Tuesday, 12 August 2014

We are blasting across the beautifully calm ocean that simply gets bluer the further we get from the mainland, on our way to Mana Island and Tui’s place, Ratu Kini Dive Resort.  The island is amazing, one of those settings straight off a post card, there are maybe 4 other resorts around but the island is certainly big enough to accommodate them all while still feeling like you have the place to yourself.
Part of the island is closed off though as there is a Television show being filmed around the other side, on our first afternoon out fishing in the boat I see a massive wooden structure in one of the bays and get really excited, maybe they are filming Survivor here, my all time favourite show!  I’m sure there will be a few raised eyebrows over that, but I love it!  Unfortunately that theory proves to be wrong, apparently it is an Australian and New Zealand production, ‘The Great Big Adventure’.
Over dinner and a couple of beers I end up sitting with the production crew of the show,  who were all staying in the other resort but they reckoned the food was better here!  Some of these people had worked on some major Hollywood productions, they definitely didn’t mind a bit of name dropping!  We then all entered the crab races, where you choose a hermit crab and give it a number before turning them all loose in the centre of a circle on the floor.  First one to the edge wins!  I have done this before with beetles at the Gascoyne Junction Races where we gamble on it over a few beers!
The night kicked on with young backpackers from all over the world, I had no idea there was even a traveller scene in Fiji?!  But there certainly is and I found out more as I went along.  So here I was after I weird series of events, my second night in Fiji, on a tropical island, hanging with TV producers, getting to go fishing for free with the resort owner, racing crabs, meeting fellow travellers and scratching my head wondering how I end up in these situations.
I stay a few more nights, fishing with Tui every morning and afternoon, plus walking the island for an explore and casting from the shore.  On one such walk, I was followed by a couple of cute dogs that seriously stuck with me the whole way, even as I clambered over rocks and ledges looking for somewhere to fish, by the time I got back to the bar in the evening I had a pack of about 7 loyal followers scampering along behind me!
The food here was good and you could buy a package that sorted out all your meals every day and was pretty good value.   If you’re a diver  you won’t be disappointed, they have all the gear and expertise you will need to either enjoy what you already do, or get your ticket from instructors while there.   A great place to stay, with many new friends made as well, I highly recommend a trip out to Mana Island.