Its our final day in Fiji and we're back in Nadi near the airport in a lovely backpackers resort called 'Nomads Skylodge'?with very fast computers with key boards that work, so feeling very pleased with ourselves
For the last few days we've been up in the highlands of Fiji staying in an area called Sabeto, that you reached along a long bumpy road at the foot of the two sleeping giant mountains (called this beacause they look like the profiles of two sleeping giants). Our first stop was the village of Nalesutale where we stayed in traditional bure (thatched huts). The village was picturesque with chickens, horses, cows and lots of dogs (which were actually painfully skinny) runnning around. The villagers offered guides of the surrounding forest and we were lead by Bill (19 years old and hoping to study to become an engineer) into the forest where he showed us medicinal plants such as wild ginger used to cure stomach aches, chilli plants, pineapples, banana trees and huge spinach plants (nothing like english spinach, leaves the size of a torso!).
Finally we reached a huge waterfall with a deep pool beneath it, where we swam. It was literally breathtaking, definitely one of the highlights of the holiday was standing on a rock ledge beneath the falling water. We tried to get a good photo of us but Judy (the other woman in our group) was a crazy australian lady who could not use a camera to save her life.
Next we went back to the village for a lunch. Most of the food we ate here was the same, a whitish root (similar to potatoe), mackrel, sausage meat, spinach leaves in coconut milk and papaya for desert. They drank lemon uice mad from water mixed with lemon leaves (looked liek bay tree leaves) and the same leaves mixed with hot milk/water (very yummy, we tried to sneak some out of the country but customs in auckland werent best pleased and we had to give them away :( ).
In the evening we watched the kava roots we had brought them being pounded to a powder and then mixed with water in a large wooden bowl. We drank out of cocnut halves and had this cermonial clapping in between each drink. It tasted like earth.. not great and to be honest not really any effect. It must have had an effect on the men we were with though because they made el and I dance with them in fron of the whole group to a crazy fijian remix of gwen stefani if i was a rich girl. It was an interesting evening and el and i slunk off to bed before the became to raucos.
The next day we went horseriding through the forest, over rivers and up bushy hills. It was beautiful and having never really ridden horses before (el of course almost grew up with them) I really enjoyed the new experience and ability to sit back whilst someone else did all the hard work.
Things that el and i noticed about the village was the fact that thir lives were truly a mix of the old and new. They sat on the floor and lived in tin huts, but at the same time had hi fis and dvd players. One boy adam explained to us that in the cities people had to live with the financial burdens that he simply didnt have. They provided for themselves growing food and keeping animals and make extra money from tourists coming to visit them. I suppose for them it works out pretty well.
For the next couple of days el and I stayed at the picturesque stoney creek lodge just down the road from the village with amazing views of the mountains and relaxed atmosphere. He we just chilled out, reading and writing in our diaries, occasionaly taking a break to cycle down the bumpy road (not such a good ide though in the middle of the day when u get cooked!). We also met a lovely girl from the czech republic who was out by herself working for a perfume company. Her english wasnt brilliant, but we were very impressed that shed taught herself from a dictionary...everything to her was 'very nice!'. El fell in love with a little golden labrador puppy called Lola, she didnt want to leave her!
Then we headed back to Nadi for our final night in a lovely hostel called Skylodge. We nearly missed the plane in the morning after an alarm clock malfunction but luckily El instincltively woke up and we made it just on time.