A Travellerspoint blog

September 2008

SS is too nice to leave!

just a wee update

I'M going to be online tommrrow 9am my time so I'm hoping SOMEONE will be online and ready to skype. Email me if your me friend and want to know my skype name and stuff. I just had a WONDERFUL skype session with DURKA my roomie and it waas SOOOO nice seeing him!!! yey!

Here's a little piece of email that I thought would be a nice little update:
In response to the following questions my aunt asked me via email:

is there great fish? What’s the local liquor like? What about the fruits?? Have you had new exotic fruits?

yes, fish is amazing. Eating more now than ever in my THe locals have been pouring fish on our heads. Fish in lolo is my favorite (lolo is coconut milk, its absoulatly AMAZING), I've caught a snapper and grouper and we've eaten Walu and sure tons of other fish i don't even know the name of. We even had the village of Daliconi give us aa HUUUUGE lobster...photos can be seen at the travel blog http://ladycroft.travellerspoint.com I haven't had any local liquor, its expensive here, so is wine because its all imported. But the beer (Fiji Bitter) is cheap, and after one gets used to it, fairly delicious... I'm trying to wrap up this email (eerrr travel blog-its already 5:10!), because Happy Hour in in 45 minutes (err, 15 minutes ago) at the copra shed, where Beer is only $2.50 (thats about US 1.75!) Can't beat that!

Fruit is just falling off the trees here. I eat local Papaya, Pineapple, and bananas every morning (with my Wheet-bix!) I tried a star fruit (or is it lechie?) anyways its this green fruit with all these little spines and you can cut it and squeeze it and drink its sour citrusy juice (yum!) I had a local lad named Yandua in MBavutu scale a tall palm tree in 2.3 seconds and throw down some coconuts, then cracked them open with his machete so we could drink after a long walk. It was aqua vite, just delicious and amazing.

Tomorrow, after a successful skype i hope (though no one's gotten back to me) I'm going to have lunch then catch a bus to Mumu's resort about 17 km E of SavuSavu. I'll spend Thurs night there and be back here on Friday in time for perhaps another successful skype in the afternoon and then check out the Friday-night scene here in town. Then I'm going to catch the ferry to Taveuni Saturday morning and hang out there for 5 days or so.

Funny enough, I modeled today for Windward Apparel, owned by the lovely Sean and Sharon from Canada, who now live in Savusavu. They're friends with Cathy and Peter and asked me to pose for a resort who wants to have their logo's put on teeshirts and applied to the walls of their boutique shop! FUN! SO naturally being the attention whore I am, I readily agreed to help em out, and got a nice teeshirt out of it!! In the meantime I was introduced to their helper Gama, whose very kindly helped to me to make sure I catch the correct bus tomorrow and also the ferry on Saturday.

THe people here are awesome and everyone wants to help. A girl can't even be alone if she wants to. Everyone's always offering to take me here or take me there, or for me to come visit them and if i need a place to stay etc etc....Of course I wouldn't go home with anyone or anything, but i'm sure most offers are truly out of the abundant generosity that lies in the heart of nearly every Fijian I've met.

Gotta go, the internet place is closing! BYE!

Posted by LadyCroft 22:07 Archived in Fiji Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

First Day of the Rainy Season in SAVU SAVU

and properly, clouds are beginning to form! And changes of plans too!

rain 24 °C

My dearest friends, family and fans (and random people too i guess)

I am still in Savu Savu, i just can't seem to get away. But i LOVE it here, and after havn't only spent a week or so, I know so many names and faces, that I just can't get anywhere without getting into idol conversations about this our that! But whose complaining?!?? It awsome here and I love the people! THe accents are from ALL OVER THE WORLD, england, Austrailia, NZ, Japan, Germany, France, Holland, and even Ireland too!! DId I forget the US? Dammit, no I didn't, but here comes the story of the Americans.

Quite a few Peace Corps (henseforth PC) volunteers are stationed here in fiji, and they all live alone in their villages. (Americans, of course). I was meeting them here and there in SS and saying hello and such. And a few days ago Bret and Garret invited me to share pizza and beer one afternoon at the Copra shed. Turns out Garret grew up in Sandy Springs, and we went to Rival highschools and know many of the same people growing up! What luck! So naturally we had tons and tons to talk about, and boy did he like it when i said "y'all"!!!

Apparently all the PC people on Vanua Levu were meeting in SS to take the ferry to Lautoka the following day. These boys were here a bit early and hadn't much to do but hang out at the watering hole all day. So i met with them after dinner and we closed down the Hotsprings Hotel, and then had to sneak around a bit to find some afterhours black market Fiji Bitter Longnecks. But these boys know the town very well, and speak enough fijiian to get by pretty well. We had such a great time (others joined us to, a very outragious 19 year old Aussie, and two pretty british gals) and we drank our longnecks fiji style (shared one glass among us) and just whiled away the hours.

Around 3 am I excused myself and got in my dingy, but before going back to the boat I took time to enjoy the harbor. All was quiet save for the lapping of my oars in the water, and the bay was as smooth as glass. The ample stars over head reflected in the water so that it seemed I had stars above and below and was floating in a sea of tranquil space. The ghostly quiet dark boats rested like stoney sentinals on the waters surface, and i floated among them silently, just enjoying a very very holy moment.

I was sad when they had to leave the next day. At Happy Hour at the copra shed we drank a few more Fiji Bitters before they left. (only 2.50 F dollars-soooo cheap!) By then, several other PCs had arrived, 6 in all, and yet another one, Pete grew up in Decatur (golly the coinkydinks!!) We all had a few more good laughs and then it was time for dinner so I had to go.

Cathy, Peter and I met up with our dear friends Helmut and Kirstin on Lop-to, and we had yet another outstanding dinner at Bula Re. We also joined tables with our new friend Wolfgang, off the boat Galatia. I dare say Wolfgang fufilled many of the requirements for Sailorman under my reqirements for marriage (looking for sailormen, cheifs, princes, chefs, prominent landowners and millionaires etc etc)...and although Sailormen are lower on the pole than the rest, i must say I'd think I'd really enjoy a life at sea. He was witty to no end and even Lop-to and Leto's crew seemed to say that he'd make a good sailing partner. Alas, he was much MUCH older than me, had a crew aboard that required him sailing out the next day, and anyways, seemed oblivious to my batting eyelashes...hahaha!

but great things. Bret one of the PCs, has a brother travelling in Vietnam--so one might make a connection there possibly, after Taveuni I might head to Nadi and meet up with Garret again (slight possibility there) and Wolfgang will be in the Yasawa's too, which is not a far reach from Nadi...so possibilties people!!!

But to be rather more realistic...I think Cathy and Peter are leaving tommrrow at first light, and i havn't even decided if I'll spent my first night on land or with them. Everything just happens as it happens here! But I'm preparing to embark on my own. I'm quite sure that I'm going to take the next ferry To Taveuni and spend 5 days or so there, and then take a flight to Nadi. From there I'll hit Raki Raki, Nananu-i-Ra, Lautoka, the Nausori Highlands, and then Nadi to be ready to leave by the 21st! (only 21 days away!! eek!)

I'm really excited to be setting off on my own. Though travelling with Leto has been one of the most enriching and wonderful experiences of my life, where every moment was savored like a long awaited last meal before a fast, I am eagar to set of alone. I will enjoy more privacy, which i miss very much, as well as alone time (which, try as i might, is hard to find! even while travelling alone, so far whenever i'm by myself, i seem to find company in less than 5 minutes) All my adventures are only at the beginning and there is much much to come!

So I'll keep you updated. Love to everyone!
rev. croftee

Posted by LadyCroft 14:59 Archived in Fiji Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Vanua Balevu mostly

sailed from SavuSavu to the Lao Islands and met the most wonderful people and i dare say heaven on earth....

sunny 29 °C

Sorry for the lack of postcards people, but the ones in SavuSavu really suck. So far i've only sent one each to me mum and dad. When i find non-sucky post cards, I"ll buy up the lot and send em all out!

And there is more pics in my photo gallery on this site too....
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So here's what I've been up to:

The overnight sail out to Lao was ridiculously amazing. It was a full moon and the swells were coming on strong at the bow and the breeze was blowing strongly in our favor. All the phosphorescence lit up as the waves crashed upon the hull. It was just invigorating!! Even though I took some really good seasickness medicine I still felt pretty "off" and found myself curled in a bunk sometimes because my eyes kept wobbling in my head. They refused to stay focused on anything...they were rolling about as strongly as the boat !! but on the whole it wasn't that bad and i spent several hours during the night up in the cockpit on watch.

We arrived in the wee hours of morning and saw the sun come up over Vanua Balavu. The Island is made of limestone and the constant action of the waves has carved a niche all around the island, so that it looks like its floating on the water. Lots of little 'Mushrooms" as we called them, rock formations that teetered on water worn pedestals dotted the bays. We navigated through a small passage in the reef and rested in a lovely bay and had a relaxing day sleeping and snorkeling. THe water clarity wasn't as outstanding as I'd hoped and my best guess is that the limestone particles hung suspended in the water. Nonetheless, visibility was good enough and the water delicious enough that for a while I had a hard time wanting to return to Leto. Peter taught me how to dive down pretty deeply (for me around 20 or 25 feet) so I had lots of fun at the bottom chasing after colorful fish, observing giant clams (HUUUGE) and bright purple enormous starfish.

The next day we puttered over to Dalaconi (pronounced DalaZON-ee) and we paid our Sevusevu to the chief (a large bundle of Kava). We all sat in the chief's house and they said a lot of words in Bau (fijiian) and clapped their hands and declared that the village and its waters were now ours and we could do as we pleased. We sat down to tea with the local ladies and got to know our new friends. The next few days we we to shore several times and went for a long walk (escorted of course, you can't REALLY go anywhere without an escort or that would be considered quite rude). I also came ashore to watch the nightly came of volleyball, which the fijiians there are very good at. Everyone plays, including the youth AND the big older ladies. (mature ladies in Fiji tend to be very tall, and shall we say "robust" women, but MAN can they hit a volleyball with the rest of them!!). THey played until the sun went down and couldn't see the ball anymore.

We then moved to the bay of islands just north of the village. I can not explain to you the beauty of this place and pictures can not do it justice. Everywhere there are mushroom rock formations and inlets and caves and secret and majestic and perfectly sheltered coves. The water ranges from the loveliest richest royal blue to the lightest most delicate turquoise to the most handsome deep jade fit for any Chinese emperors crown jewels. We saw large sea turtles and manta rays.

THe locals said all the fish were good to eat, so that night I tried my luck out at fishing. Cathy (who had actually fallen ill, during this time, requested a pan-sized snapper for her dinner). I, who have never caught anything more than a boot in my life, managed within a few minutes to catch her just that!!! I shall try to upload that picture I was so ecstatic and it was such a beautiful fishy! I felt quite a bit sad at having to kill it but I tried to honor its spirit by ensuring that in less than an hour's time it would be gobbled up in my very thankful belly.
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I've caught several more things too....a sea eel, which was almost 3 feet long and very nasty looking (we threw it back) and a baby grouper, which was too small to feed any of us. We've eaten very well, between what I've caught and what the locals so graciously have given us, which leads me to the next chapter of this narrative.

After a few blissful days in the bay of islands, we made our way to MBavatu, which lies in a lovely sheltered cove surrounded on all sides by high unscalable cliffs dotted with unbelievable vegetation that somehow dug its roots into the limestone foundations. As we anchored we met our first new friend there Sundari, who informed us that a tiny village (henceforth known as "the hamlet") lived very high over our heads and that they would be happy to have us for tea the next day. We were hesitant to visit them on a Sunday, but he insisted. He ALSO insisted that we take a look at his catch, for he had been spearfishing all day. Indeed, he had caught many fish, maybe 10 or 15, from very small to quite large and of a variety of shimmering and shining colors. We felt that surely that food would be coming right out of their mouths and tried to resist, but it was futile. We took our gift and had a lovely fish dinner that night.

THe next day, (after church hours) we went to the little dock and turned the corner and lo! exactly 273 steps awaited us straight up the side of a formidable mountain. Up and up Peter and i climbed (Cathy still ill in bed). After mounting the summit the land flattened and we found ourselves in a narrow grazing pasture amongst the coconut teas. We would find out later that there were many many acres of pasture after pasture and hundreds, maybe thousands of coconut trees, and that this was, in fact a coconut plantation. But more on that later.

We passed amongst some wary looking cattle and at the threshold of the hamlet Sylvia, Sundari's wife greeted us. Within the gates of the hamlet was a bounty, a haven which to describe now brings awful pangs of sweet delight into my heart, for this was my favorite place that I have visited so far. There were about 6 houses. They were well built with surrogated steel roofs and immaculately clean astroturf lined porches. They consisted of 2 rooms each, and were spartenly but elegantly furnished. We got to know Noko, Sundari's brother, and Fanny, his sister. Noko was married to Emma, and Fanny to Iliesu, who was sort of the head manager of the plantation. That is all for the adults that lived there, but we also had the pleasure of the sprightly young children Christopher and Upedu (Sundari and SYlvia's) and several others i could not name. Lendua and Noce were teenagers, 15 and 17 who helped out there too. The hamlet centered around a large meeting building, open on all sides which had a generator and TV, which they were using now to watch DVD's on, as they did each Sunday afternoon. SUndari confessed that he loved action movies, and i promised to send him some when I return home. It was quite an isolated life, the few of them, tending to their 27 cattle, 16 sheep, several pigs, chickens, horses 3 cats, and one dog. The cattle and horses roamed freely through out the entire plantation and roosters sometimes had to be chased out of the houses.

Iliesu brought us to the "main house" upon which the owner of the land, Tony Phillips, sometimes resided. Philips supported this hamlet, and very well, i might add. They lacked for nothing, had a sat. dish for emergency phone calls, (i too, used it to send text messages), papayas, mangos, bananas and of course coconuts were just dripping from the trees. The bay and reef were full of edible fish. They had a large tractor and a backhoe provided by mr. phillips as well. Tony Phillips house was located somewhat higher up than the village over looking MBavatu bay and it was an amazing sight, seeing little Leto in the bay below and being able to lookout over the mountains to the sea beyond and see the water crashing like white lace over the reefs beyond even that.

When we descended we made to leave, but it began to rain and Sundari insisted we stay for tea. Which we did and Peter gave him several good lures and Sundari was very greatful. Noko brought us a whole bag of ripe bananas (which was good, were were getting low on fruit) and then Sundari presented us with the largest bunch of green banana's you'll ever see!!! laden with these gifts we said our goodbyes. We had planned to leave the next day but the people here were so kind and wonderful that we decided to stay. Also it was overcast, and navigating the reef was very difficult in low visibility. It stayed overcast for nearly 5 days, so we stayed in MBavatu and learned more about our wonderful new friends.

On Monday they collect coconuts. On Tuesday-Thursday they squeeze coconut oil. On MOnday Ilisesu, Lendua, and Lendua's father Ilisoni, who was visiting that day from a village across the island came swimming by snorkeling with spear guns in hand. They had caught an enormous Walu (well, not enormous but 3 feet long perhaps and looking very fine) We invited them on deck for tea and Sundari insisted on cutting us the largest portion of the fish. We felt very bad to take so much, but these people won't here our protestations in the slightest. Of they went, and we made baked our walu in lemon and it was delicious.
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The next day we had a date to visit them pressing coconut oil. (it was a tuesday). UP we walked through majestic wide open pastures, full of tall imposing coconut trees. I half expected any moment for T-rex to come bounding through, so strange and ruggedly beautiful was this place. THe press was located in a big open air shed. We were shone around and it was really interesting to see how it was all done. First the cococuts were cracked upen with a masheti (oh dear god, how they didn't lose their fingers!?!) And then a large grinder which looked much like a juicer, ground out the coconut flesh from the middle. (usually Noko, Lendua, Noce, or Sundari did this. ) Then the finely fleshed coconut was set upon a very long metal plate, maybe 20 feet long. Below the metal, a fire burned on the husks of coconuts. Four batches could fit on the long plate. And Syliva's job was to keep turning over each batch. The batch farthest from the heat was the freshest, and as they were rotated forward they got nearer the fire and she turned them over more often, til it was nice and dry. It smelled most pleasant here of course, like toasted coconut! YUM!

Then the dryish toastedish coconut was scooped into a large cylendar, where it was placed into a manual press which was mounted to a sturdy wooden support. A large lever was then pulled down and the cylendar squished down on the coconut and lo! oil squeezed out the sides into a waiting container. Again and again one would pull the lever, as the cylendar slowly pressed more and more oil from the coconut itself. When the pressing got very difficult, a horse sturrip was attached via a long string, and a man's entire body weight was used to pull down on the lever. In an attached room they had gallons and gallons of the stuff ready to be shipped to Suva.

We brought them gifts of homemade jam and tea and they gave us starfruit and papayas. The next day we visited the hamlet and bought from them several bottles of their coconut oil. We spent the next few days there, exchanging gifts nearly every day, us fishing and bringing them our bounty, and them loading us with fruit.

It's true that those that have little give so much. They were the gentlest people, who spoke in low sweet tones and liked to laugh hartily. They were a diverse mix too. Sundari, Noko, and Fanny were all half indian. Syliva was half chinese, and I'd say a fair amount of Tongian ran through their blood as well. Only Emma seemed fully Fijiian. Yet they all worked together in harmony each having his or her own job. They worked together in eachother's company with the youngest children bounding around playing games and such. (The older school agers were off at school in a village not far away, and they came home every fortnight) Once the weather cleared up I was very sad to leave them. Sad indeed. Our time was getting short in Vanua Balavu (Cathy was feeling better by the way!!!) and so we headed back to the bay of islands. Unfavorable weather was heading our way, so we had to leave a little early.
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The overnight back was much more gentle and I didn't feel sick at all. The swells were very large though (as it had been very gusty for a few days and the Koro sea has a reputation for rough seas) but the waves were coming up from behind and rolling underneath us, which became a rather pleasant sensation after a while. It was cloudy and very dark however on the return as the moon was small and hidden anyways. We made it back to SavuSavu yesterday without much ado. So today Cathy and Peter are clearing customs for the next leg of the trip which goes up through the two main fiji islands, stopping in Nananu-icake, Yandua, and then to Laotoka. We're to hit the market and do out internet stuff and we''ll probably leave tomorrow.

The last two weeks were very easy going but the next two week we shall be sailing nearly every day. Cathy and Peter need to leave Fiji ASAP as the cyclone season is close. They must clear Laotoka and then make for New Caledonia when the weather presents a good window, and then they are on to Australia.

As for me, I shall probably stay with them until Laotoka, where on I shall have about 10 or 12 days on my own in Fiji, where I"m planning at the moment to Head out to Raki-raki and Nananu-i-ra Island for some backpacker fun.

There really are a lot of gaps in this account, but there is yet much more internetting and i'm paying a whopping .07cents a min...(which isn't really bad at all).

I've been eating very well, and feeling so happy to be alive. Cheers to everyone! and much love!

the happy reverend crofttee

Posted by LadyCroft 14:49 Archived in Fiji Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Savu Savu update

a bit of repetition here, and zero editing but chock full of full info, none the less!

overcast 26 °C

Here's the latest update from Fiji, probably my last for at least a week, maybe two. Some of this is cut and pasted from an email i sent to some of youse, but I wanted to repaste it and add to it too.

I made it quite safely from LAX ( a sucky airport) to Nadi (pronounced Nan-di) and then hopped a leedle plane to Labasa (lam-ba-sa). I met Cathy and Peter there. They had dentist appointments there and were VERY happy with them, as the town is full of Indo-Fijjians who perform very good dental work for VERY VERY Cheap). We had lunch which was some amazing indian food and then we hopped a bus which was very crowded, but it hadn't any windows are doors, so it was lovely and breezy, whichi s good because it is very hot here. At least in the 80s, but not as humid as atlanta. it was a bumpy 3 hour ride and the roads are in mediocore condition. The terrain is very sharply moutainous but covered in lush vegitation. Mangos and pappayas and coconuts grow like crazy all over the place, and the little villages are very spare and humble. But everyone has a little plot and a garden and a cow or goat tied up and some chickens. The houses are often no more than one or two rooms, but the people take a lot of pride and usually paint them a colorful light pink, or blue, or yellow, or orange. The windows often dont have glass, but have very pretty little curtains which blow softly in the breeze. Savu Savu bay sits nestled at the bottom of a steep mountainous ridge with a few gorgoius europian houses perched up high, but consisting mostly of modest but colorful dwellings. There are a few mongrol dogs that seem to belong to nobody roaming around, but I havn't seen a single cat.

Yesterday a cruise ship came in and thousands of blobs inundated s.s. but today they are all gone, and its market day on saturday and the place is buzzing with locals. we are refueling the boat, stocking up on water, and preparing to leave on monday. Our weather is happily working for us, and the winds will be jUST RIGHT on monday to make for the Lao group. It will be a 115 mile sail and should take a little over a day...a day and a night really to get us there. Once there we'll probably cruise around the islands there for around a week, maybe a bit longer. Cathy says that there is SOME cell reception, so mumsie, i should be able to get some texts to you every other day or so. IF NOT, Cathy can email dad from the boat, and I shall expect him to contact you to let u know I'm okay.

Its been drizzling since last night, and its a slow moving front, so it will probably be a bit icky for a few days. Calm, but icky. It DOES allow us the winds to travel to the Lao group, so we are thankful none the less for the ickyness, but it will be a bit of a damp voyage. Cath and Peter will be putting me on watch (3 on, 6 off with the three of us) so I'll actually be sailing Leto in the night!!! woooowwwie!!!

I expect some amazing snorkling once we arrive, and also visiting several of about 5 local villages that live on the islands. We should expect a traditional Kava ceremony and we'll give them gifts as well. I've bought fish hooks and spam (they LOOOVE spam and cornbeef, which cathy says is because they still ahve a taste for human flesh!ewwwww!!)

The locals, i must reitereate, are exceedingly friendly, especially now that the blobs are gone off in the cruise ship and we're not taken to be one of them.

Breakfast is just wonderful on teh boat. We at ePapyya, mango, pineapple and bananas (all grown locally,) along with bran and yogurt and cathy and peter make a fine cup of strong cofffee. The local brew (fiji bitter) is pretty good for 3:50/ bottle. (which is less in american dollar....2:75ish i'm estimating). Its funny because you hear a lot of western music eminating from the restaurents, bars and clubs. Certainly some jimmy buffet, plus contemporary music i hate that plays on the radio back home, especially bad 90s pop like matchbox twenty...and right now in the internet cafe the eagles are playing "welcome to the old town california"

Internet cafe next to Bula-Re is SOOO cheap, last time I was on just less than an hour and only paid 1.65. Highly recommended. We spend quite a bit of time at the Copra Shed marina, which is where i consume that deliciously cheap Fiji Bitter, and later today we're returning to the Planter's Club, which is frequented by the decendents of the old planters and is a bit quieter than the marina, and commands lovely views of the Savu Savu Bay. They also sell well priced Fiji Bitter Long necks, which Peter and I like to share.

Once we leave on monday I shan't have internet access for at least week, and probably longer. I've forgotten my USB cord, so i'm unable to upload any pictures this go round, but I"ll promice some later in the trip. THere's time!!! I probably won't get your responses (mom, dad, and durka, i got YOUR resposnes from yesterday, thank yoU!).

I can think of nothing more to add, except that its just heavenly here. I can't wait to really set out and see the more remote Lao Islands just beyond the Garden Isle of Taveuni. If any plans change (as they often do on a sailboat) I'll be sure to update you as soon as possible. Much love to everyone.
Smooches and hugs to EVERYONE!!!!

love crafty crofty

ps. funny story, while going for a pee on the boat in the middle of the night last night, I noticed glowing things floating around-no more like dashing around the loo....phosphoresence....SOOO coool, and a very unexpected place to see them.\
Please forgive the horrible editing, i just don't have much time!!! More to come in a week or two!!! thanks to all for reading!

cheers, and i miss you all very much

ooh, another funny story. The methodists (who very strongly influence the local culture-very pious they are) recently held a convention on the north side of the island and apparently slaughtered, ate, and wasted A LOT OF TURTLES. A local western man, who makes tee-shirts, created a tee that Said "Save a Turtle: Eat a Methodist"-and you can imagine he got in a fair bit of trouble for that one. BUt that strikes me as HILAROUS and if i can get my hands on one, i will!!! Bwahahahaha

Posted by LadyCroft 17:02 Archived in Fiji Tagged boating Comments (0)

Nadi to Labasa to Savu Savu

Its paradise!!! just Paradise!!

sunny 29 °C

just a note out to you folks who might be wondering if and how i made it to SavuSavu

I slept the entire 9 hours on the flight to Fiji, and hoped a little plane to Labasa. Cathy and Peter met me there and after the most delicious Indian curry lunch (the town is mostly indian you see) we got on a very crowded open air bus and jostled for 3 hours across Vanua Levi to SS. The town here is just lovely. Leto, our worthy vessel is just a stones throw from the shore. The main street (indeed the ONLY street) is lined with little merchant shops, general stores, and various Indian and Fijian restaurants. THe weather is just amazing, with big fluffy clouds sometimes shading us from a good 85 degree sun, with a nice prevailing breeze from the west.

Plan is to stay in SS for the weekend. We are hoping that a front coming through will change the winds in favor of the east, which would give us an opportunity to go out to the Lao group. So that is the plan for now. Much is going on this weekend in SS, as a HUUUUGE cruise ship made it into the harbor and flooded the town with "newly weds and nearly deads" as Cathy so eloquently put them. THe locals endure the tourists quite amicably, as they bring in quite a bit of money to the local economy. The locals themselves are just WONDERFUL. Everyone smiles at you and shakes your hand and wants to talk to you, even the children. I've had some people take pictures of me with their cell phones!!!

Cathy and peter have been just remarkable hosts; last night we had amazing seafood at a restaurant called Bula-Re, owned by a German lady that makes the BEST coffee in town, has an amazing water filtration system, and serves up the most delicious fish soup I've ever had. I had a GREAT night's sleep on the boat (unfortunately dreamed of working at Houston's, twice in a row now, cathy says its Post traumatic Work Syndrome), but woke happily at 6 am to the sun rising over the jagged lush green peaks of the surrounding Islands. We ate mango and papaya for breakfast followed by pancakes and strong coffee. A morning swim off the side of hte boat and i was ready for a leisurely day of reading, exploring the town, and mocking the silly tourists that have embarked from the cruise ship. THis weekend should be a busy one for this normally small town. Bands will be playing music at the yaught club and i'm sure people from all over the world will be there to mingle with.

So for now We'll stay in SS with hopes of makign for the Lao group, and/or Taveuni on monday and then perhaps going counter clockwise around the North Island. If the winds refuse to change however we'll make for Ovalu, i think. The email in SS is superb, so i'm sure to send out another transmission before we leave SS.

Posted by LadyCroft 16:22 Archived in Fiji Tagged boating Comments (1)

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