Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trip around Vitae Levu, Fiji

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These are the last two days in Fiji.
So as 'explorers', we decide we will hire a little car and drive all the way around the island in 2.5 days.

As we drive heading North West we notice the housing is more traditional with lots of traditional thatched bure's.

It is raining and about to get dark, and we discover there is only 3 places for accommodation under $150 FJ a night on this part of the island.
We are at the very top of Vitae Levu.
We see a sign to a Volivoli - just out of Rakuraku, and venture up a really rough stony road 4km.
We get there and are told they are 5 star, but have a couple of dorms at the back, but need to check with a lady who has one, if she will share with a child.  
The rest of the accommodation is fully booked.
She agrees, and we get to check out the dorm - or "doom" as my seven year old calls it, as he climbs the bunk with glee.
There is a bathroom and shower each side and it is nice and clean with linen 
- and only $50 FJ or $27 AU a night.  We are so pleased!

We do the royal wave from the dining area - so pleased to be here!

The pool is magnificent!

There are free kayaks, and so next day we decide to kayak to Malake 
- the distant island you can just see 1.5 km away.  
My son is quite a good paddler, though we had to do a little directional 'steering'.

We farewell our dorm friend Fiona - we have enjoyed getting to know her
- she has been travelling 8 months, and off to meet her girlfriend who has been sailing.
Such a lovely person, and we all got along well.

I enjoy the hammock by the beach.

The guitarist makes our nights special, but prior to that it is kava time.

Dinner is Tuna, Wahu and Walu (I think it is called) caught by a couple of guests at the hotel.

Time to leave after a great breakfast - for all of $5!

We stop before the main road to enjoy the bay.  
Our little car doesn't like the road much.

We find the tomb of the last person who was eaten by cannibals.
Poor man had a run in with a chief and touched his hair.

We pass some more traditional houses.

Each village has giant 'neck-breakers'.
A smaller version of these, used to be pushed in the side of the neck.
This village was the village of 'love'.
Everywhere were painted hearts and messages to love one another.

The road to Suva is under construction and we have to take an old bridge.

It takes us 5 hours solid driving to reach the coral coast.
The water is so warm - like bath water!

We stop at The Hide-away Resort.
We stayed here last time and my son wanted a few turns on the water-slide.
We still have another 2 hours drive back to the airport.

We have to return the hire car and have 4 hours to spare.
So we walk across to the Takutaku Resort, and get permission to use their pool, and to take a shower.
We change and give our swim-wear and clothes from the day to a Fijian lady.
We find new tourists at the airport just arriving and give away our local mobile cell phone sim card, and our maps, and Lonely Planet guide.
We give away all our spare toiletries, and a few other items to get the baggage weight right.  
Time to lighten our load as we head for Hawaii.

It just starts to rain as we head to the airport.
We enjoy one last Indian curry, and change our money to US$.
Tomorrow we will be in the Northern Hemisphere.
The weird thing is we will be crossing the international date line to go to Hawaii, so we will end up arriving in the morning of the same day we leave.
It effectively means we get two Sundays - which will totally throw the budget!
What an amazing two months we have had so far.

We recommend Volivoli (just out of Rakuraku) as a wonderful place to stay.
the prices include breakfast and use of the sports facilities.
It is an amazing place and value for money.

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