June 22, 2024
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First Time to Fiji: Day 12

In Namale we are greeted with song, drinks, and salusalus (leis.) Namale manages to be a luxury resort while maintaining a non-resort feel. All the thatched log buildings are beautifully designed with high ceilings and log pillars decorated with tapa. The staff is very impressive. Everyone had memorized our name by the time we check in. A beautiful wooden “Dan & Mika” sign hangs on the door of our bure. The pre-arrival effort of the staff is clearly evident and much appreciated.

Before dinner all the guests gather around the kava bowl. It’s a nice casual social affair with ghost stories, jokes and plenty of kava drinking.

The bures are spacious with high vaulted ceilings and lanais. Our unit has a Jacuzzi and an especially comfortable bed.

The next morning we wade out into the lagoon. The low tide has left hundreds of beautiful little tide pools. We see eels, starfish, crabs, urchins and an array of brightly colored tiny reef fish. The wonderful staff brings us lunch on the beach.

The following day we enjoy a private lunch by a waterfall. All the arrangements are made by the staff. The area around this waterfall is great for hiking. We wonder around for a bit after lunch enjoying the rain forest.

We head over to neighboring Cousteau Resort where we are greeted by manager Bart Simpson (yes, that is his real name.) Bart shows us around the resort, which seems like a fantastic place for a family vacation. We watch a family arrive and the young kids are immediately whisked away by nannies – one per child! The nanny stays with the child for their entire stay. By the time the family leaves, its usually hard to pry them away from their nannies. The resort has a large special area set aside for the kids with all kinds of games and activities. This is also nice for couples visiting Cousteau because the area of kids and the area for adults is cleanly separated.

That night we enjoy a fantastic Meke performed by multiple groups of women and men of all ages.

Sadly, this was our last day on Vanua Levu.

Rob Kay

Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award winner Rob Kay wrote the original Lonely Planet Fiji Travel Guide, and is Founder of Fijiguide.com.

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