Even though it was tempting to just lay by the beach in a hammock or cool off by snorkeling, I did take advantage of my time on Nacula Island to do some hiking. This island (and I think most of the smaller islands) didn’t really have much in the way of roads, so there were no cars to worry about. People got around by boat or by walking. I decided to check out two different parts of the island by hiking to them.
The first hike I did was a basically flat hike out to the south eastern part of the island. This hike only took me about a leisurely 30 minutes (maybe more) to get to my final destination of the beach by Nabua Lodge. This hike wasn’t marked with specific trail signs, but I did have a map from the Blue Lagoon Resort that showed me the basic way from the resort to the mud flats on the southern coast. Navigating was basically following the largest trail and hoping I was right (I was). Even though the trail was flat, it was definitely muddy in parts, but there were large branches to help me traverse the deeper muddier area.
The trail emerges onto the mud flats, and with the tide out, the beach was huge with some local natives hunting for shellfish in the mud. After that the “trail” was basically just walking along the shoreline. There were some very beautiful reddish-purplish rocks on the beach, rocks that I had never seen before.
Since it was rather hot and sunny on the day I went hiking, I didn’t start off until the later afternoon, hoping it would cool off a bit. So, I was mindful of both the incoming tide and the setting sun, because I did not want to get caught out on the island at night. Sure it wasn’t dangerous or anything, but I didn’t have a flashlight with me, nor are any of the trails lit up. Fumbling around in the dark is not my idea of a good time.
Once I rounded the beach point, I came upon a relatively wide sandy beach. It certainly wasn’t as wide, or as nice as the beach fronting the Blue Lagoon Resort, but it is home to a couple other more budget lodges. It is also home to the Traveller’s Tea House. I had read about that place in my guidebook, and one of the other reasons I timed my hike when I did was to hit the tea house when it was open (only 3-5 pm in the afternoon) so I could indulge in some local cake. The cake that day was a very tasty chocolate coconut cake made right on site, and it was delicious. So thick, so rich. It just melted in my mouth as I enjoyed the beach view.
After the cake, I walked a bit farther down the beach to Tadrai Point, which was an open rock sea arch. There really wasn’t much more of note on the other beach around the point, and the sun was getting low on the horizon, so I headed back.
Before heading inland back to resort, I made a quick stop at a mangrove forest right in the mud flats on the beach.
My second hike was to the one of the highest points on the island, where it afforded me a 360 degree view of the entire island. Since this hike would afford me no shade, and I needed enough time to get there, enjoy the view, and get back before I passed out from heat exhaustion, or at least exposed me to a sunburn, I decided to do this hike early in the morning. Not so early that I would miss breakfast (which would be stupid, because it was free and it was a plentiful breakfast buffet), but I started right after, around 0800.
This was another one of those hikes that didn’t have clearly marked signs, but I looked at the map at the resort beforehand, and basically knew where I needed to go. The most confusing part was right after leaving the lodge and guessing which trail I needed to take. Since I knew I needed to head up the hill, I followed the trail that ascended. The trail ascended very quickly, and even though it was early in the morning, and the sun wasn’t fully overhead, I had to stop multiple times to take a breather, drink some water, and look at the view.
Once the trail hit the ridgeline, it was simply a matter of walking along it to the highest point. There were times when I was sure I was at the highest point, only to see the trail keep heading higher. Eventually though, I did hit the highest point and could enjoy the tremendous views looking down on the island around me. The view of the eastern side of the island was highly lit with the rising sun.
The western side allowed me to look down at the extensive coral reefs and the differing colors of the water, views you simply can’t see when you are at sea level.
After enjoying the views, I headed back down, and not surprisingly, the trip down was much quicker and easier than walking up. All told, this hike took me less than two hours, and that included the number of stops I made to look at the views. It is a moderately easy hike. The hardest part is at the beginning when the trail sharply ascends to the ridgeline. But basically anyone with moderate fitness and wearing some good shoes can do this hike. I would just recommend you do it in the morning before it gets too hot and sunny, and make sure to bring some water with you. You will need it.