There’s a dark side to island living that I don’t usually talk about. Most of the time it’s all sunshine, palm trees and bikinis. But when the sun goes down, that’s when things can get heavy. A few nights ago I made a rookie error and went exploring at dusk to catch the sunset over Mololo Island. I was coated in regular insect repellent, but within about 20 minutes I’d been bitten more than 50 times by the Fijian mosquito (yep, I count my mozzie bites). Not only am I one of those people that mosquitos zero in on, I’m also allergic. Back at home in Sydney I actually have to sleep under a mosquito net every night. I popped antihistamines and steroid cream for a day, but it barely took the edge off.
Luckily, we were staying at Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina and hanging with Kini – the Sales and Marketing Manager of the property who had a secret Fijian remedy. There’s a skin care brand over in Fiji that most of the resorts stock called Pure Fiji that’s inexpensive and made using only natural ingredients. Kini handed me a bottle of Pure Fiji Lemongrass Insect Repellent Body Spray to prevent further bites, and instructed me to cut off some of the Aloe Vera growing out the front of my bungalow to soothe them. I’ve been using the repellant every day and I haven’t been bitten since – we’re currently staying at a resort in the middle of a rainforest surrounded by pond, so that’s saying a lot. The fresh Aloe Vera was great for my bites, but it’s not always handy, so I also bought the Pure Fiji Dilo Rescue Body Gel. Made from the Sacred Dilo tree that lives in the white coral sands of Fiji, dilo oil is highly regarded for its healing powers as a topical aid. Used on a range of island life problems like sunburn and insect bites, the gel actually accelerates wound healing. And with more than a week still to go of shooting in Fiji, I’m coating myself in it.
How to get there:
The quickest and easiest way to get to Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina on Malolo Lailai is fly into Nadi International Airport. You can then choose from a range of transfer options out to the island like the leisurely 60 minute cruise from Port Denarau (20 mins from Nadi International airport), aboard the Malolo Cat luxury catamaran which operates four return services daily. Private speedboat charters, seaplane or helicopter transfers are also available. Details here.
Where to stay:
Photography by Michaela Skovranova.
Lowepro ‘Photo Hatchback AW’ 22L backpack, Bassike black and white stripe tank, Ksubi ‘Albuquerque cut offs’ in ‘Black Nine 0’, clay ‘welcome’ beads from Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina – made in a local Fijian village, Sass & Bide bra, Oscar & Wylee ‘Oxford’ glasses in tabby tortoise, Nixon ’The 42-20 Tide’ watch in white, Leatherman ‘Surge’ in matt black, assortment of rings, bangles and bracelets from all over the world.