Some days we don’t even set foot on land, we’re either in the water (snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up-paddling), on the boat (reading, teaching, eating, playing, chilling), or between the boat and water, suspended in mid-air practicing our dives, flips and somersaults. My body misses its daily steps to activate its digestive system, as I’m reminded while lying in bed bloated and unable to sleep. Unless, second thought, it is that my stomach does not quite agree with our new banana diet…
We were first undiscriminating when it came to choosing fruits at the Savusavu market, and stocked up on mandarins (green and as big as oranges), kumquats (juicy and tangy, perfect to make lemonade out of), coconut (green to drink or brown to eat), papaya, pineapple, and passion fruits. But with the sticky hot climate, we were all craving fruits and engulfing them very quickly, which was making me nervous as we were just about to leave town with little chance of further provisioning.
Luckily, taking a walk on the road by a narrow strip of beach, off Jean-Michel Cousteau resort, Thomas spotted a decent banana bunch hanging from a tree, on what appeared to be a guest house property. If you don’t ask you don’t get, so determined to compete with Robin and Miranda’s banana bunch tied at the bow of Vivace, he went ahead and asked for permission to claim the much-coveted bounty. Permission granted and Thomas is immediately on a mission with the dinghy to get our small ax from the boat and come back to chop the big bastard from the tree. The caretaker even apologises that she cannot offer us a better one! When we’re actually glad they’re still dull green and not ready to ripe before a few days as we still have some other bananas bought at the market. Doing a rough estimate, I came up to more than 200 bananas…
As expected, they behaved for the first few days, then one morning we woke up and noticed one odd yellow banana, and then one day they had all turned yellow, crying for attention to be eaten!!!
Since then, it’s been bananas topped with peanut butter or bananas in muesli for breakfast, banana, cucumber and tuna salad for lunch, banana curries for dinner, and banana smoothies (thanks Kate for that delicious and so timely salted tahini smoothie recipe), banana cake, yoghurt with bananas, banana flambees, and fruit salads skewed towards 80% bananas for afternoon tea and dessert.
So far, the “regime de bananes” (banana diet, the pun doesn’t translate in english) has powered:
A trip up river at Galogalo passage to reach Salt Lake and a subsequent walk through lush nature where we wouldn’t have been surprised to see a dinosaur appear from the jungle as we totally felt in a Jurassic Park film set. There we collected more bananas (pink this time, not ripe either), papaya, and cocoa pods. On our way back, locals watched us (and videoed us) struggle against the current with our 2hp outboard, before the De Jong (Vivace friends) took us in tow with their more suited 15hp.
Snorkeling sessions and a survey of a small private island at Fawn Harbour where a garden was half maintained with more papaya, banana and coconut palms which we left untouched this time, taking our attention towards crabs, shells and fine sand.
A night crossing to Vanua Balavu (Lau Group), afternoons meeting locals in the villages of Malaka and Dalidoni, climbing trees and playing rugby on a volley-ball court, or volleyball with a rugby ball either.
Multiple snorkeling, kayaking and SUP sessions in the gorgeous teal, aquamarine, turquoise waters of Bay of Islands and around Qilaqila Island and its cathedral-like cave, tiny beach and luxurious forest.
Today we celebrated Azur’s birthday in style, but that will be the topic of the next post…