Tuesday, May 10, 2011
With its volcanic spine, Taveuni boasts lush beauty and scenic delights from waterfalls to blow holes. Rainbow Reef with its 32-kilometers and dozen-plus named dive sites is considered one of the best in the world for SCUBA enthusiasts. Even snorkelers will be enchanted by the bright blue coral and star fish to be found just beyond the shore.
What Taveuni doesn't have is island-wide electricity, traffic jams - most Fijians walk where they want to go, pollution and hordes of tourists. Paved, or "sealed" roads are also scarce as are sandy beaches of any width.
The road to Paradise Taveuni Resort was a culture shock - 30-40 minutes of really rough road, stretches of which required four-wheel drive. Our first Taveuni "massage".
First day at Paradise
Tip: No steps, Levelers, and the resort is on a flat bluff above the sea.
At lunch (I had a wonderful Thai-style fish) Alan offered us a choice: take a tour to a village and the blow hole farther down the south end of the island or relax at the resort. After 30-plus hours of traveling the latter was oh so tempting but not wanting to miss anything we pressed on.
Tip: If you want to see how few trappings of civilization are needed to be happy on Taveuni or to feel like the Pied Piper with ever-growing hordes of children following you, visit a village.
Especially when we finally turned in. The outdoor shower was refreshing but my bure was stifling despite the comfortably balmy night. After tossing and turning a bit I got up to check windows. The housekeeping staff had closed them all to make the burning mosquito coil more effective!
Days two and three coming up.