Fiji is known for its gorgeous beaches and clear water full of marine life. However, I found out that this is not a real Fiji.
Yesterday I booked a trip with 4x4 car to explore the regional, highland part of this is island country. And the journey was astonishing!
We kicked our adventure from Nadi city, following by the mountainous area. I would never imagine that Fiji has so many mountains, honestly. Moreover, everything has a volcanic origin: earth and rocks are black - evidence of old lava/magma in a deep past.
I’ve been accompanied by a lovely couple from Brisbane who shared adventures with me. It was awesome to share our experience and discover things together.
Finally, we arrived to a village called Nausori Highlands. We’ve been greeted by a warrior, followed by a traditional kava ceremony. By the way, kava - it is a root of a plant, which is dried and made into the powder. Then, kava powder is mixed with cold water inside a traditional carved wooden bowl. People sit around the kava bowl, where warrior pours a drink into the coconut cup and presents to the guest. After a cup has been emptied, everyone claps twice and another person starts drinking.
Interesting thing about kava is that it represents a local alcohol. Even though kava has no alcohol, after drinking dozen of coconut cups, the tongue gets completely numb, while person gets very sleepy and relaxed. It didn’t happen to me, since I found a taste very weird… By the way, it looks and tastes like a mud which was diluted in water :) But it has some various medical usage.
Next, we had an excursion around the village: people are very friendly and hostile. “Bula” - which means “welcome/hello” on Fiji was echoing everywhere when we were walking around the village. Warrior showed us a school, church (they are methodists) and even graveyard with chief remains. Interesting to note, that cannibalism was a common thing in a village, until europeans brought Christianity. From the background perspective: chicken and chicks were running everywhere, while dogs were begging for a petting. Everything felt like a real country-side story.
Electricity is still an uncommon thing in Nausori Highlands. It is expected to bring the power next year, and we witnessed a power grid construction on our way to the village.
Another fact is that one of the village members made his way to the All Blacks New Zealand rugby team, that is considered to be a very big achievement for people and villagers are proud of it.
Next, we moved to the waterfall where Nausori Highlands is getting their water supply from. Warrior, a couple of villagers and our tour guide when there, bringing a great fish and chicken barbecue, with baked potato and coleslaw salad. Mmmm… The place was amazing, plus I found a species of plant which folds its leaves on a touch. Mesmerising!
After that we moved back to the Nadi city, following by another country-side excursion and endemic parrot spotting.
I was very excited and fascinated by exploring a “different Fiji”.
My big Vinaka to Nautilus(http://nautilusfiji.com/) travel and our great tour guide/cook/driver Mana <3