The Yasawa Islands are beautiful. I went there last year while crewing on a private yacht. Not quite sure about the names of the individual islands, and I wont be providing them since I dont have a lonely planet or chart with me. Anyways, here is the path we took through the island chain, coupled with significant events.
This island looks kind of like a square with the sides coming in. The first day we arrived on the southern bay, and went into the village seeking the chief. Every time you anchor in Fiji you must present the chief with a gift of Kava and ask for permission to dock there. We also asked if it was okay to SCUBA dive and go spearfishing. I dont think there were any great places to dive here.
We heard some noise back around the village and walked closer to investigate. There was a large athletic field and there were children from all neighboring villages and islands here to compete in something much like field day for Americans. They ran races around the track and competed in other events. There were many Fijians there. Unlike the big island, everyone out here is melanesian.
The next day we went for a hike. We hired the chiefs nephew to walk us around the island. It was quite a hike. Probably a 1200m ascent and a good 2 mile walk up and another mile down the back side. It should be noted that the World ECO challenge had to climb a peak on this island (near the trail we hiked). My friend Matt and I were going to do it, but it would have been 3PM when we started, which was much too late. Anyways, the hike was not too rugged, but was steep enough to be demanding.
2/3 of the way up there a man built a house and a kava field. I have no idea how he talked people into dragging wood up there. Maybe he carried it on the back of a horse. It was crazy that he would move up there. Probably to get away from the bugs.
We walked down the mountain, over a creek and past another hut, and eventually made it to the beach. Here women were drying their clothes on the rocky shore. There was a small village here, and over another dusty hill was a backpacker resort. They had a restaurant and tents. The food was decent, and it was quite nice. A good place to stay if you want to experience real Fiji. On the way back I walked up to the summit again; Some friends walked around the other way, since the tide was out, and they took twice as long. We returned to the south side and played beach volleyball with four swedish guys and a giant fijian guy who was the michael jordan of volleyball. It was nice to win.
i’ll try and decorate the others later
One Island North
Poor anchorage. We met some other boats and had a barbecue on the beach one night with some ugly new zealand girls. Some of my friends went scuba diving and saw a manta ray. Matt and I stayed on the boat and fixed the motor for our Scuba Compressor.
Next Island North
There was a big bay at the northeast section of this island, and a large village. We met the chief, a very old lady, and ate a traditional meal with the villagers who were meeting for a funeral. The meal consisted of yams, sea turtle, and tin beef (corned beef from a can, which is really gross).
Looked nice, but not as lush as in the movie. Didn’t even leave the boat. Might have been a few resorts here.
We saw tons of dolphins when we entered the bay. Probably the largest collection of them all summer; I’m talking 40 or 50 of them swimming around. There were caves here. The villagers have some sort of a racket, where you have to pay them $10 to visit the caves.
more to come
You can catch a catamaran there from Lautoka or Denarau Island (both are within 45 minutes of Nadi Airport). or you can take a private yacht!