Fiji: Sawa-i-Lau

By Cubie - January 29, 2017

Sawa-i-Lau island is made of limestone caves, they are off the north coast of Nacula. We were also told that  this famed limestone cave was where the movie "The Blue Lagoon" was shot. At the time of my visit, the water was a mixture of rain water and seawater due to heavy rain from the week before.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am a very poor swimmer and still attending swimming lessons, which unfortunately the lessons don't give me much joy lately (another story, another time).

I could swim but hopeless at treading water so having to keep up at treading water the whole time make me uneasy. I put up my hand when Pete asked if anyone wants a life jacket. Yes, the same Pete who led the mountain hike the day before. I was the only one in the whole group who took a life jacket.

I didn't bring my camera as it isn't waterproof though I brought along my phone, I thought it is small enough to hide it in the bag and honestly, nobody is going to steal my ancient iPhone4.

The water was cold, likely shaded from the sun. Entrance to the cave was descending via a staircase into water. There is a sky lit opening in the middle of the cave. I'm referring this as cave 1. I was glad that I had a life jacket on me as I am pretty mobile with the life jacket. In fact the rest of the group was holding on to the wall to avoid treading water the whole time.

My biggest fear of visiting this cave was the getting from cave 1 to the next cave, cave 2. To get from cave 1 to cave 2, we need to swim underwater to avoid hitting our heads on a solid stone roof. I was told it was just a second (it felt much longer to me) though it wasn't long. Pete had a big torch and showed us the tunnel that we need to swim through. If anyone not keen on going through to cave 2 could stay in cave 1.

In my case, I had to take off my life jacket, handed it to the other staff who was with us, and swim through. I could feel my head being pushed down so my head won't hit the stone roof. Once reached cave 2, Pete who was there waiting will tap on our heads to indicate that it was safe to resurface.

Cave 2 was dark, the only source of light was Pete's (pronounced Pe-te, 2 syllabus) torch. He told us about presence of water eels, made us shout "Bula" and conveniently asked us if we remember his name. Haha. I wonder if he would left us in the cave if we don't remember his name. Grin. I was the last one to get to cave 2, I was also the last to leave. Pete swam with me out to cave 1.

I found a blog post on Sawa-i-Lau that is very informative.

Once we were done with the cave, we were free to free outside or check out a few tables of vendors selling trinkets by the beach. If you don't have cash on you, just quote your room or bed number and pay the boatman upon return at the resort.

By this time my stomach cramp was getting a little more frequent so I was glad when we departed for the resort. We reached back at around 11 am. In fact, the cramp actually started even before going for the cave trip but I was quite stubborn to go to Sawa-i-Lau on this Wednesday. BLBR organises trip to Sawa-i-Lau on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As I reached BLBR on Mondays afternoon, and departing on Friday afternoon, I would prefer to go on Wednesday and want it to be a very relaxing Friday morning.

After landed back at the resort, it was almost like I was drugged and I slept the whole time till the next morning, aside from setting up alarms to get up for lunch and dinner (haha, yes, glutton). I skipped breakfast to avoid aggravating my stomach before my cave trip.

Yes, I still carry my camera to the restaurant in my drowsiness state. I didn't expect the seafood was cooked with cream, I had some but not a lot as it didn't sit with the cramping.

Chef special of seafood mornay served with crispy tart, lemon rice and side salad. 
There was a kokoda cooking lesson that I wanted to join and set an alarm for it as well, but couldn't lose the sleepiness so I continued sleeping. = ="

More of the soft pillowy buns

Entree... I can't remember the name

Soup of the day - borscht soup

Sorbet after entree

Steak with mashed and vegetables

Meringue ice cream
Day 3 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)
  • Cave trip: FJD $79

Side note: Happy lunar new year!

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