Carelbi in Fiji

Sun 22 Oct 2006 10:01

                                    CARELBI IN FIJI


 We checked into Fiji in Savusavu, a great, seedy, little town which we knew from a previous visit. Since time was pressing we hired a car and drove across Vanua Levu to Lambasa, home of the sugar cane industry.


For miles along the road into Lambasa the sugar cane lorries and tractor-trailers formed a huge traffic jam, some had been there long enough to fall asleep under their loads. 



Carelbi in the anchorage at Savusavu


Wonderful relics from Fiji's British past, the lions outside Savusavu's Town Hall...


On our way to Viti Levu we caught a waloo, which is  Spanish mackerel and really delicious, almost better than mahi mahi although it is possibly treasonous to say this!


A stunning sunset near Lautoka


Sawa-i-Lau, our first Yasawa island and a typical Fijian coral sand beach...


Chris got nobbled by two little tourist guides who insisted on showing us around their village.


We were walking across what we believed to be the deserted island of Vanuayawa when we suddenly heard voices, and discovered, in a small jungle clearing, Moses and Shewita planting yams.




Our trip from Fiji to New Caledonia was a bit of a nightmare as George, our automatic pilot, failed twice in heavy seas and gale winds. Chris managed to cobble together a working arm out of his old parts, almost never have we been so relieved to arrive at our destination.The passage to Australia was not uneventful either, we arrived in a strong gale, constant winds of 40 knots gusting to 50 (80-100 kilometres per hour), seas of over 3 metres, visibility maybe 4 miles, not to mention the Russian freighter, the Maxim Michaelov, who had no look out posted and almost ran us down; we jibed at the last minute, not easy in those conditions.


Flame trees were burning all along the road, and everyone, but everyone, waved to us as we passed and many shouted "Bula! Bula!" which is Fijian for hello and sounds so cheerful.



One of the little trains which used to bring the cane in to the processing factory along the rusty old railway line, and still do.
We do love going to restaurants and listening to Pacific musicians. Here we are at the "Bula Re", which means welcome, and where the food and the music was great. We bought the CD, so can prove the latter statement.
and the market where our ancestors obviously did not like the spitting habit.
When you move areas in Fiji you have to check in with Customs again. Here Chris is in Lautoka, hoping that his impressive Fijian formal skirt for men will bag us a hassle free experience!
... and another.
Musicians at the Nanuya resort, another great meal and an unforgettable night's music. Note the large bowl of kava which was emptied and refilled many times that evening, and as ever, the singing got better as time progresses!
This is how you catch a ferry, Fiji-style...
Shewita had a home on the opposite side of the island to our anchorage. His wife, Clara, had decorated the beach entrance with a wonderful collection of driftwood and shells.
It is obligatory to go to Musket Cove if you are a yachtie in Fiji, and this is an idyllic photo of the anchorage from the restaurant/pool where we spent a couple of days before heading off to New Caledonia and Australia.
We are now on our way back to Europe where we will be spending Christmas at home in France. Carelbi is being pulled out of the water in Australia and we rejoin her in April 2007 to continue on the final leg back to Europe. Plans for next year are to sail gently up the Great Barrier Reef to Darwin for mid-July where we will join a rally up the Indonesian coast to Thailand, all the tedious checking in and formalities are done for you.
Anyone fancying doing a bit of sailing with us in 2007, do email us during the next 5 months and we can talk about how, when and where!