One of the things that has always worried me about resort travel is the prospect of getting stuck in an isolated area on a resort with nowhere else to go. Sure, having people cater to you all day is nice and all, but I do get restless. Not only do you miss out on the actual feel for the place you’re visiting, but on a practical level the resort can charge you ridiculous prices for food and drink. It’s like a cruise ship without the seasickness.
So one of the first things we did upon arrival was walk up the beach in either direction to see what else there was. On either side are a few more hotels of varying levels – from adult summer camp to fancy. There are also aggressive cab drivers walking the beach and the road to the west. One, in fact, tried to sell us on his cab services, his tour services, his rental car services and a “real” Indian meal cooked by his wife—for a charge, of course. Some might jump at the chance of such a meal, but I’m not a huge fan of Indian food and the guy kept getting us to go with him to his car so he could show us a brochure. And his car was behind a fence.
Of course, his name was Ken.
But last night we did venture to Le Café, an open-air ramshackle place with a couple of cats, some wobbly bar stools, a limited menu and cheap beer. We spent about three hours there, the first half of which was in conversation with an elderly British couple, Derrick and Hazel, who’d just spent some time travelling, Hong Kong, Singapore, three weeks driving around New Zealand, and were now unwinding at a hotel up the beach that had no phone, TV or radio. Both retired, Derrick is 71 and Hazel 60-something. They were knocking back beers and telling us of the schooner trip they’d made the day before. I hope I’m that cool and active when I’m that age. Ah, hell, I hope I’m alive when I’m that age.
We also did a bit of snorkeling yesterday morning. We are on what is known as the Coral Coast. So, the white sand beaches you see on the outer islands of Fiji are not what we have in front of us. What we do have is coral. There’s a dead patch right off the beach, but a short swim beyond that and there were plenty of fish, starfish, sea cucumbers, even a couple of eels. It was a little cloudy so visibility wasn’t the best in the world, but we might give it another shot today.
Still trying to get a picture of one of those damned bats. You think something that big would be easier to photograph, but they’re faster than you think — and flying in low-light conditions. Instead, we leave you with toads on the moon.