Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yadua Island

Yadua Island, pronounced Yan-dua is a magical place. Located just west of Vanua Levu island, Yadua is one of those rare places in Fiji that is untouched by regular tourism. The village is very traditional and is only visited by cruisers who hike up a hill for two hours to reach the village. As a cruiser in Fiji, is has become tradition to do "sevusevu" at the smaller and more remote villages. The "sevusevu", is presenting the chief of the village with a kilo of kava in exchange for anchoring near and using the land. Kava is a root that is ground up in a big bowl and looks much like dirty dishwater. It tastes a lot like it too, but many Fijians like to wile away the hours drinking this mind numbing drink. I have tasted only one cupful and instantly my tongue went numb. It starts with the mouth and goes on from there.
The day we hiked to the village we woke up to a rainy day but since it is the tropics this we a welcome sight as it was hot! For two hours we wound our way through the goat paths and five foot weeds until we arrived in the village. Upon arrival we were led by several small children to heart of the village to wife of the warden. The chief was out fishing for the day. The warden was second in command, but he was away as well, so we were greeted by the warden's wife who took the kava and gave us her blessing to use the water and the land. We spent the next hour exploring the village and meeting some of the families. We even tried a bit of kava before our trip back over the hill. The village visit was wonderful but we also found the magic of Yadua in the the water. We stayed for several days and snorkeled to our hearts content. The amount and variety of fish were amazing and Fiji has some of the most beautiful soft corals in the world. The fact that we were in the middle of nowhere with no development made for a very healthy reef. Mark under the trees in his banana leaf hat The view on our journey over the hill The beach front in the village
Traditonal hut

My new friend Nisi Three of Nisi's children The kite Mark brought to the village This woman was very proud to pose with her new under construction house Jim from s/v Asylum with the boys at the kava bowl Getting ready to snorkel

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