There are few things more relaxing to me than several hours spent lounging in a hammock, eyes closed, gently swaying in passing breezes.
It’s even more wonderful when that hammock is slung between two palm trees on a white sand beach in Fiji, mere yards away from the South Pacific.
I found such an idyllic spot on my recent trip to Fiji as I was strolling the fairytale beaches of Denarau Island. Astonished that it was vacant I strode over, kicked off my shoes, and sank back into hammock heaven.
The ropes were soft with just enough give to cradle you like a newborn baby. Above me the palm fronds rustled and the gentle lap of the waves lulled me into delicious stupor.
How long I lay there I don’t know, but suddenly I heard a soft voice saying, “Bula, Madame.” I opened my eyes to find a smiling man wondering if I would like a drink from the hotel bar nearby. I only had to think for a moment before grinning and requesting a glass of fresh mango juice. Perhaps it’s because my first trip to Fiji coincided with Mango Week in all the restaurants, but nothing quite says vacation to me like a frosty glass of cold, freshly pressed mango juice.
When he brought it to me moments later in a turquoise goblet, my bliss was complete.
I’ve returned to that hammock many times, usually with book, towel, and swimsuit in tow, delighting in peaceful afternoons of reading, swimming, snoozing, and just gazing out to sea.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned in how to really enjoy a hammock in Fiji:
- Go to the bathroom BEFORE finding your hammock. Don’t let the call of nature force you to give up your place to other marauding vacationers.
- Stake your claim first thing in the morning. Hammocks are treasured spots along the beach. Getting up and about while others sleep in is the most reliable way to secure one.
- Go at noon or dinner. If you just can’t pass up a morning sleeping in to the sound of waves crashing, go scouting for a hammock when folks are otherwise occupied with eating.
- Bring a well-stocked beach bag: water, snacks, great book, journal and pen, towel, sunglasses, sun hat, camera, room key, sunscreen, and watch.
- Spread your towel on your hammock to keep your hind quarters from looking like they’ve been branded by said hammock.
- Tuck your beach bag under a corner of your towel so you can nap without worrying about your belongings.
- Then lay back, close your eyes, and let the sea breezes rock you to sleep.
What is your ideal scenario for relaxing?