You can’t really top a proposal on the beach. But there were a few other exciting things that happened on my Fiji trip. As much as I’m dying to post more pictures like this…
…there’s more interesting stuff to show you.
Exciting moment #1 The inflight magazine
Earlier this year, I successfully pitched Jetstar Magazine with a story on free walking tours around Australia. It just so happened the story was scheduled to run in the March issue, which came out just two days before my flight to Nadi. It is cool enough to get published in an inflight magazine. Actually having it in your seat pocket during a flight? Even better.
Exciting moment #2 The creatures among us
You know when you see something out of the corner of your eye…and it turns out to be dozens of little frogs hopping around at your feet?
On a stroll back from the beach, that’s what we saw. I’ve never seen that many frogs at once. The best part was the little Aussie boy calling them “cane toads.” You know, the kind featured in the hilarious Aussie documentary a while back that involved dogs licking them to hallucinate. These look like frogs to me. Fijian frog vs. cane toad — what do you think?
Exciting moment #3 The Hollywood swim
During our Mamanuca Islands cruise, we got the chance to visit the island where they filmed “Castaway” and go for a snorkel. Naturally, we yelled “Wilson!” a lot.
A Dutch man caught our attention while we were snorkeling and pointed between some coral. A long, brown and white speckled sea cucumber stretched out in the crevice. It was my first-ever cucumber sighting, so it was quite the event.
Exciting moment #4 Drinking the funny stuff
booze cruise around the Mamanuca Islands also involved stopping in a village for a traditional kava ceremony. Our guide needed a chief from our group to help the real chiefs leading the ceremony. He picked Brendan, who had to taste the kava before everyone else. He felt like the man.
I’d heard all that scary stuff about kava — it makes you sick, it tastes like mud, it makes you hallucinate (like Dobby, the cane toad-licking dog). After I sculled a bowl, the only thing I experienced out of those three was No. 2. Plus a big smile.
Exciting moment #5 Getting dirty
What do you do after drinking potentially hallucinogenic mud? You bathe in some.
Brendan and I took a “tour” — it was basically just a local taxi driver taking us to various sights for a flat rate — of some mud baths north of Nadi. I had never tried mud baths, mud facials, mud massages or anything of that sort. The young man running the baths said the mud would make our skin smoother — and it kind of did. We first slathered it all over our bodies until it caked on our skin. After it dried a bit, we dipped into the baths, where we scooped up some hot mud and played with it.
*Sea cucumber photo by Brendan Haslam