So why we do love this private island all-inclusive? Silly question really; everything at Turtle Island Fiji is the stuff dream vacations are made of. Read on to find out why.” —Edward Readicker-Henderson
P.S. Between now and March 31, 2015, book a minimum of 6 nights to receive a $1,000 Spa Voucher and a Pure Fiji Gift Basket, delivered to your door.
As soon as the floatplane lands with me in it, a banner goes up on shore: “Welcome Home. Where the Hell You Been?” Well, clearly I haven’t been in the right places, because I doubt my relatives would be as glad to see me as these people are on Turtle Island, a private island resort in Fiji’s Yasawa group.
My bure mama shows me to a bungalow slightly bigger than my house, and then, like my real mom, scoots me off toward lunch, some fish that was still swimming while I was in the air.
“Twenty years we’ve been married,” the smiling fisherman from California says to me over my first meal, which happens to be the last meal of his vacation. “My wife had never gone fishing with me before. Now she thinks it’s the greatest thing in the world.”
Home, apparently, is where you say why the hell not. Because it seems like only one thing is impossible on the island: escaping Brooke Shields. __T_he Blue Lagoon___ was filmed on Turtle Island. Take a tour around the hills and jungle and beaches: It’s Brooke did this here, Brooke did that there, they filmed this scene here, that one there. A quick survey of the guests staying in the other 14 bures reveals not a single one of them knows the name of the guy in that movie.
Although all I honestly remember of the movie was that I nearly fell into a coma of boredom while watching it, I will readily admit, if I were to make a movie about being turned loose in paradise, this is where I’d bring the cameras. Yet it’s even better, because here you can truly have the world to yourself — without countless cameramen, sound men and gaffers standing around.
I go to Devil’s Beach, one of the island’s fourteen private beaches. It’s named after a rock formation that really does have a scary face, like a person pushing through the black rock. The staff strings up a hammock, unloads a picnic, then disappears. There are no sounds but the warm waves. Not the slightest chance of anyone coming by. In fact, I don’t hear a single human sound that I don’t make myself. Which is mostly cursing that I’m in this astounding powdery sand alone.
Even during an evening rain shower that brings out the hum of frogs, the sea stays glassy smooth, perfect for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or simply drifting along with the current over some of the healthiest reef I’ve seen anywhere in the Pacific. And you know, that shade of deep, bright blue on the fish simply should not be possible.
Or maybe that’s the kava talking, because every night, it’s kava time. Bill, the bartender, dishes out the Fijian staple, pretty much a food group on the islands — a blend of pepper root and water that looks like mud, tastes like mud, makes your tongue numb and can stone the uninitiated halfway into oblivion after a single bowl of the “high tide.” I go eight high tides deep before realizing I’m here with nobody but the staff, all of whom are guzzling the stuff like camels at an oasis.
“The kava smile,” Bill says, looking remarkably like the Cheshire Cat. The frogs sing louder as he pours out the next high tide. I might be here awhile. Why not? They said I’m home.