Friday, 21 October 2011

Fiji Incentive Trip - Day 2

We began Day 2 of our trip rather rudely with a 4.30am start! (And let's not forget that Fiji is an hour in front so that was 3.30am NSW time!) Breakfast was in the hotel lobby... Coffee, (ahhh, that's better) fruit and various pastries that we could take with us if we chose... we boarded the bus bound for the Upper Navua river. It was quite a drive.. several hours by two different buses - we had to change into two smaller mini-buses in order to negotiate the dirt roads through the Fijian highlands. I have never been to Fiji before and the Coral Coast scenery is just magnificent. It's relatively untouched but for various resorts that nestle along the beachfront.

We stopped for morning tea (banana bread) and then continued into the rainforest. One of the girls (Marelle I think?) was heard to mention that they should have mentioned that we might need our sports bras for the trip (to say it was bumpy was an understatement!) but we finally disembarked and collected our paddles and life jackets. We got the "scare talk" before setting off on a 20 minute hike through the jungle down to the riverfront. To be honest, that was the hardest part of the whole day... that hike was pretty full on, and I wished I had been more consistently doing my regular walking program at home because we needed a reasonable level of fitness to make it comfortably. So getting into the boat was actually a relief by the time we got there.

We were assigned a guide (oarsman) and it was 4 people per boat. I was really lucky to be sharing with Ness and Simon and Denielle. Our guide was named Noah! Isnt that appropriate? We were obviously in safe hands :-) These guys are from the local highland villages and they really know what they are doing. The way they guide the rafts through the currents and between the rocks is just amazing.

It was the most amazing experience! I don't think I have ever laughed so much. And we were rowing for 5 hours... so that's a long time to laugh! My stomach was sore from laughing at the end. Suffice to say you get to know your fellow crew members in ways you never did before!

I don't think we were going for more than 10 seconds when we got stuck on a rock! And we all had to bounce up and down to get ourselves off.. it was so funny! Here are a few snaps to give you an idea of our day...

The walk down to the river

Whew! We made it to the river!

Looking really glamourous here:

Because of the rain we had to have our lunch at an alternative spot... so we lunched in a cave:

I lost count of the waterfalls, but they were just amazing!

More rapids:

It wasn't rough at all.. in fact the "rapids" were very gentle. So it was great for someone like me who was a complete beginner. Denielle overcame her fear of rafting completely... it took only a few minutes for her to realize that it really wasnt so bad after all! I am so proud of her, and really so glad to have been able to take her with me to have such an amazing experience!

We experienced all the seasons pretty much on the way.. we started in brilliant sunshine but then it came over cloudy and misty, and then it poured, and then there was a storm. All the while the temperature remained warm and comfortable.. I think it was a really good time of year to do a trip like this. You can see how pristine and gorgeous it was... apparently this is the river that they filmed one of the Anaconda films. Not that they have those there... I probably wouldn't have done it if I thought there was any chance of that! But Im so glad I did.

At the end we helped get the boat out and deflated in the pouring rain, which funnily enough didn't matter at all... we were already so wet it didn't make one bit of difference. I have never been so wet through in all my life. And trying to change into dry clothes in a tin shed in the jungle with the rain pouring so hard that you cant hear anything.... well that was an experience. We were offered afternoon tea in a Fijian village.. which was lovely too. It all added to the experience of the day.

Then back on the bus and most of us were so tired that we dozed on the way back home. That night we headed off to bed pretty early. Although first Denielle, Ness, Simon and I had a lovely meal at "Salt" - one of the hotel restaurants. It was really lovely. I had to tell my 5yo son about it... that there were frogs hopping around the floor of the restaurant whilst we were eating. When I told him, he couldnt beleive it, and announced "Mummy! I would love to go there and hug all those frogs!" Cute!

Back to our rooms to discover of course our next pillow gift! This time Im allowed to show you the outside, but not the inside of the box.... because of course there were some lovely new products from our soon-to-be-released Summer Mini Catalogue. Here is the box:

You might recognize it as one of our lovely new Big Shot storage boxes from our latest catalogue. I'm rather liking that!!! It was quite full of some great new stuff for us to play with.

So another wonderful day. I have to say that the River Rafting experience for me was one of the best things I have ever done. I would love to go again one day if I have the chance... although Im not sure I will ever get there again. But that's one of the aims of these group activities... SU try to engage us in activities that you wouldnt normally do. It was simply mind-blowing. Thank you Stampin Up! I am so proud to be associated with a company that values its demonstrators like they do.

I'll be back with more Incentive trip chat soon. xx

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