11/4/09 = The Night Show at Robinson Crusoe
Did the usual thing I always do when have been drinking = waking up every hour and hardly sleeping. Sleep may be best cure, but is impossible to achieve! I got up as one of first in room - v.sensibly limited alcohol yesterday and actually felt fine 😊 - and headed over to breakfast. Catherine was already up, so chatted to her, then Irish girls not far behind, followed by Deb. Deb feeling rough, but Diedra looked remarkably well considering...some people = so lucky with hangovers! Breakfast was bit of a disappointment. Come to expect pancakes now and when not there ... 😞. Only toast today. Ate a bit - not feeling that good that could eat usual amount - then headed off to beach with Catherine and Ashleigh. Deb went back to bed. We laid in sun, but it was absolutely boiling...almost unbearable. Not like the heat of yesterday, this was intense, burning sunshine. Had to keep dipping in water every 10mins and Ashleigh ended up heading back because was just too hot for her.
At 11, we all went back to camp to pack up. Everyone else
on island leaving on a 11:30 bus and even though we were staying, we still had to pack up and check out of room so that wedding guests had somewhere to stay. Found Deb flaked out in a hammock and both went back to room to get our things. Stored them in office and settled tab. Got a $71 refund, which was nowhere near enough really, but didn’t have energy left to argue. Waved everyone goodbye, singing the same old leaving song and then was it. There was only me, Deb, Fijians, Australian owners and some wedding guests left on islands. 2 Australian guys bought and own Robinson Crusoe Island and wedding = a family wedding, so nearly all guests = Australian. We were the only travelers/outsiders, but felt kind of cool actually, even more shipwrecked.
Next job = to visit travel desk and guy called Raheal so that could plan trip round mainland. He was really good. Could book all accommodation for us and sort all cheap transport = good. By time finished planning, was nearly time for lunch = one of best times of day. Lounged in sun for a little longer and then wrote diary
at table for a while. Cool to watch camp transforming for wedding. All poles were being covered in fresh weaving, roofs being re-hatched with leaves and vines and lots of special wine weaving everywhere. Looked really good, but really hard work for Fijians. They were running around everywhere doing everything, even lunch was 30mins late. Good lunch though, one of best so far. Usual bread and salad, then a nice savory rice and a really good creamy pasta. Been a while since had actual pasta. Piled up plate to one of biggest so far and struggled to get it all in. Was a bit like Christmas day; the food tasted so good I just didn’t want to stop eating…but my belly couldn’t physically take anymore. Totally, totally stuffed when finished and had to sit still and write diary for a while. Then, possible to move again, went back to finalise plans with Raheal. Took 3 attempts to track him down - so busy with wedding - but did eventually manage to sort prices and book places to stay. No worries now.
Was 2:40 then and had rest of day to chill. Deb went back to sleep in hammock
again - still not feeling too good - and I went back to beach. Really hot sun. Managed half an hour, but then a free spot came up for massage and off I went. Get a free 15min massage when go to Robinson and I intended to use it. Massage was really good…really good. Did all back and shoulders. Would have paid to upgrade for an hour, but like everyone else, massage lady was too busy helping organize the wedding. A little less tense went back to beach and fell asleep in sun which was finally mild enough to sleep in. When next opened eyes, was nearly 5pm and Deb was awake too, so we went off and got showered ready for night show.
Had our last bucket shower - again, v.enjoyable - then got changed and went to sit round sunset bonfire again. Looked different today, with a bigger fire and individual fire poles/lights set out. Was better because of all people coming in to see night show; lots of people come over to island just for night show because supposed to be one of best in Fiji. Sure enough, watched as boat loads of people drifted
in and Fijians welcomed them with a cava ceremony round bonfire. No way could sit through that again, was both boring and drink awful, so went over to tables to reserve a good spot for dinner. Night show dinner supposed to be best too…excited! Chatted for a while until rest of guests came over, then we all went to look at where the meal had been cooked = a lovo meal. Is exact same method as Maoris cook in NZ, but instead of being called a ‘hangi’ meal, this method was called ‘lovo’. Didn’t know they did it in Fji too. Again, they had dug a hole, heated rocks and put them in bottom of hole, then placed food in baskets on top of hot rocks, finally covering them over with material. Good that they stripped it all back for us today and actually got to see food as it was removed. This was followed by walking on hot rocks…or that’s what they called it. What really happened is that 2 guys came and stood on the boiling hot rocks that the food had just been cooked on. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty impressive. The rocks were passed
boiling hot and they stood on them for a pretty long time, but it wasn’t exactly the ‘walking on hot coals’ I imagined, more like standing. Not like you see in the movies anyway.
After the standing on hot rocks, it was dinner time (yeh!) and we moved with our usual speed to ensure a good place in queue and full choice of all options. It really was a good dinner…it was a roast dinner. Carrots, cabbage, roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, chicken, beef, fish and gravy…onion gravy. Wow. Got a little bit of everything (although obviously less of veg than anything else!) It was all good, really good. It had a smoky taste from being cooked in ground which made it taste even better. Probably one of best meals had on whole trip, but also one of most ill times I have felt after eating. Yes, ate far too much. Just like Christmas day but without the sofa to lay on afterwards. Good job didn’t need to do any moving. Had 30mins to sit and wait, then night show started.
All lights at tables dimmed down and the area in front of us = performance area,
lit up. Music started and some guys came out, dressed v.traditionally, carrying fire and dancing. Could tell it was going to be good already; it looked awesome. They danced with real effort and span fire sticks round and then song ended and a Fijian dance of war started. Don’t know how they did it…looked like such hard physical work. Ladies came out for this one too and they all looked great. Guys jumping around and moving with real force, ladies much more delicate with small, rhythmic moves of waist and arms that they made look effortless. Could definitely tell the difference between this and the performances at Mana Island. Outfits were really good too. Minimal, but v.authentic. Made out of a grass material that moved with dancing. Thought it looked brilliant, but wouldn’t fancy the 2 small coconut shells for myself. Songs ended and others started, with different styles of dancing for each tune. All ended when the guys cam out and did a brilliant fire show. Never, ever seen fire move so fast. It was amazing. Don’t know how they ever learnt to be that good, but they really were. Each guy came out and did an individual show,
then they all came out to do a group show, which involved climbing on each others shoulders whilst still whirling flame around. Awesome…/brave.
Was a brilliant show overall, worth it’s reputation and no doubt the expense. It finished with a group dance, then we all got up in a circle to say goodbye again, just like we had done yesterday. Got some cool photos of the dancers, then had to rush to get sorted and get on boat back to mainland. Had to collect bags form office and pick up vouchers from Raheal, who again, was nowhere to be seen at first. Did eventually find him, paid, packed and jumped on boat as last ones on. Said goodbye to island - has been good - then sailed off down river at 9:40, in dark. Took around 30mins to get back to mainland and bag and feet got soaked in process…not sure why, maybe too many people on boat? Climbed off and a nice Fijian guy carried our bags and showed us to our bus to take us to Beach House = where staying tonight. Got on shattered and prepared for nap. Was a 2hr journey. Nap didn’t exactly
work out because got talking to people on the bus who had also been to the night show. They were really interested to hear about our stay there and even more interested in our travels generally. Suppose it is pretty cool really…you forget that when you spend most of your time with people all doing the same thing, then it just feels normal.
Did manage a bit of nap when finished brief overview of trip and the one by one, people got dropped off at their lovely hotels. Ahhh…hotels. We were the last on the bus and finally arrived at Beach house at 11:45, absolutely shattered. Was supposed to be a really good place and everyone raved about it on island; couldn’t really tell in dark. A night porter came to let us in - reception was obviously closed - and he showed us to our room. Who should be there but Zoomy = guy met on Mana and Robinson. Apparently nearly everyone from island there. Bit of a re-union. Had a quick chat, but then were so tired that went straight to bed. V.disappointed that didn’t have a pillow or blanket on my bed and was actually
quite cold. Zoomy was really nice and donated his to me…hope he doesn’t get cold now!
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