Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fiji Honeymoon: Day 6 (LikuLiku Lagoon)

Russell writing...

Our second full day at LikuLiku was almost identical to the first full day. Eating, lazing about, and a hike through the hills. With that being the case, I'll try to do a quicker job than normal walking through the day's goings-on.

For breakfast we had the exact same thing as the day before, although Katie didn't get the cheese souffle. In what I thought was a kind gesture, I piled up a plate full of bread and brought it over for her, lest she starve. She was perfectly content though with her freshly juiced beverage she made at the buffet table, although by the end of the meal we both had picked the bread plate nearly clean.

For the rest of the morning we spent most of our time alternating between our lounge chairs down by the beach and our covered day bed next to our deck. I love this day bed! We had one at Taveuni Palms too, but this one might be slightly more comfortable. One day, if we can afford it, we'll have to add one to whatever house we buy down the road. Sipping champagne on a day bed by the ocean isn't a bad way to spend one's morning!

After lunch, during which Katie had a "crispy beef salad" (which she likened to beef jerky...not sure that's a compliment to the chef!) and I enjoyed a delicious salmon quiche, we both decided another walk was in order. We rested a bit first, but by late afternoon we were ready for our second island trek. Katie's stomach wasn't feeling well (bad jerky?), but she was determined to push through it. We set off first backtracking our journey from the previous day. We went past the Mololo Island Resort, and past where the starfish, etc., had all been (although this time the tide was up and we were instead wading through water), and then back up through the hills. It was a little tougher this go round than it had been the day before as it seemed the uphill climbs were now steeper.

When we arrived at the fork where we could take the path back to our burre, we decided to keep on moving past. The trail, according to the resort-provided map, is supposed to continue on through the hills over to a long beach on the other side of LikuLiku, but we soon found this to be...inaccurate.

After trekking along the well-defined path a bit, the trail suddenly stopped short. Hmmm.... The map says it keeps going, so what's going on? We tried to push through the brush, but it was too dense, and we had no choice but to head back to the resort. As we walked back to our burre, I spotted what looked like another trail. It had no "employees only" sign or anything next to it, so I thought perhaps the map had simply mislabeled things and that this was where we had been intended to go in the first place. Against Katie's better judgment, we walked along the new path hoping to continue on where the previous path had been cut short.

We soon found, once again, that the path was not what we had supposed. Instead of being a walking trail, it seemed we were actually walking through the resort's trash dump complete with nearby incinerator. This should have been a tip-off, but I posited that the trail must pick back up on the other side. It seemed to...for a bit, but then seemed to be less defined the further we ventured. It wasn't long before the trail and the brush became indistinguishable, but Katie and I kept walking slowly and surely up an increasingly steep hill. About halfway up this hill, which turned out to be more like a small mountain, Katie had the right idea to stay put while I journeyed on ahead. The ground became more and more gravelly, and it was near impossible to get traction with my shoes. After a few near stumbles and a LOT further than I thought, I made it to the top of the hill and took a few pictures. I turned around to look for Katie and couldn't even see her down the hill. Wow....lot steeper than I thought.

On the way back down, which was a lot scarier than the way up, I seemed to be doing ok: taking my time and carefully placing each foot as I sidestepped down the mountain. Not too far down though, one of my feet gave way and I began tumbling down in an out-of-control run. I tried to fall down on my backside but the momentum was too much. Before I made it to Katie I finally tripped on a branch, falling down on my side with my arm scraping against the ground to stop me. Ouch. BIG Ouch.

Bruised and humbled, I hobbled over to Katie and we tried to make it down the REST of the hill together. Again, I fell, and then Katie fell after. This wasn't the best idea I've ever had to climb this sucker. If only someone could have videoed the whole affair!

Somewhat defeated, we made our way back to the burre to prepare for dinner. On the way, we came across a couple that happened to be two Americans from southern California. We were relieved to find people at the resort who appeared to be relatively normal! They had just gotten married, the same day as us in fact, and they had arrived at LikuLiku that very day. The first part of their honeymoon was spent in Hawaii, and we tried to give them our insider perspective on Fijian honeymoon living.

Dinner was uneventful for the most part, but the meal itself was interesting. There was no menu to choose from and instead we were served an Indian-influenced assortment of foods. The first course was absolutely delicious! It had a few fried items including something resembling a corn dog. Much better tasting though :)

The main course was a bit of a chore. It's been a while since I've had crab legs, and I'm not sure after this night that I'd be quick to have them again. Katie and I were so frustrated trying to extricate the small amounts of meat from the joints, etc., that by the time you actually got something you didn't even care anymore.

Two other items worth noting about dinner. Towards the end of the meal, we were treated to a local church choir singing. Katie and I had hoped to attend one of the local services that morning since it was Sunday, but we ended up not scheduling it in time. With the church choir singing during dinner we were able to enjoy what surely would have been one of the church highlights. Related to this event, there was a couple sitting next us that's worth mentioning. A bit older, and either Australian or English (either way, they had a near impossible dialect to understand), these two seem to command some sort of respect amongst the staff. Perhaps they're the owners? We've seen them at a few other meals since we've been here, and they're the only ones with a reserved table. Anyway, during the choir's performance, this white Anglo couple was singing right along with them. Interesting!

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