Our second Island visit of the week was to Korovou Eco-Resort. We’d previously had two fun filled days at Nabua Lodge and were eagerly awaiting our next two nights!
Our ferry arrived at Korovou at 3:30pm and we clambered into the speedboat to take us to shore. Eileen and John, who we met originally in New Zealand, and then again at Nabua Lodge, had also decided to make Korovou their second Island. The speedboat stopped about 200 metres from shore, and we had to walk along a path in the sea to reach sand, whilst being greeted with more singing along with a guitar by the friendly staff of Korovou!
Steve and I were checked into a dorm, however we decided to pay $80 (the equivalent of £33) to upgrade to a ‘Bulu’. (A private room). The private room was alot nicer, we had a double bed AND a single bed, (for Steve to sleep in ;)), an ensuite bathroom with hot water and a beautiful view of the beach. Perfect!
It decided to rain the first afternoon, so we played a few card games with John and Eileen, and chilled out in the room for a couple of hours! We showered in preperation of the drum roll for dinner at 8pm, where we all sat around a big table and eagerly awaited our food!
4 men sat down with guitars and started singing for us whilst we had dinner, they sung a mixture of Fijian and Western songs, and Nick had the most beautiful voice! Immediately a chilled (more chilled) vibe hit the dining area.
First up, we had a starter of carrot soup, with what we all thought looked and tasted like french fries! Turns out it was actually something called ‘breadfruit‘, also known as Artocarpus altilis, which derives from the fig family. It can be boiled, fried, or oven baked and tastes very similar to potato. Hence we thought it was fries!
Main course was chicken drumsticks, potatoes and vegetables, which was delish! Korovou really know how to use their seasonings!
And finally a refreshing fruit salad for dessert! Wow three courses? Korovou you are spoiling us!
Next up, the Fijians came out in straw kind of hula skirts, and performed the Bula Dance to us! It was brilliant, you could see how much passion they had and put into the dance! They taught us the Bula Dance after dinner, which we all got the hang of pretty quick. While we were dancing they turned off all the lights and started a party. It seemed like everyone had decided to have a few drinks that night, and so everyone stayed on the dancefloor, laughing and enjoying themselves. One Fijian came over and questioned, ‘pool party?’. Yes yes yes!
Steve and I ran to our room and put our swim stuff on, grabbed the go pro and jumped straight into the pool, we were the first two in, followed by Eileen and John. Most people were standing by the edge debating if they could be bothered getting in or not! Eventually, the ripple effect meant everyone was soon in the pool, playing games such as shoulder wars, a relay – England V every other country, of course England won, and then just chilling with a drink! I have footage of this night on my gopro, unfortunately it is just a black screen with screams and cheers in the background! The pool party ended around 1am, with everyone going to dry off and get some sleep.
Hangovers. Hangovers everywhere.
I was STARVING! And super excited for breakfast after last nights feast! Finally the drums rolled, and breakfast was served. We ate hot bread, sausages, potatoes, fruit, muffins and cereal. It was amazing!
Our first activity on the Island was a Village Visit, John, Eileen, Steve and I, along with 3 other guests, and 3 tour guides climbed into the speedboat and headed off to a Village. The waves were so choppy which meant mixed with a hangover Steve was about to Vom! Eek! One of the Fijians sung to us the whole way which was extremely calming. The other told us how he once was driving a boat for a Fijian couple, he was standing up at the engine, went over a big wave and flew out the boat. The couple didn’t realise until the boat started veering and they looked back to realise he was gone!! He was stuck in the blue lagoon, waving for them to come and rescue him! Hilarious!!
The beach was beautiful! As it belonged to the village, and the only tourists were those who did this day trip, it was empty and untouched! We had to have our shoulders covered, and knees covered as a sign of respect in the village. So the girls had sarongs wrapped around their legs and everyone was in t-shirts. We wandered around the village, taking in the shacks that the Fijians live and cook in, and saying Bula to everyone we came across. It was a Saturday, which meant the kids were out of school, the older kids were helping with the farmwork and the younger stared at us and either said Bula or hid. We wandered down to the school and looked around from outside, their were rules wrote on every building, with the usual ‘Don’t run’ to slightly different and funny ones such as ‘Don’t steal, only borrow’ and ‘Get into a boat professionally’.
Next up we walked into a room with woman and kids selling souveniers and braclets. I bought a seashell braclet to match my anklet and others bought braclets, masks and shells. Our tour guide told us, this is how the woman make any income, they create homemade souveniers, and sell them to tourists who come to visit.
We saw a woman sitting with a couple of breadfruits on the ground, so we went over to talk to her. She had a tin can, and had used a knife to make the edges sharp and stick out. She used this can to peel the breadfruit! Wow! She told us they used to peel it with a knife, but the skin is extremely thin, and they would lose some fruit if they used a knife! She was also cooking some fish in a coconut sauce, she told us everything they use to cook is sourced on the Island. They would use seawater in their dishes, for the salt seasoning! Incredible!
Back on the beach, we were waiting to leave the Island, when a little boy, about 8/9 came swimming over. I said Bula to him, and asked him about his family, he told me he had two brothers and a sister. He was such a sweet child, and high fived me when we were leaving before helping to push our boat out to sea! We waved him off whilst thinking about what we’d encountered in the village. Many of the Islands are built for tourists, however here we got a glimpse of true Fiji. Fijians have so little, but to them they have so much. Simple things we take for granted; such as a potato peeler, is nowhere to be seen here. Instead, survival is first nature and everything is stripped back to basics. Incredible!
After another amazing meal for lunch, Steve, Eileen, John and I decided to head over to Honeymoon Beach. The Fijians told us it was amazing for snorkelling and a beautiful beach. So we grabbed snorkels and flippers and headed on over. To get to the beach, we had to walk up and over a hill that consisted of 90% mud, and we all were in flip flops, brilliant! After much slipping and sliding, we finally made it and stepped out onto the stunning beach! We put on our snorkels and flippers, I stumbled all over the place, flippers are so awkward!, and we swam out to sea.
Well, there wasn’t alot to see, we saw a couple of fish but not much, we looked up and saw we were quite far out, and we were right where the waves were forming, eek! Time to swim back! The current was so strong, even with flippers on it was really hard to get back to shore! But we made it, just as the heavens decided to open, lovely! Gone were all plans of sunbathing on the beach, we started in the direction of the path that would take us to our resort! Now, the path was slippery enough when we came, now mixed with rain it was 10X worse!! We slipped all over the place, but finally made it back to our Island in one piece! Thankfully!
Our evening dinner was fish with potatoes and vegetables! After dinner, we played a couple of games before the Fijians did another Kava ceremony. We played a few games of cards with Eileen and John, before heading to bed.
Our last morning on Korovou before heading off to our final Island, Beachcomber! Most of the guests went off on a snorkelling trip, but Steve and I decided to make the most of the sun and spend some time on the beach. We sunbathed, swam in the sea and topped up our tans. After 3 hours it started to spit so we went and sat on the balcony to wait for the ferry. All of a sudden, one of the Fijians shouted ‘look’ and pointed out to sea! We all looked and saw two small cyclones/tornados in the distance, (i say small, they were still huge!).
We watched it move quickly to the left, before dispersing into an Island.
‘Do you see this often?’ We asked the Fijians. ‘Nope, we’ve never / rarely seen it’.
Erm, should we be getting on a boat right now?!
They assured us it would be fine, so we clambered aboard the ferry to take us to our final Island, Beachcomber! Coming soon…