After our day sailing around tropical islands you’d think we’d be sick of the beach. But no the next day we travelled to another beach!
We were up earlyish and our taxi driver from the previous day (who had constantly texted Mike offering his services) arrived and drove us across part of the island to Natandola beach- one of the best beaches on the island we had been told.
After 45 minutes we arrived. Immediately we were approached by a local offering shell necklaces and horse rides down the beach. Declining, we turned left (as our taxi driver recommended) and headed down the beach to find a good spot.
We walked along the entire beach and settled on a spot. The nicest part (typically) was in front of Intercontinental Hotel. Although none of their guests where using the beach but were instead swimming or lounging around their infinity pool. So we had the beach pretty much to ourselves.
To far side there was (what we discovered later) an island with what appeared to be some sea caves. Mike W stayed and burned while Mike and I went exploring. Between us and the island was a short swim. The sea seemed to go into some Bay created by the mainland and the island so the current was very strong. We dived in and found it to be deep and as we had guessed strong. Undeterred we swam quickly and reached the other side. A short stroll along the sand and we reached the caves- rather more over hangs than caves but fun to explore. The sea lapped into the strange formation making unusual sounds and the strong smell of sea weed was pungent.
After a short paddle and look around we decided to go back. Instead of the short channel swim we opted this time to wade through the ocean on the various sand bars between the island and the mainland. This proved tricky with a strong tide and drag. It took us quite a while and in the end a strong swim to overcome the tide. Tired and slightly exhausted we plonked down on the beach and soaked up some sun.
After some sun and snacks We played in the sea with a miniature rugby ball we had bought back in Oz. Myself and Mike W frustrating Mike with our poor throwing and catching! Playing piggy in the middle wasn’t much better either!
Next, Mike flew the drone over to the caves; this is where we discovered it was an island and not connected to mainland. As we stood in the shade of the palm tree we watched the drone hover and take photos of the turquoise sea and tropical island. Not being able to get the photo of the caves he wanted Mike thought it a good idea to go back with his iPhone to take pictures. The problem being how as it required swimming!
We decided to wrap the phone in several plastic bags and but it in our dry bag. It should (in theory) keep out the water as it rolls at the top and is made out of a waterproof material. Again we trekked off. We took the sand bar approach over and Mike managed to walk through the water, up to his neck at points with the bag above his head.
At the caves he then snapped away while I got scared by a very large crab coming out of no where. On the way back we swam the channel instead. Remarkably Mike swam one handed and kept the bag dry even the though the current seemed stronger.
Suitably tired and hot we sat in the shade and luckily got some free drinks from the hotel! Enough sun we showered and changed and headed back. Our taxi man was waiting and we headed back to the back packers. 45 minutes became an an hour and fifteen but it didn’t matter. Once back we chilled, got some food and Mike and I made plans for our next leg of our trip New Zealand. The following day we would be going to a proper cave, to see where Fijian cannibals use to live!