Namena's facilities

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Moody's Namena was a deserted island 20 years ago. Every man-made thing that exists on the island has been brought by boat, hauled by men up a steep hill and assembled by hand.

Supplies and mail arrive with the guests on the boat or in the sea plane. Namena have a small cargo boat (the generous gift of a wealthy guest) that makes the journey to Savusavu for fuel, tools, supplies, and food.

Namena's dock.

We were greeted at a concrete dock (the original dock was blown away during a cyclone shortly after it was built) and taken up to the top of the island in Tom's Polaris utility vehicle. They built the roads just five years ago. Before that everyone made the trip up and down 106 wooden steps.

Inside our guest house; a view from the veranda.

The guest houses, called bure in Fijian, are hexagonal structures of wood beams (telephone poles carried by hand up the hill before the stairs were built) and boards. They feature high ceilings, doors on four sides that open to a wrap-around veranda with ocean and forest views, and wooden floors made of a tree related to rosewood that is no longer logged. There is no electricity--we lit gas lamps in the evenings, and read in bed by the light of solar powered lights. Water is collected when it rains and gravity fed to sink and shower. The toilets use salt water. Each bure has a gas burner and kettle for making tea, two generous closets, built-in desks and a mosquito-netted bed. What more could you need? I wanted for nothing.

Guests get together for meals in the clubhouse

Meals are served in the clubhouse, constructed like the bure, but on a larger scale. A gas powered fridge supplies ice and keeps the mixers cool (bring your own booze from the duty free). Two round tables seat six people each and there are comfy chairs drawn up neatly around a large coffee table littered with reef identification books. Bookshelves line two walls under the large picture windows which are glassless to allow the breezes to flow through. Birds sometimes fly through, too.

An adjoining kitchen and office, a boat house near the dock, and the staff quarters at the other end of the complex complete the buildings on the island.

Staff outnumber guests on the volleyball court; I'm resting!

Down at one of the beaches, there's a grassy volleyball court, some hammocks, and a barbecue area. Trails crisscross the island for hikes from head to tail of the dragon.

That's about all on the island that's been touched by man. Tom designated 10% of the land as "developed" and leaves the rest wild. Nothing is off-limits at Namena; guests have the run of the place.

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