Lately I’ve been spending all my time at work, but I would still like to post somewhat regularly. As is part of my writing tradition I often complain to Erin about having nothing to write about, then she’ll say “Why don’t you write about that time we _____” Some of my stories aren’t exactly fresh, but usually they’re at least funny.
Erin and I, as part of our Fijian tour, did a trip along the Yasawa Islands. The Yasawas are a chain of islands off the coast of Fiji and many companies have small hotels on the little islands.
We got a package that gave us, if I recall correctly, five days on three islands, none of which were quite as small as the one pictured above. Of the three islands I can only remember what happened on two of them, I completely forgot about the first one we were on and so has Erin, we don’t even have pictures from it. The other two islands I don’t remember the name of, instead I just remember the accommodations and activities.
The first of the two, remembered, islands was quite large and seemed to really stick high out of the ocean it had nice private bungalows and terrible food, a common combination in Fiji. On the first day Erin and I kayaked to a very nearby island in two clear plastic kayaks. I was very excited to see all the marine life below me, but was quickly disappointed when I saw the kayaks were far too scratched up to see through. I still enjoyed myself but Erin, who often complains about lacking upper body strength, seemed to have a very hard time kayaking on a windy ocean, I asked if she wanted me to tow her home she replied with “No its fine! Leave me alone” my relationship senses tingled. To my knowledge “its fine” is usually my cue to get as quiet and far away as possible. We next opted to relax and do some reading while lounging in the hammocks… because life is so hard when you’re on vacation, its important to relax. I had long since finished my Capstick book, but I was unwilling to trade it in in the book exchange. Luckily Erin had an old book for me to trade in, the selection was limited and a lot of it was German, but I picked the best of the worst, a book titled “Perfume” and it was certainly…. not something I would read again. The next day we headed to the final island where we would spend the majority of our time, and make the most memories.
We arrived to find we were staying in undoubtedly the nicest accommodations I have ever received. This was the first time during our trip that we stayed in a place that looked like a post card from Fiji. It was a large private bungalow with a small main room at the front and a large bedroom and bathroom at the back. We settled in, grabbed some borderline OK lunch, and read our books at the beach, I finished that terrible book and was thoroughly disappointed. Erin started reading my, now favorite book, “The Last Ivory Hunter.” We then had some dinner and made plans to go on a short guided hike in the morning.
We arrived where they told us to meet the “guide” and found that Erin and I were the only two people who showed up. We paid our guide his fee, about $3 each, and we headed up. As soon as we started walking the guide started talking on his cell phone, this would continue the whole hike. I brought my backpack and Erin and I both wore our hiking gear. Our guide brought his cell phone and machete and climbed this mountain barefoot, it was very impressive. A few minutes into the hike I saw what I think might be the most frightening thing I can think of, off in the distance in a small clearing there was a spider web that had been built horizontally, it was about 6 feet in diameter and what ever was in the middle of it was heavy enough to pull the trees in towards it. I didn’t go investigate, in fact I picked up the pace a little. Just as we came above the tree line we found ourselves walking through some very tall, lush grass, about 10 feet tall. I read a lot of safari books and they always talk about long grass and the dangers of following a wounded animal into it, until this time I had never fully comprehended the lack of visibility and just how tall this grass really was, I just couldn’t picture it in my mind.
After the grass it became much rockier, and elevated. I didn’t really think about all the elevation we gained while walking through the heavily treed areas. Suddenly the trail ended, but the guide kept walking, right across a sharp ridge with a nice steep smooth rock face down each side. Erin, without flinching, walked right behind him and then remembered my dislike of heights and looked back and if I recall she offered some encouraging words. I wasn’t about to quit, but like I always do with heights, I crawled slowly across on all fours while calculating what events and time frame would be required for me to get to the hospital if I fell. At least I knew for sure the guide had cell service. On the other side of this knife edge walk-way was a large natural platform at the top of the island and the official end of our hike. Erin and I took a lot of pictures and she went on and on about how proud she was of me for making it across that rock… I then realized I had to go back over it..
Erin and I were taking in the view and talking about how glad we were that we took this trip and various other lovey dovey things when it happened… Possibly the longest and loudest fart either one of us had ever heard! We looked at each other, with eyes wide open, then looked at the guide 20 feet away from us, chuckling on his phone. This hike will forever be known as “the Fijian hike with the farting guide” and we laugh about it all the time.. even years later we still laugh about it.
I crawled across the rocks and we made our way down, all the while trying not to burst into laughter about what happened. We made it without breaking into hysterical laughter like teenage girls, barely, we thanked our guide and returned to our bungalow to shower, laugh, and then grabbed some lunch.
A lot of other interesting things happened on that island, we saw a man climb to the top of a very tall palm tree and cut down coconuts, he went up without any harness or safety gear and those coconuts came down like cannon balls, luckily no one was hurt. On another of the nights we met a nice group of Australians wearing sailor outfits, they seemed intent on perpetuating the stereotype of attractive Australians, they were very successful. Before the night was through we ended up somewhat befriending them, we ate together and got very drunk. I remember at one point they were all singing a drinking song to me while I was chugging a beer, it was great. A few also did a very impressive choreographed dance to a Taylor swift song. I wish I had gotten some contact info for them, Erin and I are planning a trip to Australia and I wouldn’t mind bumping into them again.
The next day I was a rather slow moving unit, on account of my recently discovered enjoyment of gin and tonics. We decided to spend the day reading and recovering by the pool. I took in that awful book I had finished and looked for something to trade it off on. I combed through the collection and the only thing that seemed to stand out to me was an old dime store western. It was titled “Longarm and the frenchmans gold” or something along those lines. I like westerns, so I figured I would give it a shot. I sat beside Erin at the pool and began reading. The first few chapter were slow and poorly written, so I assumed it was a book for young teens, that would explain the rather… ahem, chesty woman, depicted on the cover. I was wrong, very wrong. Around chapter three it turned into a very graphic adult novel. I suddenly felt very embarrassed, like when a sex scene comes on in a movie you’re watching with your parents, kind of embarrassed. I slowly closed the book and set it down, I must have had a strange look of surprise on my face because Erin took one glance at me and asked “Whats wrong?” I casually picked up the book, opened it to the appropriate point, handed it to her, and said “here, read this.” She thought it was hilarious, so did I, but I was annoyed that I had to go try and find another book. We also still laugh about this and occasionally joke that we should have kept that book as a memento for such a funny story. Good literature is hard to come by when you’re travelling I guess… So hopefully when you go out into the world you can still access my site, right?
On this trip I learned the importance of bringing a good book, otherwise you end up with some mighty strange stuff. Also if anyone knows some goofy, attractive Australians who visited the Yasawas while dressed as sailors during 2011, send them my way. Honestly even if they aren’t the people we met, if they meet that criteria I want to be friends with them.
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