Last day today, we leave on the 3:15pm flyer, it’s been a blast.
Yesterday’s doing nothing actually began with doing something, immediately after breakfast, we met some German women who wanted to go snorkelling but weren’t keen on their own, so we took them out. Another beautiful morning of exploring the reef on our doorstep. We were greeted pretty early with a huge wrasse that swam gracefully ahead of us, it was amazing to see, such a large fish swimming with such elegance. Again the beauty and diversity never ceases to amaze, the glistening as the sun’s rays catch the colours. More and more species of fish that we’ll have to look up along with the usual scissor sergeants that escort us through. At one point we were surrounded by a school of bait fish swimming in a circle around us, it was pretty surreal to be in the centre of a whirlpool of fish. Before we knew it we had been snorkelling for almost 2 hours and, well, the treacherous nature of snorkelling was revealed, if a fish biting my ass is one thing the sun kissing it is something else, yep I burnt my ass, factor 30+ applied but the sun was determined and so snorkelling literally created a pain in the ass.
After lunch we sat, carefully, by the coconut bar as the rain came in, it poured, the run off from the beach created a large ploom of sand to enter the ocean and we watched as it spread out across the reef, still people frolicked in the ocean, I guess the reality is it’s warm rain, so why not. I was happy sipping a cosmopolitan watching the rain pour and others have fun in the ocean as we chatted to other onlookers.
It was a quiet night, packing had to be done and sleep had to be had and now reflection on our place in paradise must be reflected. Octopus Resort, Waya Island, whenever you arrive at the islands in Fiji, you are greeted with the sound of music, a firm Bula and a refreshing drink. An induction takes place, meal times, activities and where to enter the water because of the chop and reef, and the reality is there is chop along the waters edge and the reef is close, so the risk of being dumped on the coral is a risk if you just go headstrong in at the wrong time of day. Then we are shown to our bure, we booked beachfront, we had airconditioning, small fridge, tea and coffee facilities, a safe (use the safe, seriously) there’s also a TV for those inclined to partake in a bit of telly while in paradise, personally we didn’t switch it on. The bed was so comfortable and it comes complete with a good old mozzie net to keep you creature free as you sleep. Outside we had a deck, chairs, table and daybed, then step on to the beach we had another daybed and two loungers both with sunshades, seriously the accommodation is comfortable and peaceful, with options of where to sit and lie as you do nothing
Food, OK as a vegan this is where the rubber hits the road, especially when you pay the mandatory food package. It didn’t start well, breakfast is a buffet of toast, cereal, muffins, pastries, fruit and a few hot options, so for me toast and beans were the standard, when beans were available, a bit of fruit on the side. The lunch menu had only one option for our 7 day stay, the dinner menu had nothing. To begin with I felt like a bit of an inconvenience, even though I had checked and double checked that they cater for vegans and informed them again immediately on arrival. On a couple of occasions I did eat the same for lunch as for dinner, on one occasion I did send my dinner back, plantain in a rich coconut sauce for lunch then a double portion for dinner did not go down well. That said the last two nights the chef seemed to have mastered it and I got delicious food, in fact the final night two women on our table decided they would like the vegan option. I spoke with a woman who was vegetarian and she was sadly disappointed, alas she was a little less outspoken them I am, but when you are paying the same as meat eaters who get at least 5 options for meals it seems quite inadequate and unfair.
Service, a difficult one, there are some that are very attentive, they learn your name and chat to you, others you can see it’s just a job, even though you are thrown together on the island 24/7. We had to ask for our towels to be changed and our bedding was never changed, so I was a little disappointed with that, the Yasawa islands are not a cheap option regardless of the star rating and this is rated 4 star.
This is our second time here and I do have to say I don’t think I would return again, the accomodation is good, the food is meh, the service is hit and miss and to be honest the ocean just a little choppy. It may sound like I’m being pedantic, and maybe I am, but this is for me a time to relax, a short break from life and the food and service has left me a little disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely return to Fiji, just another island and another year, well next year to be honest, we’ll return for our 30th year celebrations. The islands of Fiji really are a piece of paradise, the thing is, once on the islands, that’s it, you’re on the islands for the duration of your stay, so the little things are just as important as the big things. Vinaka Fiji, until 2020.