After two days of enjoying the water, reef and rainforest, I soon realise it’s next to impossible to walk anywhere without soon running into a Fijian nanny surrounded by grinning children. Passing by a group of three brothers, the nanny encourages them to introduce themselves and I’m suddenly surrounded by a chorus of “Bula I’m Jack and I’m six”, “Bula I’m George and I’m four” and a slightly more timid “I’m Dan and I’m three”. I’m soon forgotten as they continue eating chocolate ice- cream and explaining to the nanny which Ninja Turtle is their favourite and why.
The kids’ club usually takes place at the beach and consists of activities ranging from watermelon cracking, hermit crab racing and nature walks to costume making, dance lessons, coconut leaf weaving and, perhaps best of all, storytelling around an open fire at Monkey Rock.
Today, however, the weather is just that little bit too hot for young ones to be tramping about outdoors. My friends and I turn up with their three-year- old Charlotte and she runs straight into the nanny’s lap, introduces herself and settles in to watch ‘Dora the Explorer’. Mum and dad are completely forgotten.
But this is fine with us, as it’s golden hour (and happy hour) at Castaway. The sun is setting over the blue-as-blue- can-be horizon and we look on from our stunning vantage point at Sundowner Bar, munching on gourmet wood-fired pizzas.
Down below, the beach is crowded with children and their nannies playing among the waves, and a few metres away their is a group of teenagers passing a ball with some of the staff members.
The parents watch on, drink in hand and chatting among themselves. I guess that’s the charm of Castaway – it turns everyone into matavuvale (family).