Published: April 30th 2009April 17th 2009
17th APRIL 2009 - MUD POOLS & VISA WAIVERS
We got up at around 7.30am and after getting dressed we headed to the bar to get some breakfast. Pancakes again...hopefully my last because as tasty as they are my clothing fasteners are strugging at the moment!! Following breakfast we packed up, got what we needed for the day and put our luggage in storage until later. We then waited for our 9am pick up to take us to the mud pools!!
The taxi was actually on time which is a first in Fiji!! We got in and the guy took us on a 15-20 minute ride to the mudpools. Once again the roads were atrotious; some sort of tarmac company needs to visit Fiji and fast! Once paid we were taken to the mud pool. I was so excited! We had our 'before' shot taken and we then followed a French family into the pool. It felt awful at first...like when you put your hands in a used washing up bowl and there are loads of bits at the bottom...cringe!! As I went further in though the feeling was kind of comforting...very squelchy and there were no more bits! We
were literally knee deep in mud and then muddy water came up to our necks. We began scooping mud up from the bottom and rubbing it over our faces and hair until our entire heads were covered. The mud would not stay on the rest of our body until we got out. We had to throw handfuls of mud onto the grass, climb out of the pool and smear the mud onto our bodies until we were covered! Looked like real Fijians by the time we had finished! Nat looked really funny as I am sure I did too. Felt weird looking down at yourself and seeing a totally black body! The mud was warm and felt really nice on your skin. We had to stand around for a while and bake in the sun until it dried. As the mud dried it became really tight especially around the face. I struggled to smile which is a difficult thing for me to avoid doing but everytime I did the mud cracked. I wondered if thats where the phrase 'cracking a smile' comes from?!! After the mud had set we messed about for a while climbing trees and taking photos. It
looked like elephant skin...all thick and cracked! Vey weird feeling but good for the skin we were told! The things we will do to try and make ourselves look better!
Once we had baked for long enough and before we turned into solid statues we got back into the mud pool where the water softened the mud and it came off. We were returned to out former pale skinned bodies and my skin felt silky smooth. I told myself it did anyway as a reasoning to rolling about in mud for hours! Once the bulk of the mud was off we went over to a different mud-free hot pool for a further rinse. It was so hot it almost burned my skin right off and we couldn't stay in there for long. Despite rinsing, mud had got into every crevice especially my scalp and ears. A shower was at the forefront of my mind on the taxi ride back to the hostel! We had a bit of a dispute with the taxi driver over money when we got there. He was definitely trying to rip us off and said we had to pay more for the poor conditions of
the road. See the council mate!! We negotiated and all was ok.
In the hostel we headed straight for a shower. Lovely to be clean again and my skin did feel softer. Once clean and smelling as fresh as a daisy we walked into town, used the net for a couple of hours to catch up on blogging and walked back again. At Skylodge we wrote in our journals, wrote a postcard or 2, I finished yet another book and we ate tea at the bar. The airport bus came to pick us up at 7pm. Fiji had flown...I could not believe that Fiji fun time was over and that we were going to Hawaii. I was very excited though. Always wanted to go to Hawaii since being a wee nipper and so I would be fulfilling some kind of childhood dream. Couldn't wait to get there!!
At the airport we got a trolley for our backpacks (yes..we only carry them when absolutely necessary) and got in the queue to check in. Whilst in the queue a lady came over and asked if we had applied for our Visa Waiver Visa to get into America. What? A visa
to say you don't need a visa? We had checked all that out before setting off and as far as we were concerned we were an exempt country and didn't have to apply for anything. The lady explained how the law was new and had only come into force on 1st April 09. All exepmt countries had to apply for a visa waiver! America!! If this was Obama's law then bring back Bush!! They would not let us check in until we had done it and so we had to leave the queue, buy an airport internet card and apply for the thing online. It was such a faf and we were pleased when the lady from the airline came to help us navigate the form and fill it in. We had to put down an address for our time in Hawaii too. This was the first time we hadn't boked anywhere and were just going to tip up...typical!! We put the Hilton down and hoped Hawaii had one! How laughable...we couldn't even have afforded a meal at the Hilton let alone a room!! Still, our applications were successful and we were allowed to check in! What a joke though...a
visa to say you don't need a visa...come on America!!
Hardly any airport time left by the time we had completed check in. We had a quick gander around duty free and sprayed ourselves with a nice perfume tester of our choice; miss perfume and smelling nice...airport testers are our only option! We then headed to the gate. Boarding began and we were in our seats on the plane and ready for take off in no time.
I was gutted when I looked through the flight schedule. The movies showing were Madagascar 2 again (saw it on the flight to Fiji) and High School Musical 3. I had been hoping for a quality film but no matter I supposed...I was tired. After the meal I got my head down and slept for what I thought was around 30 minutes but was actually 5 hours, 30 minutes. As I glanced at the tv as I woke I saw Drover. I thought I was still dreaming and what a good dream it would have been! Unfortunately it wasn't a dream...they had shown Australia and I had missed it bar the final minute and the credits. Gutted as I love that
film for obvious reasons! Still, at least I didn't feel too tired unlike Nat who had stayed awake and watched it; she was knackered! Soon enough we were preparing for landing. The pilot voiced that the time in Hawaii was 6.30am on 17th April 2009. Eat your heart out Bill and Ted...we had literally travelled back in time and it appeared that April would contain 31 days for us this year.
There are more photos below