Reaching Taveuni Fiji
The night before our mini-trek to Wainbau Falls on Taveuni Fiji the ship we were on was navigating the “Bligh Waters”. We thought that was code for nautical ping-pong as we bounced wildly around throughout the night. But it turns out that these waters are part of the Koro Sea where Fiji is divided between north and south. Their name is from the legendary Capt. Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame.
Capt. Bligh sailed through the area but decided not to stop on shore as he had some misgivings about showing up in the midst of cannibals. Goes to show that it isn’t always the danger you expect that gets you.
His crew later seized control of the ship and tossed him adrift in an open water boat along with 18 of his loyalists. He outfoxed the mutineers and managed to survive a seven-week, 3,600-mile voyage and reach the island of Timor.
Compared to that our rough night at sea may not have been so bad. Always helps to have perspective…
Getting to and from the waterfalls on Taveuni Fiji
The journey over to Taveuni was rough and had everyone soaked within minutes of leaving. An advantage to that was that any lingering questions about what would be dry when we got there had been answered; nothing. Luckily, it was a group of plucky Aussies and Kiwis who are the most undauntable people on the planet.
You may look up Taveuni Fiji on Google and find several resorts listed as being on the island as well as a small airport. We didn’t know that until we got home. Taveuni is Fiji’s 4th largest out of 300+ islands. We were on a side where there wasn’t anything resembling a resort or any commercial establishment. However, the island is 265 square miles, formed entirely from volcanos and has 4 summits including 2 of the highest in Fiji. In other words you could easily hide a resort from our view!
We weren’t there to see resorts anyway. We were there to walk to Wainbau Falls and swim in it before having lunch in a nearby village.
We had been given extensive warnings the night before about the path being difficult and treacherous but it was fine the day we were on it. After heavy rains it could be a different story. It only got challenging when we actually reached the falls and had to crawl over slippery rocks to get in. But it was worth it to see the falls, be somewhere non-commercial and get compromising photos of fellow travelers as they lurched over the rocks. (Admittedly Blonde agreed to “delete mine if you delete yours’ with a fellow traveler.)
As so often happens, someone had apparently shortened the path back to shore considerably. Why is it that the way back from somewhere seems to be so much shorter than the way there? We are not complaining, merely marveling.
We’d been told that it would be a walk of at least an hour and a half to the lunch spot. The believers/easily duped among us took the boat over. Either we left behind some of the world’s most elite athletes or the time estimate was way off as the walkers arrived about 20 minutes after those of us who came on the boat.
Having lunch on Lavena Beach Taveuni
Lunch was at Lavena Beach where assorted locals had gathered to sell crafts and coconut water served very fresh!
Anywhere else in the world if you got off a boat, walked up a rise from the beach and found yourself facing a tall man in an orange skirt wielding a machete you would probably feel a bit concerned. Not in Fiji. On Taveuni you just wonder if you remembered to bring money to buy some coconut milk.
After lunch Blonde walked around town on the perimeter as walking uninvited into a town in Fiji would be considered quite rude.
There wasn’t a whole lot to see as it’s a very small town without any commercial enterprises and most of the inhabitants were at the beach looking at us!
There were several chickens who didn’t know they were “cage free” but just thought they were chickens.
Blonde has an enduring fondness, that Brunette fails to appreciate, for Arnold Ziffel. If you are unaware of Arnold you would significantly increase your cultural literacy by clicking here. Arnold made Miss Piggy look like a total slacker in terms of accomplishments.
At the critical moment immediately before all of the guests fell asleep on the beach we were loaded into a boat and taken back to the ship. Fortunately, our passage back was much less eventful than the morning’s trip.
When the staff cleaned up after lunch and headed back before us they looked very much like either Captain Bligh and his loyalists or the guys who kicked him off the ship. You be the judge.