We've made it to New Zealand! But first some more Fiji, as internet there was a bit dodgy. So here's more of Taveuni--we were there for about a week, and so on Sunday we went to church at the Catholic Mission church in Wairiki. The guidebook said that there was fabulous singing, and we were not disappointed. The congregation sings like a choir. I'm trying to get a video uploaded of the singing (sorry, Mum, I did record during church, but I tried to be stealthy!). We'll see if it works.
Here's the view from the church steps--unbelievable.
After church we headed south with our taxi driver/guide. He took us around for the whole day, through lots and lots of horrible roads. Again, only a portion of the roads were tarred. The picture above is creatively named the 'blowhole.' It's on the South Cape of Taveuni, which is beautiful and full of volcanic rock cliffs and rough seas. The blowhole is an actual hole in the rock that sends up the shoots of mist-ified water, and when the sun's out it makes pretty rainbows. Except the sun wasn't out when we were there.
Another picture of the coast of the south cape--very different than northern Taveuni!
Then we stopped at Vuna reef (which is to the left of this lovely beach), on the southeastern side of the island. It's a big ole reef, with tons of gorgeous color and fish. Josh and I weren't exactly sure where to go, and were told just swim for about 10 minutes to the left! We wandered our way there, and weren't sure we were in the right place. All of a sudden the sun came out from behind a cloud and all of the life underwater positively sparkled! Then we had a great picnic on this little beach.
This is a waterslide. No joke. That's me, sitting on the left side waiting my turn. The Waitavala waterslide is a very popular cascading series of small waterfalls that people like to use as natural water slides. The water has made the rocks quite smooth. Apparently even Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkin did their thing at these falls in The Blue Lagoon. There were a TON of people there! A gal that I talked to said that the week before the slides were wicked fast, as there was a bunch more water from rainfall.
For our last night in Taveuni, Josh and I had kava with Spout (the night watchman at Matei Point) and some of his friends. Kava is basically the national drink of Fiji--it's from the root of the kava plant, which gives it a very earthy, muddy, root like taste. Yum. I could only handle a few. Josh did much better than I. Did I mention that it's a mild euphoric? And it makes your lips numb!
Sigh. A beautiful sunset on our last night.
Josh receiving the gorgeous garlands that the girls made for us, that's Lo in the background putting it on him.
So Josh and I were walking to the airport from our accommodation in Taveuni (which consists of walking the lovely gardened driveway and across the street to the airport, and is seriously 5 minutes from the airport) when out of the plants comes this little dude. Isn't he the cutest thing ever? I, of course, whip out my camera amidst my baggage and ask him if I could take a picture. He just grinned some more.