21 Jun 2019

21/6/2019: Lomolomo, Vanua Balavu, Lau Group, Fiji

After 48 hours at sea we entered the lagoon surrounding the island of Vanua Balavu with Paul keeping watch for coral reefs on the bow as we approached the main settlement for the Lau Group of islands, and probably the most remote part of Fiji.

One flight a week and nothing in the way of hotels, has resulted in a very traditional culture where the village chief is definitely the head man. Visitors must present themselves to the chief and take a gift of cava powder (a root crop) to mix with water to make a muddy coloured drink. This is shared with visitors in a formal sevu sevu ceremony, a cultural experience to behold apparently and one we will probably partake in several times. We have to dress appropriately, with covered knees and shoulders so Paul chose to wear a sarong, again part of the local culture.

The sail down was good but rolly and we were tired by the time we arrived. Fijian customs clearance is a strict affair and we had to remain on board until our turn in the queue to clear in. That turned out to be over 20 hours after our arrival but given we slept 11 hours of that it soon passed!

Venturing ashore this afternoon we strolled through the village, chatting to locals and watching the high school students playing both netball and sevens rugby. The island is very tropical with palm trees framed by vivid blue skies, lovely. The locals are very welcoming: one man scaled a palm tree to harvest coconuts for us which he opened and we gratefully drank the coconut water.

We rounded off the day hosting dinner for 8 on board Tumi, an international mix of French Canadians, Germans and Brits. A lot of fun with everyone contributing a dish of food to share. Tomorrow we'll move on to the Bay of Islands, reputedly stunningly beautiful. A few days rest and relaxation beckons!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to post your comments, they will be vetted before publishing!