Fiji: Getting to BLBR and a kava ceremony

By Cubie - January 25, 2017

The flight landed in Nadi International Airport closed to 6:00 am. There was a welcoming song as we walked towards the immigration. It was a small airport and the complimentary bus shuttle to Port Denarau was not due till about 6:50 am. I thought I would sit outside the airport for some fresh air while waiting. Probably not the most brilliant idea. As I stepped outside the airport, I was greeted by some Fiji mosquitoes. 3 bites lined up on my arm almost instantly. Thank goodness for me at least doing some reading up prior to the trip. I brought with me a mosquito repellent and Australia's most famous souvenir, Lucas Papaw.

Outside Nadi International Airport
A white colour coach pulled in the arrival's hall car park. The bus then went around some hotels to pick up other guests heading to Port Denarau. I was almost dozing off sitting in the coach, it took about an hour to get to the port due to the 'scenic' route.

I picked up my tickets and had some spare time to get myself a muffin for breakfast plus a bottle of Fiji water. Grin. Some reviews I read mentioned that it was interesting to see the rest of the islands as Blue Lagoon Beach Resort (BLBR) where I was heading to was one of the last resort, a 4 hour ferry ride away.

This is one of the first island, I think South Sea Island
A smaller boat would pick up the guests from Yasawa Flyer back to the guesthouse(s).

The ferry shuttle (Yasawa Flyer) I was on had a Captain's Lounge
After maybe 3-4 islands, I fell asleep. Haha. Well it was a short flight with time difference so I had limited shut eye. I wasn't sure if I would get seasick from this, so on the safe side I popped an Avomine pill to be sure.

I pretty much slept majority of the time but had to wake up on off worrying that I missed my stop. Haha.

BLBR to the right, Oarsman's Bay Resort to the left
Like the rest of the resorts, BLBR sent a boat to pick us from Yasawa Flyer. Another boat picked up the luggage. There was also a welcoming band as we approached BLBR and we were handed our welcoming drink as we arrived on the island.

After checked in, dropped my bag and did my social obligation with my dorm mate, lunch was in order! I wanted to have fish suruwa (it was technically a fish curry dish cooked in coconut milk) as it was on specials but they have run out of it. So I ordered a kokoda instead (Fijian ceviche). The menu description was fresh catch of the day marinated in lemon juice (traditional style) served with fresh coconut cream, vegetables, steamed rice with a side of fresh salad.

The rest of the day was spent sleeping. I guessed the napping on ferry was not sufficient, I brought a book with me but ended up sleeping throughout till almost dinner time.

I was surprised I didn't fell off the hammock on my nap
I participated in a kava ceremony which pretty much was on schedule everyday. Kava or yaqona is Fiji's national drink. It is a drink made from mixing the powdered root of a pepper plant (Piper methysticum) with water. The root of the plant is pounded and placed in a cloth sack. It is then mixed with water in a tanoa (the brown colour wooden bowl).

In the kava ceremony, everybody sat circling a tanoa (the brown colour wooden bowl). The leader strained the liquid and fills a small bilo (a half coconut shell), then presented to the guest. The receiver of the bilo (the person who will be drinking the kava) must cup hands, clap once and say "bula" (cheers) before down the contents in one go. After that, return the cup to the bearer and clap again in cupped hands, saying "maca" as a signal of gratitude. I've also asked and no, the powder cannot be eaten. Lol.

I had dinner with my new acquaintance, D, he is a Colombian studying English in Brisbane. Dinner for Monday was a 3 course meal.

Soft, pillowy bun

Please pretend this is clear, I obviously didn't check how the  photo turned out. I only have this one - bruschetta as appetizer

Entree: fresh tuna with chili mayonnaise, taro chips & basil pesto

Main: filo parcel filled with ratatouille vegetable served with curried mash & tomato chutney
Noticed the sorbet at the back? That was served between entree and mains. 

Dessert: nutty sandy ice cream with biscuit tuile & lemon jelly
As you can see, by the time we had dessert it was getting dark. I had good company and of course, happy tummy, happy me. Haha.

Activity for the night was crab racing which I didn't participated. D and I attempted to have a little stroll on the beach to offset the yummy meal but it didn't really work out, because.... mosquitoes. Haha.

Day 1 cost breakdown:

  • BLBR dorm bed: NZD $100 for 4N (NZD 25 per night)
  • Compulsory meals plan (B/L/D): NZD $300 for 4N (NZD 75 pp/day)
  • Port Denarau boat transfer: NZD $252 for round trip (NZD $126 single trip)
  • 1L Fiji bottle water: FJD $3.85
  • Berry muffin: FJD $6.90

Side note: Please, please, please confirm my flight!

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