Feejee experience cont

Trip Start Jun 04, 2006
Trip End Nov 04, 2007

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Flag of Fiji  ,
Sunday, February 4, 2007

Hiking and tubing and a visit to the hospital!
We started today with a fantastic Fijian 3 hour hike in the rain forest. The reason I say Fijian 3 hour hike is because our guide was uncertain as to how long the hike would take! He warned us on the first day that it was going to be a very difficult hike as many of the hills will be steep to climb and the ground will be wet because of the rain and the mud. That immediately put off three girls from hiking and on the actual day there were only 7 of us hiking and there are 18 of us on this tour! The hike was tough and some of the hills were almost as steep as the sand dune we boarded down. But it was well worth it. I went ahead and set a relatively fast pace which enabled us to finish the hike in almost 2 hours. Which apparently was the first time. Mark kept up very well, he tried his best to overtake me but I was having none of that and my competitive side has just kicked in! Our guide was running on the flat surfaces and when it came to climbing, he kept well away at the back! I was once again so pleased with my hiking boots, I know they look very old by now on their 8th month of being used and abused, but they have done a great job!

Once the hike was over and we were leach free, we arrived at the bottom of the river where we joined the others and once we finished lunch we went tubing on the river! That was absolutely out of this world. It was great fun, specially hitting the rapids. Not so much fun when the water was shallow and you were hitting the rocks! But the technique was to lift yourself above the tube! Which sometimes worked and sometimes it didn't! Once we got to the end of the tubing, Marian one of the Norwegian girls shouted to me to grab hold of the robe and pull myself out! Only I had already passed the rope! So I had to swim on my back still in the tube against the current. My arms were dead by the end of it, and as the two of us were swimming to the robe, Kristin the other Norwegian girl looked at us and got up and stood on her feet! Rest assured she was laughing her head off watching us swimming in the shallow end!

Once we finished the tubing we visited one of the waterfalls and had a swim in the spring we headed back to the green bus and found out that it had once again broken down! This was now a ritual that had happened from the first day of the trip. We waited for about 2 hours till they managed to fix the bus. During which Marian managed to cut her finger with a knife slicing a pineapple and we ended up taking her to the hospital! That was very interesting, after arguing with the nurse that she needed to get stitches and that a cotton wool and a plaster wasn't going to do the job, we finally managed to get a medical student to come and have a look. 30 minutes later he finished with 2 stitches and was unable to give a third one. He was very nervous which I think it was mostly because we were watching him to make sure he was doing a good job and at one point he was sweating so much that I wanted to wipe his forehead off, since the nurse was busy holding his mobile phone so he could talk and stitch at the same time! He soon stopped talking on the phone as he was told off by Marian! Job done at the end and it was pretty good and we didn't pay a penny!

As we got back the bus was fixed and we joined a few others on the bus that didn't go back with a taxi and headed to our hostel. Mark and I once again got upgraded to our own room for the same price! I think they must take Petty on Mark and keep giving us the best rooms!

Next day, visit to the local school:
Today we drove through the city of Suva. I have to say despite what you heard or hear from the media, it was a very peaceful city and we didn't come across any problems. There were military on the road, but we were happily waving at them from the bus and they were waving back! We then visited a local school and were each taken around by a student guide. Mine was called Retha, I am not sure of the correct spelling, but her name meant queen and she was only 16. She was a very polite and sweet girl and we had 30 minutes of fun going around the school and because I was interested in taking photos and she soon picked that up from the size of my camera, she took me to the best places to take really nice shots and of course she wanted to be in most of them too! Their school reminded me a lot of one of my old schools back in Iran, in a village, the difference was that the one I went to was not this green! :) I really enjoyed the interaction and it was beautiful to see how happy these kids were integrating with us. They are truly bright. This particular school was in a rural village and it was more like a boarding school as most of the students were from very far away villages and often didn't see their families for a few months. Alot of the schools like this one get help in the form of stationary from tourists.

After the school visit we headed to the nearby village to see the chief and to learn a few things about village life which predominantly seems to evolve around drinking Kava, which is a local drink made from root vegetables. It is not like alcohol which makes you drunk but it almost makes you feel stoned and a little bit dizzy, apparently it is used to sleep better! I was beginning to think why they were giving us so much, maybe the bus was breaking down again and they wanted us to be quiet! Mark was chosen to be our chief of the group since he had the best smile of the day, personally I think it was because he was the oldest! Don't worry it gets even better, I am the third oldest in the group, so you can imagine how YOUNG the group is! Gareth was chosen to be the spokesman of the group, because well he had the gift of the gab!

After the Kava ceremony and getting permission from the chief to stay in his village the group was split into boys and girls. The girls learned how to Weave, while the boys....well...continued drinking! Typical! I learned how to make a bracelet and we also learned how to make a dessert using coconuts, and learning how to get the coconut from the shell. Which I have to say the Brazilians seemed to do a great job at it! I wonder why?

After about 100 cups of Kava and a few bowls of coconut  dessert we left the village and headed to our next resort which was VoliVoli.
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