A friend of mine, Simona discovered Safari Lodge years ago as she had a thirst to try kite boarding out. She has been happily returning to “her island” as we call it, when she returns to Fiji ever since she first came and has become an awesome kite boarder! I took her up on her invite to join in this adventure as we were both returning to Fiji. I have to say I am so happy I did!
As much as I love taking delight in staying in luxurious hotels, I deeply enjoy being surrounded by raw nature, bringing me back to the basics, simplicity and my true core self. There is a strong sense of peace I feel from being somewhat disconnected to the outer world and a sense of freedom I feel being surrounded by turquoise blue water. It was also soothing to hear nothing but the sound of gusty winds and waves crashing upon the shore through my shutters in my hut, which was steps away from the ocean. I would trade plush amenities any day to feel these senses of peace of freedom, which in such a busy world with loads of technology at our fingertips is sometimes hard to find. Safari Lodge brought these beautiful senses to me, along with excitement and adventure!
I had my first kite boarding lesson with Warren Francis, who is the director/instructor at the lodge and also an Aussie with a sense of humor, which is entertaining! He is great at his craft and patient in his teaching it to others at kite point. It was fun when I finally started to get the hang of flying the kite in the water! My triceps and back were sore the next day! I can only imagine what a work out it would be fully standing on the board with the amount of core you would use! There were unusually strong winds up to 30 knots on my last 2 days there, so I just watched for a couple of the lessons, as the conditions were not ideal for me to be in the water at this stage of learning.
It was inspiring to see Simona and Chris, another instructor at the lodge, riding the rocky waves so gracefully! I have a long way to go, as kite boarding isn’t a quick sport to learn, but can not wait until one day I can get up on the board and feel what it is like cruising around on the water while flying the kite!
I like Safari Lodge because it is unique, off the beaten path, private and intimate. Meals are tasty and are cooked by the staff. You eat all together at a table, which makes for a cozy bonding environment. It kind of felt a bit like being in camp when I was in the girl scouts. Even the cat was friendly here! He snuggled and took a nap on me while I was reading.
I also had a chance to go on a morning snorkel before one of our kite boarding sessions. It is always magical to me to see the marine life under the sea, all different kinds of interesting colored coral and fish. And I got to see my favorite fish…angel fish the were outlined in a bright neon yellow color! I noticed a lot of cobalt blue star fish in this area, which was really cool to see. I smiled as some of the coral literally looked like they were smiling back at me!
As I spent Thanksgiving at Safari Lodge and am thankful for many things, my husband, my family, my friends, my job and the places it takes me, my health, my past failures and successes that have strengthened me, one item to add to the gratitude list is my opportunity to experience Safari Lodge and all of the wonderful senses of excitement, peace and freedom. Now that is priceless!