When you’ve chosen to “maroon” yourself on a 31-acre island for 3 days and 3 nights, how do you spend the time? Easy: make friends and hang out with the locals!
Note: it would help to read this post about Robinson Crusoe Island Resort in Fiji before proceeding.
Robinson Crusoe Island Resort has two modes of operation: island stays and day trippers. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, people would arrive during the day and leave before the sunset. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, some would spend the day, but an evening tour is also offered. We stayed there from Wednesday through Saturday, so we got the chance to enjoy the island in its various flavors.
My favorite day during the trip was Friday. There were no day trippers, so we islanders had the entire resort to ourselves.
In my previous post, I told you about Mike and Martha, whom we met in exciting circumstances during our first night on the island. They’re going to feature pretty heavily in this post, because without them, our islander day would’ve gone quite differently.
So, if you are so fortunate as to visit this resort, here are my suggestions on how to spend your time.
Explore the island
After our typical early breakfast, David and I skipped our hammocks and instead went for a walk. The island is only 31 acres–to put that in better context, it only takes about half an hour to walk around it. However, on a leisurely day with nothing to do, you can stretch that out to an hour!
This is Robinson Crusoe Island, so of course they have a cat named Friday. There is also a dog whose name sounded like (but wasn’t) “Dice.” Friday walked a little ways with us, but decided not to continue outside the bounds of the resort. Dice was more adventurous. He spent the whole time with us, occasionally bounding into the island’s interior and then reappearing ahead of us on the beach.
The island is only a few miles away from the mainland. When the tide is low, it almost looks like you can walk across. Dice had a grand time chasing crabs in the shallows. The best part was when a crab refused to back off and Dice ended up running away from it!
Relax in a hammock
When you’ve got the entire resort to yourself, you’ve also got free reign on hammock options. Of course, Mike and Martha had their favorites–although they had mastered two-person hammocking, leaving us with more choices. I liked a finely woven one on the main beach. I had to avoid it when day trippers were around, as that hammock was right in the busy area, but today I could lay there and read at my leisure!
Bet on a crab race
Robinson Crusoe Island Resort advertises a crab race. Basically, they’ve caught about a dozen tiny crabs, which they have stuck numbers on. As a day tripper activity, the activities coordinator draws a big circle in the sand at the auditorium area. He gets each person to pick a crab, starts up the music, and then plunks the crabs down in the center. First crab to reach the circle line is the winner.
We felt bad for the crabs, since it looked like the crew just used the same crabs over and over. So we all decided to have our own crab race. Winner gets a beer!
During our morning walk, we all combed the beach for likely contenders. We put them in comfortable little cups with sand, water, and whatever else we thought they might like, as they prepared for the race of their lives.
After lunch, we had our own crab race! David’s rigorous selection process paid off! We collected all our crabs and put them back out on the beach to roam, and then we losers pitched in on a bucket of beers, with David getting the extra.
Make your own jewelry
Do you know that coconut shells are really, really hard?
One of the activities coordinators taught us how to make our own jewelry out of coconuts. He had the coconut already husked and cleaned. Then he cut pieces off depending on what we wanted–a bracelet, a pair of earrings, a necklace pendant.
Then we took some rough sandpaper and smoothed down the little pieces. That was hard work! We had to smooth down every angle to make sure it was as clean and even as possible.
Then he cut a hole and threaded some string and voila! Our very own jewelry. This was the only souvenir I took back from Fiji, but I couldn’t have bought anything better to remind myself of the wonderful week we spent there.
The next activity the staff had for us was fish driving. This was a really fascinating way of catching fish. No poles, no sailing off to a likely spot… we did it all right by the shore!
First, they took the long net and slung it between two boats. Then, they gave David and Mike some wooden sticks.
The crew then started the boats and stretched out the nets, coming in to shore when they were apart enough. As they neared the shore, David and Mike were instructed to beat the water with their sticks to make noise and confuse the fish.
The crew anchored the boats and brought in both sides of the net, with the fish caught in it. I had to help pull in the net, so I don’t have photos of that part. But here are the guys dragging the net up to the beach and picking up the fish. It was so impressive–more than 30 fish! Of those, about 3 were the size of a regular tilapia, though most were much smaller.
Our fish was quickly cooked and served. Nothing like enjoying the fruits of your labor!
Try fire spinning
After dinner, we then got an exciting lesson: how to spin a fiery stave!
We had watched the crew do this during the show and it was daunting then. But holding a six-foot stick, burning at both ends, is something else entirely.
Of course they taught us how to spin without lighting the fire, thank goodness. That hand motion is not easy! I’m sure cheerleaders who’ve handled batons will find it much more natural. Plus the thing is fairly heavy, and you’re trying to not let it hit the ground, since sand would just smother the fire.
We all managed to get some spin going, some better than others.
Then they asked if we wanted to learn how to swallow fire… no thanks! We’d had enough fire on this island for one trip.
So were we bored on our islander day? I’d say it was quite the opposite–this was our most active day at the resort!
I’m glad we got the chance to try all these activities with the island crew. And I’m really happy we met Martha and Mike. I’d say our experience with them exemplified why travel can be so amazing. We were four people from different continents, who would never have otherwise met. And we had such a fantastic time together!
We had to leave the next day, but that was okay. Fiji was good to us.