A Sunday in Savusavu
A Sunday in Savusavu
The promise of another beautiful day was creeping into the dawn sky and giant fruit bats circled over their daytime treetop roost next to our mooring field.
I had awoken around 4.00am and knowing that I wouldn’t sleep anymore in the stifling cabin I closed the door behind me, opened the big windows in the saloon to let in the cool night air and climbed into the cockpit for a look at the night sky. Despite the low level white lights on the shore the starry scene was full of interest. Satellites moving across, the flashing lights of planes, Mars again bold and orange and Orion in the sky further up Nakama Creek poised and pointing directly down onto our friends Jane and Greg in their yacht, Orion.
We had agreed to meet Alison and Randall for an ornithological expedition which killed two birds with one stone (!) for us because since our arrival we had wanted to look over the area from an elevated height.
We scored an impressive 12 birds thanks to Alison’s extensive knowledge of them and her use of a handy small reference book. So here they are;
Numerous lesser Frigate Birds, we recognised having seen them many times before, Fiji Wood Swallows, a common Mynah but not close enough to hear what he was saying, White Rumped Swiftlets, Red-vented Bulbil, Spotted Doves chatting on a telegraph wire, a Wattled Honeyeater nosing into bright purple blossoms, a Polynesian Triller perhaps on his vacation, A fabulous Collared Lory, A Vanikoro Broadbill, an Orange Breasted Mytomela and a Fiji White Eye. Not bad for a morning’s work.
The sightings were hard earned though, the sealed road soon petered into soil and passed some pretty homes clutching the hillside and with ever improving views as we climbed higher up the precipitous track. Only healthy feet and four by fours could make it up here.
One man was putting in a day of labour on a new extension to his home and came over for a chat. He pointed to a bend in the track beyond which we should take a series of directions to convey us to the top where there was a lookout.
Perfect we thought but then around the bend was a choice of tracks, some of which we found led just to peoples’ homes. One was so steep that when we turned to come down again as it would have taken us in for breakfast with an alarmed family, I completely lost it and slid down on my flip flops my hands stretched out behind me gathering soil and acting as breaks. Randall kindly loaned me his blue kerchief to wipe the sweaty soil from them.
We struggled up another promising incline and stopped for a breather and to wipe the sweat from our stinging eyes. But this time we broke through and the reward was worth the effort, as the photos will show. A red soil track wound along the ridge of the hills and we wandered to the other side to have our suspicions confirmed, there was the Pacific, the shore hugging reef and the little tarmac airstrip that serves the island of Taveuni.
Two vehicles went by carrying families likely on their way to or from church or the mosque maybe. We soaked up the views right over Savusavu Bay and far to the east before snooping into the homes of the folk who live on the hill.
Two sermons were being shouted vigorously from within shady rooms but one other sounded more like a man having a row with a silent foe. A lady sat cross legged in the garden under the shade of a tree minding a little girl and escaping the tirade. It was too hot for such vocal exertion.
We found ourselves on the pavement beside a perfectly tarmacked road serving the airport. On the steep hillsides were very upmarket homes, the most affluent we had seen.
Alison and Randall were off to Curly’s three hour seminar in the afternoon and Alison took the pictures of Curly for us. We sat for a refreshing beer at the Waitui Marina and chatted with Pedro who is setting off in Jade soon non-stop for Washington, keeping west to pick up the north Pacific Tradewinds to carry him home. Jade has a few rigging issues which he (and we for him) hope will not worsen on route.
In the evening of this perfect day Greg and Jane from Orion came aboard for supper and we started on our four year catch up. What we had all being up to since we were together on the ARC Portugal Rally in 2014.