Fiji’s Yasawa islands

It’s been a few busy weeks on Totem. For most of September, we wound our way through beautiful islands at the northwest end of Fiji- the Yasawa island group.
These islands are so dramatically different from the lush green of the windward side of Vanua Levu. It’s extremely dry- not only are we at the latter part of the dry season, but the last wet season didn’t bring as much water as usual.
Brown grasses on the tall slopes of the mountainous islands belie the drought, but palms and mangroves and so many other things are so vibrantly green, it’s not always easy to tell. The views are still spectacular. We should be jaded about views like this by now, but the truth is, they grab me every time. Every day- OK, almost every day- I am deeply grateful to be here, to be living this life.
Yasawa Islands, Fiji
As usual, some of the most memorable experiences are tied to people we meet.
After staying off unpopulated stretches of shoreline, we ended up in a bay with a small backpacker’s hostel that was aptly named The White Sandy Beach Resort. Most of the employees are part of an extended Fijian family. Two women who took us under their wing were Kesa and Sila- they made us feel like part of the family, too.
Kesa and Sila adopted us
We joked that Sila was going to try to keep Siobhan when we left. Siobhan loves to be held and she logged a lot of hours hanging out in Sila’s lap!
Mmmmmm good!
Mairen drinks from a fresh coconut
Kesa’s family owns the property where the resort is located, and has memories of playing with the children of cruising boats when she was young. She hadn’t been on a boat in years, though, and Kesa had never seen a cruising boat, so we brought them on board Totem for an afternoon of popcorn and trading stories.
We extended our stay there beyond our expectations, and much of it was because of the lovely people on shore. When you find a place that just sings to you, why rush?

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