We had originally planned to spend only 1 night on Caqalai Island but it ended up being 7! The island takes 15min to walk around & has sand beaches on all sides. The snorkelling was superb, with an ubundence of tropical fish, hard & soft coral, sea snakes & reef sharks.... The resort is managed & run by a Methodist Church organisation & the people were superb. All food was included & ranged from Reef Trout to Octopus, donuts & pancakes for breakfast, & loads of fresh fruit. Each night we had kava drinking (the national drink of Fiji) which is slightly intoxicating if drunk in large quantities, but generally made you sleepy & tasted like ditch water!
We spent the majority of out time on the island either sunbathing, snorkelling, drinking kava or playing volleyball.
We all managed to get out onto the drop-off (a drop in the reef bed of 8m & a further drop of 10m, 200m from the shore line) on more than one occassion in the hope of seeing a reef shark (apparently they can`t open their jaws wide enough to bite you....) as one had been sighted each day. We however didn`t manage to see one. The water was generally clear & visibility got up to roughly 20-30m. One side of the island had been designated a no fishing zone & a coral farm had been allowed to grow on tables that had been left underwater!
The facilites on the island were basic at best. You had to collect rainwater from huge run-off tanks & use buckets to shower with. Toilets needed flushing with sea water & the mosquito nets were the only thing you could use to stop you from getting savagely attacked.
Team England even provided medical attention & donated some of our first aid supplies to a local man who had got a severe cut to his knee after a diving accident.
We made some good friends on the island after spending a week there & Marie even met a lovely man from Paris, working in Amsterdam. Malik charmed his way into Maries heart & they spent many a night talking under the stars (..wedding invites should arrive soon!).