This is the quite large plane we flew from LAX to Nadi. It even has an upstairs!
Ahhh, the tropics. So Josh tried surfing, as there is supposed to be world class surf just off our island. Unfortunately, that surf is actually owned by a resort and only resort-stayers can go therer. and it's spendy! We don't quite understand how anyone can own the water, surf, and a reef, but whatever. Anyway, Josh went out to a reef break in the middle of the ocean and said it was gorgeous. We also went snorkeling off a sand bar, also in the middle of the ocean, near a great reef with awesome little fantastically colored fish. And when it was low tide, we had our own mini island to stand on! (granted, it's only there for a few hours a day, but it's all ours! :) )
My favorite flower-Erika and Mike and I saw these all over thailand, etc, and they're here too! They call them French Bunnies here. Interesting.
After two days of loveliness on that island, we headed back to the mainland and to the airport Wednesday, Jan 6th, where we boarded out 20 passenger prop plane to fly to Taveuni. Takeoff was interesting but the landing was quite smooth! Here's Josh in out outdoor shower. This one was even hot!!!
Here's the inside of our plane to Taveuni. It was an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini...oh, off subject!
But here are the spectacular views on the way there. Unreal!!
Yes, the little plane again. Taveuni is called the Garden Island, and with good reason. It's incredibly lush and green and amazing.
So on Thursday we headed out to the big village with the grocery store (our bure has a kitchen!), and on the way stopped at the site of the International Dateline. Now, all of Fiji is actually under the same day, but the actual line cuts right down the island. Oooh, I'm in yesterday! Now I'm in today! TWO DAYS AT ONCE!!! Way to go, Josh!! :)
This is a Mormon church. Just for my favorite folks in Utah!!
This place is full of lizards. And this one is no bigger than my thumb! Here, leezard leezard leeezard....
No joke, this is an acutal picture. No retouching. We went to a cute restaurant overlooking the water and had yummy pizza, and this is the sight that greets us!
Here's Josh at the restaurant with a plant called Tagimaucia--apparently is a epiphytic plant (will someone look up that word for me??) that grows only in Taveuni in high altitudes a few months a year. The bartender brought it down from the mountains!
Friday we headed out the the Waitabu Marine Park, where the village of Waitabu (as seen above) had started the part in 1998, to try and save and maintain the coral reef in front of the village. Getting there was an adventure, as there is only paved road for the first quarter (Josh says an eighth, he's probably right) of the distance. Snorkeling there was beautiful--loads of bright tiny fishes and big ones too! There were also giant clams, brain coral, and magic coral that turned color when you touched it. Don't worry, we only touched it 'cause our guide said it was ok.
This was the beach we ended our snorkeling on. Lovely, no? The guide said it was where Return to the Blue Lagoon was filmed.
Josh and I on our rainforest adventure. We went to see the Tavoro waterfalls, which is located in the Bouma National Heritage Park, which protects over 80% of Taveuni's entire area.
To get to the second set of falls, we had to clammer over rocks and streams and things. Josh was ever so much more graceful than I. We sang loads of fern gully songs in the rainforest. It was beautiful.
We actually had to dodge these guys--they just hung out in the middle of the (tiny) path like they owned it. Aren't they pretty??
And then these guys were always underfoot. Crazy toads.
Here we are at one of the falls. I was envisioning this thing to be a serene, cascading wall of water...turns out it's this crazy rush of water dropping from 75 feet up! And I was hoping to wash my hair in the waterfall.
Sunset from our bure! Turns out there's also a HUGE mango tree right in the yard loaded with fruit--Erika could live here and never leave!!
So all is well with us. Please keep in touch!