Bus boat bus,.... end of the road

Trip Start Oct 02, 2006
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Friday, November 17, 2006

A good breakfast on the terrace overlooking the bay prepared me well for yet another bus. I choose to again stay off the beaten track and share my bus with locals only. Three or four hours riding along side the beautiful shore line with only palm trees to obstruct my view of the reefs a couple of hounded meters out from shore.

The bus stopped at a little dock where two small boats just arrived. I waited like the rest until the boats where off-loaded. I asked around and they pointed to the right boat. That would take me to Taveuni. I hopped on the small boat and it took off. Pretty rough seas and I loved every bit of it. We passed a lonely fisherman in his small Kano like fishing boat on those same seas.

About an hour and a half later we docked at a wharf on Taveuni. the wharf was in the middle of nowhere and there was absolutely no spot left on there. Completely filled with taxi's. They don't get too many rides I guess and a load of people from a boat is a welcome change. In all of Fiji, except Nadi, I have never been harassed. Never did anyone overcharge me or try to make money of me in a nasty way. So here no different, especially since all most of their customers where locals anyway. I paid my taxi the double fare 1 Eur in stead of 50 cents and it made his day.

It would take another 4 hours before the bus to the other side of the island would leave, so I had a great Indian fish curry and sat in a bus-stop across from the local school. Great to see the dynamics of a school in another place.

The bus took about 2 hours and dropped me at the end of the road where there was a little cabin where you could rent beds. The cabin was run by the village Lavena. Along the way we passed the airport on the island where most of the resorts and tourists where located. But here in the village there where only 4 visitors. Of which one American guy who lived there for 8 months already on the peace core project, helping the locals preserve nature (it was in the middle of a national park). And another American girl who lived in the village for two weeks to study the village dynamics. Which are very interesting, as every village here is completely democratic, and the government bodies only execute, not decide. Furthermore there was a German guy and Barbara, a French girl with whom I decided to do the hike I wanted to do the next day. But first I joined the villagers and the two Americans in a lengthy Kava session. I believe I had about 20 over 5 hours. I did start to have some issues walking straight. It's different than with alcohol. It's more your body that feels weird, and not your mind. But since they made me chief for the night, I had to be polite and drink with them. As chief you always drink first, and you never skip a round. This great evening put me to bed with a big smile and a numb tong from the kava.
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