June 29, 2012

Rainforest of Taveuni!!!

We started our adventure at the crack of dawn with another beautiful day of sunshine. It had rained hard during the night and this usually gives you nice weather the following day in this part of the world according to Jack .

Jack had offered to take care of Super Dink while we went on our island adventure for the day since he needed to do a little shopping in town anyways. We picked him up along with Petr and Sara and were on our way across the channel for the 8 mile trip to Taveuni.

The seas were calm which kept us all dry on the way over during the 30 minute ride. I let everyone off on the beach with all our bags and then anchored SD out a ways and somehow managed to get back to the beach with dry pants until I realized I left my flip flops in SD……I waded back out to get my shoes and on the way back in turned into Capt. Grumpy wet pants.

Jack found us a taxi driver to take us around the island and soon we were on our way down the bumpy road to Bouma National Park. Raymond was our driver for the day in his 10 year old Toyota four wheel drive super cab that had several hundred thousand miles on it. The guide book had claimed there was a sealed road to the park but this soon deteriorated into a one lane gravel road. We bounced along for over an hour down this muddy road to the park and I think Raymond got a kick out of driving right through the middle of the biggest mud puddles he could find to see how big a splash he could make! As we drove around to the east side of the island the rain started, not a heavy rain but a steady slow rain and it never stopped.

We passed trough several small villages along the way and people were out walking around like rain was part of their usual day. I guess when you get his much rain you can just wait for it to stop to get anything done or else nothing would get done, not like much gets done on an island anyways. Life here is simple and the men walk around with machetes which help provide for them with what they need out of the rain forest.

We finally made it to the park and were the only ones crazy enough to hike on this soggy morning. The trail headed off up the valley to the first of three waterfalls. The path was well maintained with recently trimmed grass and 30 minutes later we arrived at the roaring falls. With all this rain the river was really flowing and the falls were crashing over the cliffs. It was amazing the amount of wind and mist that blew off the base of the falls as the water tumbled down.

 The next falls were an hour up river over the steep muddy mountains. At least there were steps cut into the hills and good footing was never hard to find. We arrived at the second falls soaking wet and by the time we got the third falls we were totally drenched. The third falls were definitely worth the effort of getting there and the trail bought you right to a nice pool at the base.

After the hike we had lunch at the park entrance and then headed back to town. On the way back we gave away toys and candy to all the kids we saw along the road and stopped at a roadside stand and bought a few fresh vegetables. We had waited until Monday to make the trip so we could do some shopping, but it turned out it was a national holiday being the Kings birthday and all the markets were closed. So much for Jack’s shopping trip….At least he found us gas for SD at a mere $7.00 per gallon.

This was the end of clear weather for diving so we headed north the next morning to the next islands.

In our next adventure we will be exploring Rabi Island
Until then live your dreams!! Peace!! Pete and Daria