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Published: February 5th 2009
If Beachcomber Island is the party island, then Manta Ray is paradise. A dingy brought us from the main boat to the island where we were greeted by a Fijian band and given frozen papaya juice and a tour of our facilites. The dorms were nicer than Beachcomber, and the island was much bigger, though the beachfront was probably about the same size. We did get some rain that started around 5pm and didn't really let up for the night, but I was actually happy to have a little break from the heat! Technically, it is the wet season, so we really lucked out with weather. The main island was so flooded last week that they had to import fruit from New Zealand. We ended up meeting some British and Irish folks and played card games through the night. Ace, the Fijian social coordinator, also organized some limbo and coconut cracking. One guy actually cracked a coconut with his fist! Very impressive. I also hung out with Joe, the scuba instructor, and he convinced me to go SCUBA diving the next day.
SCUBA diving is so amazing... not that I had any doubt. I think I just didn't want to
try because I know I would get hooked, and it's a pretty expensive hobby. Manta Ray has some of the best snorkeling in Fiji, and Sandra and I swung a half-price ticket, so I couldn't say no. The best comparison I have is Finding Nemo, even though I know that is so lame. I picked up a bright blue sea star and held a purple velvety sea cucumber and played with coral that changed color when you touched it. Unreal. The water pressure took a bit of getting used to, but it really wasn't that bad. Other people saw a shark (ahhh!) but I was very glad that that wasn't the case for our dive.
The rest of the night was spent with the new recruits to the island. We spend the night drinking Bounty Rum and Fiji Gold beers and having a dance party. It was a wonderful way to end the stay. The next day was probably the best we had had weatherwise - no humidity and bright clear sun. Around 3pm the main boat picked us up and Sandra and I parted ways. I know I'll see her again one day! I spent one last night
in Nadi and then boarded the plan to Melbourne the next morning. I'm currently in a hostel in Melbourne and I move into my apartment tomorrow. From my limited time in the city, I know I'm going to love it! It has everything - the beach, the water, the city, and a bohemian vibe. More pictures to come soon!
Until then, check this out: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1303/1255153934_a8df2c8183.jpg?v=0
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