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.

View this post on Instagram

#Fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

Yesterday I booked a trip with 4x4 car to explore the regional, highland part of this is island country. And the journey was astonishing!

View this post on Instagram

#Fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

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.

View this post on Instagram

#Fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

Iโ€™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.

View this post on Instagram

#nausorihighlands #fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

Finally, we arrived to a village called Nausori Highlands. Weโ€™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.

View this post on Instagram

#nausorihighlands #fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

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 didnโ€™t happen to me, since I found a taste very weirdโ€ฆ By the way, it looks and tastes like a mud which was diluted in water :) But it has some various medical usage.

View this post on Instagram

#nausorihighlands #fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

Next, we had an excursion around the village: people are very friendly and hostile. โ€œBulaโ€ - which means โ€œwelcome/helloโ€ 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.

View this post on Instagram

#nausorihighlands #fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

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.

View this post on Instagram

#nausorihighlands #fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

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.

View this post on Instagram

#nausorihighlands #fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

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. Mmmmโ€ฆ The place was amazing, plus I found a species of plant which folds its leaves on a touch. Mesmerising!

View this post on Instagram

#Fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

After that we moved back to the Nadi city, following by another country-side excursion and endemic parrot spotting.

View this post on Instagram

#fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

I was very excited and fascinated by exploring a โ€œdifferent Fijiโ€.

View this post on Instagram

#Fiji #nausorihighlands

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on

My big Vinaka to Nautilus(http://nautilusfiji.com/) travel and our great tour guide/cook/driver Mana <3

View this post on Instagram

#Fiji

A post shared by Nick Shulhin (@nickshulhin) on