At a height of 5000 meters, it pushes me lightly into the belt of the aircraft seat. Just don't fly to the Nadi airport too quickly and disrupt the cosiness. Now it's getting slow, really slow!
Welcome, Bula , on
Passport control: this is how queuing for the serious looking "I say if you need to go in" officials is fun, because right at the exit of the gangway there are already four musicians and tune in to the country with live music. And as soon as you have defeated the passport controller, they are there! They all look the same, the stout ladies with short curly heads, which Madlen and me totally get out of the concept after the third attack with “do you need a hotel”! Please laaangsam ...!
We can be towed to a hotel outside Nadi free of charge, because we only stay one night and want to continue to the heart of the main island of Viti Levu.
We quickly understood: we are out of Australia and not back in Southeast Asia. As soon as we enter the first local bus heading north, where the windows are basically missing and the scaffolding is made of wood, the loudspeakers sound reggae - music: Alpha Blondy, “Apartheid is Nazism”. The express bus bumps across the road at a maximum speed of 30 km / h, because even if the driver fully accelerates, the engine speed no longer increases. It seems that the motor runs out of the speaker according to the rhythm. It pours out of buckets, but that doesn't bother us. Fiji: Australian-style Caribbean feeling with Southeast Asian flair! So it can go on.
After an overnight stopover in the city of Lautoka to empathize with the country with the nice people, we continue the next day in the mountains.
The hopelessly crowded open-air bus is struggling at a snail's pace over unpaved roads and narrow river crossings through the mountain landscape covered with sugar cane and palm trees. The destination is Navala, a traditional mountain village with thatched huts without cars, but horses as a means of transport. We are the only travelers here and have a great vacation at “Tui”. He, Tui, the tall, stocky guy with dreadlocks on the back of his head, and his mother Bolou run a small eco - lodge on the outskirts of the village, where we are immediately welcomed with a cup of black tea and cake, because our spontaneous arrival despite the lack of a telephone network has long been around among the villagers.
After spending the night in a Spartan traditional bure (bungalow in Fiji style), we start a village tour with Tui, who always makes us laugh, and stop at the village head, who invites us to a non-rejectable round of kava *). We continue with a climb up the river to the waterfall, in whose clear blue lagoon we take a refreshing swim. What a dream!
With an estimated two kilos more on the ribs, which probably resulted from Bolou's constant request "eat more, eat more", we leave the lodge with a heavy heart and the indescribable picture book - mountain landscape and return with the only bus that we just got in time Back to the coast during the day.
Next plan: Fijian island flair!
The “Sunbeam” express bus takes us along the north coast to the small town of Rakiraki, where we try to stock up on a few basic foods with more or less success, because on the island “Nananu-i-Ra” it means “self - catering ".
After an overpriced boat trip, we stayed at the Safari Lodge right on the beach! The Australian owner of this property does not seem to be interested in what you notice when dealing with its employees. Therefore, we prefer to enjoy the deserted sandy beach instead of his lodge and start a “walkaround” around the island. However, the midday tide ultimately has more power, making the cliffs along the sea impassable. With a fascinating view into the distance, a picture-perfect sunset and dozens of mosquito bites, we conclude the visit to Nananu-i-Ra and look forward to the further trip around the main Fijian island VITI LEVU!
*) Kava: traditional drink, made from the powder of a root (usually ground with an old drive shaft), which is mixed with water and is said to have a narcotic effect if consumed excessively.