The Yasawa islands are finally the paradise we've been looking for. Lovely, lonely beaches, nice tourist resorts in beautiful setting (most of them even with backpacker shared rooms starting at 16 EUR!), nice reefs for snorkeling and diving, blue water (sometimes even really clear), green islands with lots of birds and paths to hike (paths which the locals use to get from their hidden village to the resorts where they work) ….Today we reached the southern point of the northernmost island in the Yasawas, Yasawa island. This place is owned by a small village so after the arrival we went ashore, went to see the chief Voka to ask for permission to go to shore, see the village, go snorkeling and diving. Of course the brought the obligatory Kava. Those strange tasting roots from a pepper plant which dissolved in water you'd never drink - unless you have to. So far there was no Kava ceremony (called sevusevu). We might have to drink it tomorrow. But, the chief offered us today that we could have fresh coconut drink tomorrow. At first, when we were in his house, he was very formal (and we woke him up from his afternoon sleep). We had carefully read the instructions in the cruising book on how to behave when you met the chief and during a sevusevu. So the first thing was: correct clothes. We all wore our Alita crew skirts which I had sewn. Men blue, girls pink. Skirts go over the knees. We wore T-Shirts making sure our shoulders are covered. When we entered the chief's house we left the shoes outside. We sat on the mat when he sat down. Men with crossed legs, women with both legs to the side, making sure the knees are covered. While the chief received us he finished putting on his shirt and buttoned it up. When we met him on the beach later on, he was wearing no shirt and no skirt but bermudas (with Bob Marley print on them). We chatted for a while with the chief, showed him our cruising permit (which we had asked for in Savusavu; the permit is from the government written in local language asking the chiefs to receive us as guests and to allow us to visit the village and anchor in their bay) and set a time to visit the caves here tomorrow. We walked on the beach for a little bit and saw that the chief came and put something in our Dinghy. When we came back we saw that he had given us 3 big papayas. That was very sweet. We chatted a bit more on the beach and he was very nice then, not so formal. He asked us for a fishing line. We'll give him that tomorrow. So, it's dealing time again, giving and taking. That's fun. So tomorrow we will visit the caves (the legend says you can walk in the caves all the way to Lau), and then the school here (I have seem drawing books and pens for the children) and the village. Another day full of excitement.
Yesterday we visited the chief's wife (which at that time we didn't know is his wife). On the other side of the island we were anchored at in the Blue Lagoon, there is a place called „Bo's Tea House". Believe it or not, in the middle of nowhere there is a little café where Bo serves homemade Banana cake and chocolate cake. She is the only one there who serves cold drinks. It's too unreal to describe. WE almost did not get there, since locals on our side of the island had told us that the Tea house is closed. As we found out then, it had been closed the 2 days before (1st day for a funeral, 2nd day for her daughter's wedding with 300 guests). Then it was a very long walk along the beach, about an hour. The first buildings we saw was a ruined tourist resort. We thought we had found the reason why they said the Tea House is closed. Marcus knew from the Cruising book that there is a direct path over the mountain to the other side, so we looked for it as we did not want to go back the same way. So we walked on ant found this lovely place. The lady, Bo, was very friendly and told us the name of the village we're at now and that her husband is the chief there. What a different world.
Here are some pictures of the last week. More pictures soon online in the photo gallery
Crew outfit ready to go to the chief of Nabukuru village
Beautiful „Octopus Resort" (they have Backpacker rooms as well!)
First time ever I saw a sea plane landing and starting in front of my eyes!
Bo's tea house
Where we are now
Sunset… ..and moonrise In the village
Life is hard Graves