on the side of servants. When asking for things it can be more of a demand than a request. Quite frankly, especially when they are talking to the older members of staff here, I am tempted to lean over and clip them around the ear.
It's even more alarming when you get this from the older generation, who certainly should know better. But I guess this is just life, but it did surprise me, in an environment where you're paying very little and getting a lot, you should be grateful and not take it for granted. I kind of understand it more if you're in a big hotel or resort where you're paying a fortune. But here - no. And in Fiji where the people are so exceptionally nice - definitely no.

But as I say, that is a minority and on the whole everyone is happy in paradise. It says a lot about how good this place is that there is a lot of people from Oz and New Zealand holidaying here rather than in a hotel or resort. The problem with this of course is that I think we may have been incredibly spoilt at our first stop and that as we continue on we will have this amazing place to look back on probably rather dreamily.

Posted by KtandMark 16:05 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

oops and ouch

by Mark

Oops.

A nice morning kayaking in the sea is cut short when I lean back in the kayak and watch my £80 Oakley sunglasses fall into the sea, never to be seen again.

Ouch.

A few hours later the tide is out so I think I'll have a walk to where I lost them. Instead of finding the glasses, I find a very sharp rock and slice my foot open.

I'm now lying on the bed after screaming like a child when rubbing antiseptic into the cut.

Highlights of the day:

Kayaking (briefly)
Seeing a sea snake and some angel fish.
Deluxe burger with chips and sweet chilli sauce.

Beer now I think. I deserve it.

Posted by KtandMark 21:22 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Relaxing and not so relaxing...

by Kt

We've found it quite difficult to relax and be aimless - difficult to adjust our mindsets to not having something we HAVE to do or somewhere we HAVE to be.
Not a bad 'problem' to have I grant you, but still! I wouldn't have this problem if we were on holiday - I'm usually so obsessed with making the most of our time and not wasting it by spending time in our room or whatever. But seeing as we've going to be fairly free for a long time, I've had to let that go. Not that I'm not naturally lazy - I include lying on the beach as doing something/not wasting time! We have gradually got more relaxed as the days have gone on and as it's so easy to do, slipped into a casual little routine.

So, what interesting has happened? Depends how you define interesting, but in summary we have experienced the following over the last few days:
Sunburn (Me)
Jugs of beer (Both)
A pet fly (Mark)
6am Lizard time
Lecture giving to some poor, young backpacker about putting a knife in the toaster (definitely not me)
Falling out of hammocks
Enjoying of air seats - like hammocks but without the falling (Both)

At the weekend they had a works xmas party at the hostel for the Fijian shipping company. Not like our xmas works parties I can tell you. Well maybe - lots of drinking the same - lots of amazing singing - how can they all harmonise so well? Lots of whopping, dancing and craziness. And that was just the daytime - they then all sobered up (a bit) and spruced themselves up for dinner - the ladies looked just divine!!!

On Tuesday we decided we were at risk of getting too lazy so decided to go on the Jungle Trek trip. Sounded impressive but we were pretty sure it would end up being a fairly gentle stroll through the jungle. We were very, very wrong.
We started out in the local village where Juta told us the story of the fortune of the village from days of old and about the local school having been built by the Korean people (odd!). He was also talking about his way of life - he's 58, fit as a fiddle and treks every day and is poor but happy - and about the rich world, sitting at desks, buying cars, not living life - was a very apt description of Mark and I to say the least. Not sure if the coca cola truck, which went through the quiet village behind him as he talked, strengthened or weakened the message!!!

We headed up into the hills and into the jungle and then it started to get interesting. Some initial water crossings had us trying to keep our feet dry by standing on rocks - we pretty much gave up on that and just waded through, as we then just gave in and waded through tracks of mud. We climbed up and down high stream beds and it started to get pretty tough but definitely enjoyable. The heat was a bit of a hinderance. It was humid and the air was thick and with the exertion it was tight catching your breath and so we were grateful when it clouded over and rained a little.
I seemed to have a real issue with crossing the streams - I was supposed to jump or step from one rock to another but early on I slipped on the rocks and went crashing down - Juta holding onto my arm with the rest of my bashed body dangling in the water. I was pretty sick of this by about the 7th time I had done it, so I really began to dread being near the streams. I was much happier on the muddy path - I seemed to be able to manoeuvre those quite easily. At one point I got a little cocky and was scooting around like what I thought to be a mountain goat (in reality was probably more like a mountain cow). The slipping was a little treacherous though, if you looked down some of the steep slopes you could see the possibility of it ending in tears. At one particularly slippery part we'd all used a tree to lean on to pass and when Mark, who was at the back, did the same, the tree (the very large tree) came out from the roots and fell down!!! Read what you will into that and his brute strength :)

We eventually came to the waterfall which was our chill out point. Or so I thought. I thought this would be some lagoon where we could swim over leisurely to the edges of it - not so. The water was murky due to previous days storm and when it became clear our task was to make our way through the pool beneath to then climb up onto the waterfall itself my heart sunk. I'm not a water fan and particularly one of my biggest fears is river water where I can't see what lies beneath. But I thought I would not wuss out and got into the water, clambered through some rocks, banging myself into stuff as I was now accustomed, until we reached the bottom of the waterfall. We were doing this in couples so Mark went first. The water was cold and strong as we climbed up the side. We settled on a ledge in the middle of the waterfall where you could stand up with the water throwing itself down onto you. Made for a good massage at least as it came pounding down. We didn't rest there unfortunately and we climbed up a further level of the waterfall. By the time we came back down I was truly knackered. We had a little rest and Mark swam around a bit, but then joined me in the 'fall down club' by doing a smack down, backside first onto a big boulder. I think his would clarify as the most embarrassing fall at least :)
The way back wasn't as Mark had predicted, a loop back around to where we started, but in fact we had to go back the full length on the journey we had made. It was much tougher on the way back for me, having been 'spent' climbing up the rocks and probably unnecessarily holding on for what felt like my dear life. I found it really tough going and I really started to hurt. Juta ripped out some bamboo to make sticks for myself, Mark and another german lady. Mark was slightly disconcerted that we had this because we were the 'oldies' in the pack, but frankly, we were and we were the un-fittest and my god did that stick help!! After traipsing at the back for a while, I decided on mind over matter and found a happy spot in the middle of the group, by myself, for much of the way back, able to simply meditate on where to walk to avoid the mud.

We stopped off just before we neared the village at a hut where the lovely lady had cooked us some roti (some kind of roots) curry. We took our muddy shoes off and sat in a circle, cross legged in her very basic home. The curry was delicious but the highlight was definitely the three 3 year olds who giggled and scampered and one of whom we coaxed (without much persuasion) to come sit with us - totally adorable.
We got back to the Beach House and what had been thought to be a 2 hour trip had been 5 and a half hours. We hobbled back to our rooms - showered in our outside bathroom - i can so see the point of them now - and lay down for an hour. When it came time to go for dinner I could barely move and had to hobble around for the rest of the evening like an old lady. Not that we had much of an evening, we were so shattered we were back, in bed and asleep by 8pm. Hard core, it seems, we are not. Hopefully by the end of this trip we will breeze through such excursions, for now, we remain novices.

The next day, needless to say, will be spent back on the relaxing side of the spectrum.

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Posted by KtandMark 20:24 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

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