1. On our way to the cave 2 + 3. Ash & Luke drinking Kava 4. Village lunch
So. The much anticipated 'cave tour'. Last year when we got our hands on some Fijian travel brochures, the cave tour immediately stuck out for Luke. That was the one thing he was definitely psyched for. So a few days into our stay at the resort, we sussed it out and booked it. I specifically asked the tourism agent at the resort if wearing thongs would be appropriate foot wear as I had only brought them. The gift store was across the hall and had reef shoes that I would have happily bought to wear to the caves had I been assured thongs were not a good choice. However, I was told thongs would be fine to wear. In hindsight, that nice lady that booked the tour for us has clearly never been on this tour.
We left for our cave adventures around 10 and it was quite a trek to the village where the caves were located. Before we embarked on the cave exploration, we had a Kava ceremony at the villages' Grandmother's house to ask permission to look at their historic caves. This was my first time tasting Kava, I wasn't too into it, but the Fijians love it! After the ceremony and lunch, we were told about some village history and culture, and then we boarded a water raft to cross the river to start our journey to the cave. I was slightly freaking out before sitting on the raft because I was sure I was going to fall in the water and have spiders crawl over me! The trek to the caves was pretty interesting with little stops to observe Fijian flora and their uses in natural medicine over there. It was also really frustrating because it had previously been raining the week before and it was muddy and my thongs kept getting stuck in the mud and I kept falling over. One of the tour guides gave me his shoes to wear, which was a lovely, sweet gesture, however they were oversized black crocs. This was the first and only time I will ever wear crocs, especially in front of anyone.
After a 30 minute walk we got to the caves and were told about the historical importance of the cave before we entered. It was super dark, cold, slippery and wet inside the cave. But it was quite nice to see something that magnificent with thousand year old rock formations, and more importantly, it was definitely an experience to see a cannibal oven! Yep, cannibal oven! Way back when, a local village didn't want to cross over to Christianity so they hid in the caves and fought off their enemies, cooked them in the caves in their cannibal ovens, and ate them! It was a weird feeling to be in a cave where once upon a time such things like village captivity and cannibalism happened. As bad as most of the day was (getting there, wearing crocs, being covered in water and mud, falling over every second step I took), it was worth the experience of seeing such a unique historical environment.
1. Reading and relaxing 2. Luke & I 3. Subo for seafood 4. Family dinner
5. Ash & Al 6. Epic seafood platter
After our hectic adventures the day before, everyone had a really laid back day. Ash & I read books on beach chairs outside by the water, and we had casual lunch and dinner dates together. Night six we all went out for dinner to the super nice seafood restaurant that looked like it could be in a Scooby Doo mystery. They served amazing fresh seafood, well, so I was told as I don't eat seafood. My family ate these crazy hectic seafood platters that could have been for a small gathering. The restaurant was on a little man made island so you could see sea creatures going about their business while you ate your dinner. So Luke & I finally got to see a sea snake, after everyone had seen them almost every night that they were there. I hate all snakes, they freak me out, and sea snakes were the worst looking. They were black and white striped and long, and poisonous looking. I shudder thinking about them.
1. Air hockey semi final 2. Drinks by the pool 3. Feet in the pool 4. Aww, Luke!
5. Parental supervision 6 + 7. Last cocktails 8. Last photos in Fiji 9. Crumping 10 +11. Last Fijian Sunset
Our last full day in Fiji was spent playing air hockey, ping pong, drinks by the pool, afternoon cocktails, packing, last chance to cling to HBO, dinner at an Italian restaurant and finishing our evening off with a filming funny things on my parents video camera so when they watched the footage back the last thing they saw would be funny. I didn't take a single photo the very last morning we were there on day eight. We left the resort around 11 am, but before we left for the airport, we spent our morning finishing off our continuing air hockey tournament that my sister ended up winning. I'm pretty sure an air hockey table will be purchased as a result of this victory! It was a pretty fantastic holiday, and it was especially lovely getting to have memorable adventures with my family!