Thursday, November 19, 2015

Paradise Island, Taveuni Fiji - Waterfalls, waterfalls, Organic Farming and a lovely little resort..

Hello Everyone,

Just still catching up.  These are the waterfalls and nature hikes around Burma Lavena coastal walk and the Taveroa Waterfalls... The island of Taveuni has waterfall flowing down all sides and most are unattainable.  You can see them cascading down the mountains as you sail by and they are just one after another.  We found through our compendium guide book that there was a great anchorage close to both so we headed out for that location.  As we were coming around we were thinking there is no way that this is a flat and quiet anchorage.  We were on the windward side and the swells were flowing straight into the bay.  Once we got in the bay and around the corner behind the reef we were so amazed at how still the water was.  It truly is a great anchorage spot.  As soon as we got set a boat came by with two men in it to welcome us to their bay.  They had just started pearl farming so they wanted us to be careful around their bouys.  They showed us the village they were from just on the other side of the road and said that we were welcome to go through it and meet their families.  Once settled we grabbed our Kava and headed in to present the kava to the chief.  The little village was so sweet and they had fruit and veggies everywhere and a natural spring that came out of the mountain through pipes and bamboo they had set up to run into their homes.   The kids said it was the best tasting water they have ever had... is that possible?  Living on the boat you get used to "boat water" or you don't we and we have found that we are either buying the water or putting flavoring in it because the kids like a little taste to it.  Boat water is like drinking distilled water.. we are on the search for a mineralizer to add some things back into ours.

Every village we go to no matter how remote all have solar panels!

Anyway  after taking a tour of the village and their farming the chief offered for his son (the only one with a truck) to drive us around tomorrow to all the waterfalls.  It was an amazing offer and since there were not taxis readily available and the buses only twice a a day we jumped at the offer.

So the next day arriving back into the village, all 14 of us because we are now with our Swedish friends on Breeze, along with shine and our family, and when we get there we discover that the truck is a small one and we need to climb in the back and in the cab... The kids thought this was the coolest because we never get to ride in the back of pickups anymore!

It was a very long day with over 10 miles of walking up and down hills, crossing sketchy beautiful suspended bridges, swimming in rivers, playing in waterfalls, jumping off rocks and exploring... the kids were completely in their element and loved the supersize of everything we saw.  You felt like you were walking through Jurassic Park and expected some pterodactyl to come flying out over a mountain top and swoop down on you.

As were were walking the Lavena Coastal walk it is about a 2 hour walk in and it ends at this beautiful waterfall cascading down into a small pool that you swim up to.  Along our walk you would intermittently run into these houses that are all by themselves and then when we crossed the suspended bridge that is about 2 hours into the walk we came across a group of men farming the hillside for casava and taro plants... the green they were standing in was mind blowing as you come out of the shadows of the rainforest, the green almost looked like the plants were glowing....

The villages drying out their kava roots

Random house but liked the different colors against the green

Farmers on the other side of the suspended bridge

Piling in the truck to go to the waterfalls, 
Johnny the next chief of the village is our tour guide for the day

After the long day of tramping through the jungle and swimming we headed back to the boat for a quick rest and then back to the village beach where all the kids and a few adults had made a bon fire in anticipation for us to bring in the fireworks we had to celebrate Diwali with them,  as we were coming into the beach it looked like a seen from Lord of the Flies with the kids dancing in front of the fire with palm tree fronds ... We handed out sparklers which we soon discovered that the kids loved throwing up in the air or at each other.. YIKES!  and so we started handing them out more slowly.. and then we also had some 3 foot long roman candles that we set off on the beach.  When I got there I had given a pack to Johnny who gave them out to the kids and then started lighting them off along with the sparklers.. for a little while it was chaos with kids pointing the roman candles into the trees and we are all shouting .... Yikes no point them over the water and away from each other... I really thought for a moment that family circus was going to be responsible for either setting the village on fire or someone getting hurt... but it all settled down after Johnny started taking things in control and getting the kids to settle in.. The kids thoroughly enjoyed seeing the fireworks and their was clapping and laughing and running around... It was a wonderful way to spend with the kids and families before we left as we were leaving we got the farewell bula song sang by all the kids and some jumping into the water at night helping us to push our dinghies out into the bay.. 

Next Stop for some R&R an unexpected wonderful surprise, amazing friendly service, a resort that truly opens their doors to all!  Thank you Terry for your sweet boutique resort where everyone has the biggest smiles and truly loves their guests.

Paradise Island Resort......

We had the best time playing and hanging out at Paradise Resort.  We were truly not expecting to stay longer than an overnight and ended up staying for 3 days.  We had such a great time playing in the pool, eating dinner, snorkeling the reef and Amaia and Alina loved playing with the kids kayaking, soccer, going to their houses and playing Wii... it was hard for us to say goodbye..

If anyone would ask me where would I return to in the South Pacific I would highly recommend this resort.  Not only for its diving, snorkeling and all that it has to offer on Taveuni but also for the service.  This little resort that can hold about 32 guests was the quaintest I have seen in along time.  The staff that runs the resort take pride in it like they all own it and they truly love working there.  They all have smiles on their faces while they are constantly doting on you every second of every minute.  It really was one of the best run and cutest places I have seen... It would be wonderful for a destination wedding or simply a wonderful vacation spot for kids and adults... they love kids and are constantly including them in everything they do.  Often times I would look up and Amaia is helping the staff to deliver lanterns to tables, set tables for dinner or feeding the birds or just hanging around with them.. they loved having the little girls there.  

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