UA-31290512-1

Saturday, August 20, 2016

FIJI: Yasawas, Over Hill & Dale

Just South down the beach from Blue Lagoon Resort, the black lava rock contrasts nicely
with Nacula’s vivid blue waters and golden hills.  This particularly calm day, they were more of a mirror.  Fiji, Yasawas.
If mostly easy hikes through rolling hills for vista points or along shorelines for oceanside views appeals, Fiji Yasawas “other Blue Lagoon” is well worth a stop. Add to that 20’-23’ anchoring on a sandy shelf in a protected bay with no charge and reasonable snorkeling.  And we were the only sailboat there for our 4 ½ sunny day stay.

Trail sign – one of the few anywhere on
the island -- behind Blue Lagoon Resort
to the ridge crest viewpoints.
Again, credit goes to Rich and Cyndi of Legacy for their excellent blog posts on Blue Lagoon Resort off Nacula, clearly delineating it from the more popular Blue Lagoon off nearby Nanuya LaiLai.

We did a couple hikes which were each a few hours round trip. 












Wayne scales one of the steeper trail points
on Nacula island.  Fiji, Yasawas.
We were impressed with the ecosystem diversity of the small stretch of Nacula island that we took, and impressed with the plethora of trails criss-crossing the area.  Some trails appear to be made and maintained by the resorts, others for villager transportation (there are no vehicles on Nacula – all transport is by boat, plane or on foot).  For the most part, trails are unmarked, but straightforward to follow – you don’t need to bushwhack on Nacula.

I enjoyed the starkness of cabbage palms sprouting from the ferrous red dirt on Nacula island.  Fiji, Yasawas.
The whole time we hiked, we saw few other folks between Nacula’s West side resorts and those along the island’s Southern tip.  We saw a few locals, and just a few stragglers on the fringe of the resorts.  Other than that, it was just us and the trails, taking our time and enjoying great scenery along with a nice leg stretch off the boat.

These two beautiful bays viewed from the ridge points between Blue Lagoon Resort and the island’s Southern tip revealed how little of Nacula island was left unexplored.  Fiji, Yasawas.
The only way we’d see Nacula’s lovely East side reefs would be by walking to them unless
a local skiff was able to get us there.  Fiji, Yasawas.
A couple caveats…. Do

  1. Read Rich and Cyndi’s post which includes a Google Earth map marking where Blue Lagoon Resort is
  2. Bring insect repellant for hiking, especially of you swing by the area where there’s pigs
  3. Wear sunscreen
  4. Consider hiking along the shore on one day, the viewpoint hiking another
  5. Keep in mind the tides if you choose to skirt the shore, hugging the shoreline’s much easier on low tide
  6. Depending on the viewpoint(s) you hike to, expect some steep sections, wear the appropriate footwear, know what your limits are and accept them with good timing and grace
  7. Begin with your camera with well-charged battery and if it’s not waterproof, carry a watertight container or dry bag for it
  8. Bring water and light munchies
  9. Get a map if possible, good directions or hike with someone who knows the area or is a good hiking navigator, if you’re uncomfortable with your sense of direction and don’t like potentially retracing some wrong turns, 
Ridge point view of Nacula’s resorts on its Southern tip.  We walked the beach on another day to them as we weren’t sure how long a walk it was to get there then back to the Blue Lagoon Resort area.  Fijis Yasawas.
While these 10-20 foot spiky spires remind me
of giant asparagus spears, guessing
they are flax.  Fiji, Yasawas.
While there are no nude beaches in the now very prudish Fiji of today, we did stumble across some impromptu no-tan-line sunbathers on a nice private stretch of beach.  We considered the spot they vacated, well between resorts and mostly untraveled, but the day was growing short.

This bridge crossed through a plantation,
though we’re not sure which village
it was connected with.  Fiji Yasawas.
If you’re feeling decadent after your walk, there’s two resorts on each end of the trails more than happy to pour you a cold one to refresh.  


While Nacula was dry on our stay, it looks like
this trail could get pretty boggy!  This appeared
to be a trail the villagers used to go from their
village to Blue Lagoon and Oarsman resorts.

The tides marked the beaches with
strong lines of differing composition
of sands.  Fiji, Yasawas.
There is a tea house near the island’s Southern tip, where they serve tea and cake for a few dollars.  We delayed our hike back to catch the tea house at its 3 pm opening time. It’s a pleasant spot at the edge of a village, overlooking some tidal flats that were a big hit with the local heron.  After waiting 20 minutes past 3 and still not smelling anything baking (and there were no made cakes) we decided to save ourselves the calories and change and get back to our boat sooner rather than later. 


Regardless of how you do or don’t choose to reward yourself for your walk, an amble along Nacula is a treat all by itself.  Anything after that is just icing on the cake.  After Waya-sewa’s dramatic but overly challenging pound in the heat, we’re good with nice.




Nacula’s Southern tip was enhanced with intriguingly sculpted shoreline rocks.  Fiji, Yasawas.

Map of Nacula island with a rough indication of
our ridge point and shoreline hikes.  Fiji, Yasawas.
Location Location
This is a recent retrospective from when we anchored off of Nacula in Fiji's Yasawas, (S16.54.761 E177.23.024) July 19th - July 24th, 2016.  We are currently moored off Vanuatu's Port Vila, Yachting World Marina, (S17.44.722 E168.18.726) readying to cruise Vanuatu.











Cruising by the Numbers

  1. We cruised just under 440 miles in Fiji, between late May and early August.  
  2. Our August 2016 sail from Fiji to Vanuatu was 525 miles.
  3. Our May 2016 sail from New Zealand to Fiji was 1090 miles.
  4. December 2015 - May 2016 if we weren't cruising New Zealand or hunkering, we were making massive road trips from New Zealand's tip to its tail.
  5. From December 2014 - November 2015 we sailed from Northern Florida's Atlantic side to New Zealand, over 10,000 miles, with more than a few stops in between.
  6. Prior to that we sailed sailed from St. Lucia to Florida and also spent a season cruising the Bahamas.

Up Next
After Vanuatu, New Caledonia.  After New Caledonia, Australia, by December 2016.  There, we plan to sell our boat, and go back to work, somewhere.