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Sha’s Travel Diary

Monday, 29 Jan 2007

Location: Lautoka, Fiji

MapOh dear losing track of time and space, I can't believe the 2 weeks here in Fiji is nearly up; down to the last couple of days we fly for New Zeland on Wednesday; journey still feeling surreal.

We've made it right round the island by local bus; and to the amazement of an American we met without a guide book!! Wasn't that difficult. Still let me see what have we been up to.

Ah yes, we went to the forest park, that was amazing, I wish I knew a few tropical trees though. We swam in pools fed by waterfalls, which had been modified for leisure use; now I was thinking it could be a great opportunity for the Dingle woodland to do something like the same, what with global warming what you think Gazza?

Wednesday we headed on our way further round the island travelling up the east side. On the way we stopped to check out these limestone caves which are supposed to be some of the biggest in the world... ummm not sure they were massive though took us 45 miutes to walk to the other side. The original village cannibals used to live in the caves, there was a place carved out in the wall where they used to club the slaves to death before eating them - nice people! The cave was filled with bats, I've never experienced anything like it the noise was like torrential rain. I'm not sure what type of bats they were, apparently they have tails and the woman guide reckon there are only 2 types of bat on Fiji the fruit bats which I've seen tonnes of (they're great) and these little fellas. Simon can you help me?

Anyway we were supposed to get a bus in the afternoon but instead we were invited to stay in the village by the chief with his wife and daughter in their house, which we did. We were shown around the village and joined a game of volleyball - neither Tracey or I had ever played before was amusing for the villagers! We found out they're big on rugby 7's and "V-ball" as they call it over here. We even found time for a dip in the river to cool of, very much needed in this heat!

Really weird though was that we also met our first fellow 'Welsh traveller' at the village. When we had first arrived there was a "Feejee Experience" tour bus in (British abroad type thing including few Aussies, and Americans) and amongst them was a guy from Pwllheli! How surreal can you get I'm sitting in a Fijian village cermony house speaking Cymraeg to the guy! He was made up to be able to speak Cymraeg to someone been travelling for 5 months and had to ring home for the chance. So Linda, dw i wedi ymarfer fy'n Cymraeg yn barod efo'r Tracey a dyn o'r Phwllheli, a roedd hi'n braf iawn i siarad yr iaith o nefoedd!

The following day we headed north and in our usual fashion of not having any plans in particular went to stay on an island for 3 days. We chilled, sunbathed drank Fiji bitter, snorkelled, lived the life and I got caught by a Fijian man with my bum in the air trying to climb a palm tree to get a coconut! We did get the coconut - the Fijian got it down for us with this huge knife! Kinda scary the way he hacked off the husk with it and made a hole in it for us. I'm glad I had covered my bum back up with my sarong by that time!

Still we made it off the island in one piece; just about I nearly got ate by the hungry parrot fish as I snorkelled amongst them. They're great I decided if I have to come back as a fish please God can it be a Parrot fish; I want to be a technicolor dream coat fish!

And so we made the penultimate leg of our island journey yesterday and headed back to civilisation to Lautoka, the second largest city. We've been to the Garden of the Sleepeing Giant today which has the largest collection of Fijian orchids, and of course been spending in the shops - oh God why oh why do I have to be a backpacker there are so many nice and CHEAP clothes!!

Tomorrow we're going to head off up to the highlands, to see another village and swim in more rivers. Well time for me to find a bottle shop the stock of Fiji bitter needs topping up!
Sha x