The end of the coastal road, the track turns inland
and heads for the main town of Labasa which is one of the main sugar plantation
areas of Fiji.
Slash and burn, no forest left. Unfortunately done
at the instigation of colonial Britain. Britain also brought in the indentured
labourers who were all Indian and now represent over 50% of the population of
Fiji. Something that is giving the Fijians concern and results in a biennial
coup. 97% of the land is owned by the state and can not be purchased. Basically
native trust land that only Fijians can live on. The other 3% can be bought by
anyone and the Indian population are now starting to feel the squeeze from hotel
chains coming in. It all sounds tough but there is no visible sign of unrest or
animosity. The entire population of the northern island seem to be happy and
content. Not so sure about the south.
The farming area is extremely well structured. Most
farms are small holdings similar to paddy farming. This entire valley is criss
crossed with narrow gauge rail tracks, the same tracks and carriages that were
installed by the Brits without doubt, that carry the small holding produce to
town. All sugar of course.