There are more than 300 islands in Fiji, 20 of them in the Mamanuca group, sprinkled just off the main island of Viti Levu, and I’ve just stepped off the boat onto the wrong one. Or rather, right island, wrong resort. Or rather, right resort, wrong day.

Confused? Spare a thought for Likuliku Lagoon Resort manager Tulia Seru, who’s trying to account for my unexpected presence. “I think you’re supposed to arrive on Friday,” she suggests, as I sip a prematurely-issued welcome drink at the Masima Bar, surrounded by palm trees and water so clear I can count the tropical fish pecking at the coral.

“No, I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to arrive today,” I say, returning my lips to the straw of my pina colada.

I’m booked to stay here for three days, before moving on to Malolo Island Resort (owned by the same Fijian family), just around the headland. The possibility that I could perhaps be holding my itinerary upside-down doesn’t register in my sun-addled brain. Finally the penny drops, and I make profuse apologies as Tulia escorts me back to the jetty for a swift deportation.

As my bags are loaded, a guitarist strums the chords to Isa Lei, the traditional Fijian farewell song that anticipates the reunion of a departing loved one, a premonition realised three days later when I return, this time with a valid booking.

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