Found in the Yasawas Islands of Fiji, three hours catamaran boat ride from the Fiji mainland of Nadi, paradise can be truly found in the small island called Mantaray Island…
Being on the road around the world for nine months have truly taken their toll and I was looking for a ‘holiday’ from my backpacking trip. I didn’t want to sightsee, I didn’t want to go on day long bus rides and I especially didn’t want to be cold again after spending winter in New Zealand. All I wanted was sun, sand and sangria with a hefty dose of relaxation.
Disembarking the dingy boat that took us away from the catamaran, I was greeted with a rousing song by the island’s residents and staff who placed leys around our shoulders and presented with a cold beer of Fiji Gold. Showing me to my wooden shack, where my bed would be with a mosquito net and open windows, it was pretty luxurious on my backpacking budget.
I wish I could tell you how adventurous Mantaray Island was but it was anything but. My day would proceed like this:
Wake up to the dawn chorus of birds singing and watch the sun rise in its splendour over the beach while drinking a fresh orange juice. Breakfast on fresh fruits. Spend the rest of the morning sunbathing on the beach with a book, a morning nap or learn how to make crafts from dropped coconuts.
After tucking into freshly caught fish prepared Fijian style, work off the food by snorkelling around the best coral reef I’ve seen, find nemo and swim with sharks.
Sunbathe again in the afternoon or take a kayaking trip to another island across the Fijian sea and drink fresh coconut.
Go on a small hike to the top of the island and gaze on the sunset on the horizon or sing along to power ballads on a sunset cruise around the island with a cold beer in a tubing ring.
Tuck into a spread of delicious buffet prepared lovingly by absolutely friendly dedicated staff and listen out for funny announcements of the night’s entertainment by the chief.
Get to know your fellow visitors at the beachside bar complete with hammocks and benches in the surf. Play some crab racing, sing along to the guitar, giggle at party games and clink beer bottles with your new friends on the moonlit beach.
Originally booked for two nights stay, I ended up staying for five nights. The reason?
I found my Paradise.