I just made my most costly travel error in my whole traveling career and I don’t feel good about it.
If I had known I was going to drop my relatively newly purchased 128GB iPhone 6s Plus in the bottom of a 15 meter deep pool of stupid dirty water, I would have declined my invitation to join a group of volunteers to Colo-I-Suva, a National Park nearby. Or at least I would have left my phone at home.
It’s a well-known fact that iPhones aren’t cheap. That’s why I also bought a waterproof protective pouch that I could hang around my neck with it.
This will take some awesome waterfall pics!
However, the day was crappy and the waterfall that fed into the pool was even crappier. The water was an ugly olive-brown and cold to the touch. There was dead foliage piled up in clumps near the dirt walls which added to the unpleasantness of it all. The only saving grace here was the big rope swing you could leap off from.
I’ll try it with my iPhone hanging around my neck!
My gut was telling me it was a dumb idea because I’ve snapped waterfalls a zillion times more impressive than this bull, but still I thought I should document it at least.
(The photos from Colo-I-Suva are from my fellow volunteers and not mine.)
I climbed up to the rope swing with the other volunteers and locals on looking. I grabbed a tight grip and swung out into the open. When I reached the end of the swing’s momentum and jumped into the water, I could feel my neck pouch slipping off my neck and over my head, throwing itself somewhere into the water nearby. It was like slow motion. I landed in the water and immediately surfaced. I saw the other volunteers vigorously pointing at my phone.
“Daniel your phone! Your phone!!” they shouted and pointed all in a huddle. They looked pretty scared for me.
I looked and looked. My phone wasn’t on the surface. It sank somewhere. I dove underwater but there was no point of trying to see. The water was so brown that I couldn’t see a thing, so I had to rely on my hands aimlessly feeling around. I even dove as deep as I could and every time I tried, I still couldn’t touch the floor. Other volunteers attempted to find it. I even offered locals money for whoever found it. They tried but with no success.
My phone was gone forever at the bottom of Colo-I-Suva.
I kept it cool on the outside, but man I was upset. The realization of “there is nothing I can do about this” kept me sane for the time being.
Thankfully, most of my pictures and notes were backed up on cloud storage. However, all of my music was gone. I just bought this thing a couple of months before this trip began. What a waste. I ended up biting the bullet and bought an identical phone in the city center. It was way more expensive than at home (more than $1000 USD) but I needed to have a phone for all intents and purposes. But now it’s done. I shouldn’t think about it anymore because it will just depress me. I’ll have to be more careful.
I’d have sweet pictures to pair with this tale but now you understand why.
Thankfully, Fiji had other offerings to keep my mind of my costly error. One of our coordinators was part of a local Rugby team and invited a few of us to come and watch him play.
We planned another trip for the weekend to one of Fiji’s budget resorts called the Uprising Beach Resort. It’s located about 45 minutes along the Coral Coast.
It was ten of us spaced out in a 20-bed dorm all to ourselves. The resort itself was very tropical, beachside, and similar to the Fiji Beachouse except without all the backpackers. It was a modest setting that had everything we needed to relax: the Pacific Ocean, a clean pool, island flavored food and drinks, and big blue beanbag chairs; my favorite luxury of them all!
It was happiness!
There was also a full-on beach volleyball court. While the girls relaxed, the rest of us played a few friendly games with some of the other beach bums at the resort.
I knew coming to Fiji would be chill out island time but not to this level. There isn’t much in the way of extreme activities, but the beaches are excellent temporary substitutes for now until I find something to do that’s on the wackier side.
My mind was mostly off my costly mistake. You know what I could have done with $1000? Thankfully I budgeted for something like this but I didn’t anticipate it would happen so early on my Quest to the Seven Continents! I purchased my new iPhone just a week or two shy before the 7th generation of phones were released. Whatever.
Lesson learned. This phone isn’t going anywhere near any body of water, no mater how impressive it is. Maybe…