Robinson Crusoe Island

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November 16th 2002
Published: November 16th 2002
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Fiji SunsetFiji SunsetFiji Sunset

Post card shot, and now made famous on the front page of travelblog :)
Vanja, Claire and I went to find some sunshine. The leaflet for Robinson Crusoe Island looked pretty good so I phoned. To get out to Robinson Crusoe Island, or Likura Island as its really called, we had to catch a bus to a police station in the middle of no where. The middle of no where was between Suva and Nadi, on the coral coast. Called Vatu Dradra (pronounced Vatu drandra), or translated, "red stone".

Waiting for the bus a truck stopped and the driver said he would take us there for $4 Fiji each, a little less than the bus and a lot quicker. So we took the ride, chatted with the driver, lives in Suva in his sister's house and drives from one side of the island to the other most days.

True to the description the police station was in the middle of nowhere, together with a supermarket and a school. There were no houses to be seen. We went over to the police station and the officer on duty said we could wait on a bench out of the sun in front of the station. Nice guy, chatted about life for a while, nurses earn $15,000 Fiji a year - $7000 US, which is good money in Fiji. Vanja is a nurse, but decided that she could probably get more in Australia.

Eventually the van arrived, jumped in and rode the half hour to the river. Another half hour on a boat and we got to the island. The staff came out to the boat with guitars, and sang to welcome us in. Hello in Fijian is 'Bula' - we had to say it back as loud and strongly as we could, made us feel really welcome.

The island was a whole half mile long by a few hundred meters wide, bigger than Pigeon Caye, Utila which was home to 1200 people. The island is covered in coconut palms and other Fijian bush plants, many of which have some kind of medicinal properties or value as food.

The traditional drink of Fiji is Kava, in the words of Ziggy one of the local guys working at the resort - "Kava is not an alcoholic drink, it's a narcotic drink". To make kava a bag full of the ground root is dunked and mangled in a large wooden bowl. It looks like someone washing a pair of socks in a large wooden bowl. When the water takes on a milky colour the kava is ready. The effects of kava seem to be a slight numbing of the tongue - and after a huge amount (not me but some other guys), a sleepy feeling. The kava to be honest tastes earthy and mildly nasty, and for the limited effects seems hardly worth bothering with. In Fiji there are bars serving kava 24hrs a day. There is an export business set up to Europe and some controversy on the effects of kava on health, some say that it harms the liver, others argue that even if it is it is a lot less harmful than alcohol.

The main business of the Island is the day cruises from the large resorts on the mainland. Around 60 people come to the island for a days activities, traditional dancing, coconut husking, and kids activities. Around 4pm they all go back to the resorts. As a resident of the island activities are laid on in the evening, games, drinking and at the end of most evenings a beach bonfire with guitars and singing. I took along my little guitar and
Husking a CoconutHusking a CoconutHusking a Coconut

Actually looks pretty dangerous...
joined in with such hits as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".

I learnt to husk brown coconuts in less than a minute, the technique is to push a sharp pointy stick into the softer end of the husk, twist the coconut and use the stick to lever the husk away from the nut. To open the nut its possible to hit the nut with a rock at the right point, and split it into two halves. Green coconuts are for drinking, the flesh is slimy, the milk however is really refreshing. Brown coconuts can be used for eating the flesh, drinking the milk and making cream of coconut milk.

After four days of relaxing and doing pretty much nothing I was ready to leave the island. Too much nothing isn't good for you, I personally get itchy feet, the desire to move on and find new adventures. Vanja and Claire both headed out to Australia within a day of each other - some more friends to look up in Australia.

Note: Added 18/07/03 - I know this isn't the real Robinson Crusoe Island. There is an official Robinson Crusoe Island just off the coast of Chille, it was where Alexander Selkirk, the shipwrecked Scotsman whom Daniel Defoe based his fictional account on, spent four or five years. The operators of this island chose to call it this - not me! But I feel they are justified in using this name as Robinson Crusoe is FICTION! Now if it had been called Alexander Selkirk Island I might think differently.

Note: Added 23/06/04 - In case you've never read Robinson Crusoe - it's available free here from the Gutenberg project.

Additional photos below
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Fiji guys and girls Fiji guys and girls
Fiji guys and girls

They were really great made the stay really memorable.

21st April 2004

Thanks for the information!
Our son has just emailed us to say he was on his way to Robinson Crusoe Resort, breaking his trip back home to New Zealand from California. His father and I now are in London,(well, his Dad is working in Amsterdam right now!) and his elder brother is in Australia. He arrives just after some fairly major storms and flooding in other parts of Fiji. I hope there is a coconut left for him!!! cheers, Mum.
23rd April 2004

more from mum
dear youth of today, my previous coment is my first experience of this sort of internet communication, i.e. "blogging" I would like to offer hospitality /advice/informaton/food to people travelling to the UK, cheers, mum
25th June 2004

Thanks anonymous mum ;)
Strangly enough my younger brother ended up there as well as part of his RTW (Round the World Trip) - he didn't know I'd been there before him. "anonymous mum" - if you ever pop back take a look at the forum on this site. There is an opportunity to help out all sorts of people with advice, I hope there will even be some questions on UK travel sometime.
14th October 2004

Ali..that sky looks yummy - yummy enough to sink my teeth into.Great Pic!! Awesome - enjoy the holiday while less fortunate souls slog at work......Joydeep
5th August 2005

i'm confused
I thought Robinson Crusoe Island was part of Chile?? See
5th August 2005

sorry i just read your "note"... now i understand.
4th September 2005

I loved robinson crusoe island!! If not for the great trips, good fish and wonderful sunsets, then for the great staff and sexy fijian guys:) Happy holiday
9th February 2006

looking back
i visited robinson crusoe 4 years ago.. i miss the place very much... the lovely people and beautiful surroundings made it one of my best visits ever :) I'm coming back someday... adagio for strings :) See ya later alligator
21st February 2006

Ive just returned from a study trip in fiji for three weeks but spent my last night on Robinson Crusoe - the perfect way to end it all. Did nothing but lie back and relax, enjoying the sun and the beautiful water (both the beach and the pool!)and of course the midnight bonfire. Strongly recommend it to anyone looking for an tropical island paradise and who enjoys mixing with lots of international backpackers. Made such a change from the likes of Suva and Nadi. And yeah, you were so right about the police station in the middle of nowhere! And if you're heading back up to Nadi after leaving the island, try and get the boat transfer all the way up the coast
12th March 2006

Fiji "Simply the best"
Great pic's of Fiji,enjoy the rest of ya trip. Cheers
3rd January 2007

Robinson Crusoe Island
I stayed on Robinson Crusoe island a few years ago when a friend and i spent a week or so in Fiji during a trip round asia and australia. It was so laid back it defied belief, perfect weather, beautiful sea and scenery, fantastic hosts and plenty of travellers who were just as impressed as we were. Days spent lazing around doing nothing and evenings watching the show performed by ziggy and co (the lads and lasses who work on the island) then having a few drinks and singing songs round the bonfire. It was a bit of a reality check when we finally left after 3 or 4 days and got back to main land Fiji, never mind when we finally arrived back in England! I would definately recommend a visit to this beautiful island if you are visiting Fiji any time soon! Ste
23rd January 2007

i see you baby!!!!!!
bula everyone[hello in fijian]iam mika hope some of you still remember me i used to work in robinson crusoe island in fiji and now iam in england and guess what;iam really enjoying the english weather....its almost two years since i arrived, really missing the dance in the island. anyone thinking of visiting fiji try to visit robinson crusoe island coz you cant ever leave.....sota tale[good bye and see you again]mika
3rd February 2007

Hello Mika and everybody In Robinson!!!
Bula everyone! I have visited in Robinson so many times, I think at least four times. It is just the BEST place in the world and as Mika said, you can't never leave.. I know Mika and and quite many staff members from Robinson and I can't stop missing them all. Hope to see them soon. And Mika: I hope everything is perfect with Jodie and say hello to Rico!:) Love ya long time!
30th July 2007

the best island to go to ....
thanx ziggy the tallest man on the island bahahaha ... nahhh man i had the best time on the island ae? its made me think i wonna come bck soo um have a room ready coz me and a couple of friends are gonna come ova...... so have ur bank card ready to bring us ove nahhh jokez .. nahhh but we are going to may be in a few years... betta not have forgottn me ae? remember SKYE!!!!! hope to see use all take care ... * mizz SKYE

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