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

Sunday, July 12, 2009


For the last week we have been enjoying Vanau Levu, Fiji’s second largest island. After an overnighter from Suva we arrived in lovely Nakama Creek home of the Copra Shed Marina. A bit of a haven for yachties, the anchorage is flat calm and the marina has moorings just minutes from the facilities. Savusavu is a quiet town, less touristy than Viti Levu, and is an interesting mix of locals, Kiwis and Aussies with holiday homes and cruisers from across the globe. We have been enjoying the slow pace of Savusavu and sunsets have been exquisite. We even celebrated the 4th of July in Savusavu with some fellow Americans. The menu included hot dogs and potato salad, with a few exotic touches from the local market thrown in.

We had the opportunity to set off to the northern part of the island by 4 wheel drive with our fellow adventurers on Asylum. With our boats snugly moored in Savusavu, we stayed the night at Palmlea Lodge in a traditional bure (pronounced burr-a). Our hosts, Joe and Julie are ex-cruisers who have stayed in Fiji and set up an eco lodge that caters to all types of travelers. We had a dip in the pool, a lovely dinner and I was even introduced to their five day old Boer goat called Millie. As you can imagine I wanted to take her home. We do however have some new pets on Scholarship. Three small geckos hitchhiked on board via Mark's bike. They are a wonderful addition and even though we will rarely see them we know they will be hard at work eating mosquitoes and other creepy crawlies that find their way on to the boat.

Some cute kiddies on a banana stop along the roadone of the 'little rascals"my welcome lei at Palmlea Lodge The view from the lodge to the ocean Asylum's Jim and Katie Millie having her bottle In a few days we will got way off the beaten path and head counter clockwise around Vanua Levu. The third largest barrier reef in the world runs along the top of the island and the diving is said to be fantastic. Ciao for now. Liz & Mark