Octopus Resort consists of a public dining area/bar/poolside deck (all open to the outdoors); an assortment of bungalows, bures, and dorms; beachside hammocks and lounge chairs; and a dive shop for renting snorkeling and diving gear. Octopus is staffed by Fijians from nearby Nalauwaki, a small village on the other side of the island. The resort has a very close relationship with the village and offers guided walks to it once or twice a week. We were able to visit the village on two different occasions: once for an Easter Sunday church service, and the other for a tour of the village with the mayor that ended with a kava ceremony (kava is a drink made from the root of the pepper tree; Andy loves it!) and a craft market. It was an amazing experience to visit this place that had not been "cleaned up" for tourists. The service was filled with beautiful singing, a rather intense sermon, and rows of children who, by the way, are impossibly cute and friendly.
Most of our days in Fiji were filled with exactly what we needed: wonderful food served either poolside or in the sand-floored dining room, reading on the beach, swimming in the pool, snorkeling the beautiful coral reef just a few meters from shore two or three times a day, and floating for hours in the warm waters of the ocean. Basically we slept, ate, and swam . . . it was a rough week!
One of the highlights of our stay in Fiji was meeting our wonderful new Italian friends: Lucia, Terence, and Marina. Terence and Marina have been traveling for 6 months through South America and New Zealand and are headed to Australia after their stay in Fiji. Lucia lives in Sydney and is working temporarily in Suva, a city on Fiji's main island. We all bonded instantly, eating every meal together, playing scrabble at night, and chatting for hours while floating in the ocean.
Fiji was the perfect ending to our trip, full of sunshine and great people we'll always remember. Now it's back home to Portland, where I hear it's almost summer . . .
|The dining room|
|Poolside bar and deck|
|Inside our bure|
|Lucia, Andy, Matt, and myself after|
|Kava ceremony at the village|
|Watching the volleyball game|
|Lucia, Marina, and Terence trying to|
gesture like real Italians
|Hanging out by the pool|
|Terence, Marina, Andy, Lucia, Roberto, |
|Marina and I floating in the ocean|
|The goodbye photo|