Blog, Fiji

The Lau Group – Eastern Fiji

The Lau group is a group of islands to the East of Fiji. The islands are fairly remote from the two big main Islands and the pace of life is much slower here. The distance from the main islands and limited transport mean they receive very few visitors. Our first stop in the Lau group was at the village of Daliconi on Vanuabalavu,

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We presented our sevusevu gift of kava to the chief and were given permission to wander around the village and explore it’s surrounds. For the sevusevu ceremony it is polite for the men to wear a sulu, which is basically a skirt, so Amy lent Matt one of hers. Very fetching…

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Meeting the 83 year old chief!
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It’s not a skirt, it’s a sulu… 
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Once they had got over their fright of strangers, we had some very enthusiastic tour guides. The list of sites included the beach, pig pens and “where we put the dead people”.
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There were no TV’s to distract these kids from playing outside together. No plastic tat, just a rugby ball, and couple of  handmade toy boats (a block of wood on a string). Yet they radiated with such happiness and contentment, we left feeling they could teach the ‘developed’ world a thing or two. 

The bay of islands, just around the corner from the village was one of THE places we were most excited about seeing in Fiji. By setting off from New Zealand at the start of May we were slightly early in the season so there were only 2 other yachts in the area. The dramatic mushroom shaped rock pinnacles create a maze of hidden anchorages and coves in intense shades of blue and green. There are endless intricate channels between the rocks to be explored by kayak and dinghy.

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This is the kind of view we conjured up in our minds eye when dreaming about this trip. The water was calm and clear enough to see turtles and shoals of fish from up here.
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The mushroom shaped rocks offer no opportunity for getting ashore in the bay, but they are very pretty.
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Florence posing
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Even on a grey day this place is spectacular
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For scale, the right hand rock is taller than Florence’s mast
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What better location for a spot of dinghy sailing? In reality the wind was shifty and full of holes and a lot of concentration was required not to run aground.
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Exploring the channels between the rocks in the kayak. Occasionally a turtle would pop its head up for a breath.
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Relaxing after a hard day exploring

We paddled into one cove and came upon a huge colony of huge bats known as flying foxes. You can really see the resembelence to a fox when you see them up close.

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Umm, they eat fruit right?? That one is definitely looking at me…
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The noise of thousands of bats up close was deafening

After the Bay of Islands we sailed north around the main island and found this stunning bay.

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With no way to get ashore here, the best way to get a good view and some perspective was up the mast

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Can you see Matt down there in the kayak?
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What do you mean you want to come down from the mast now? I’ve just got comfy here…

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The water was so clear that there was no need to get in with a snorkel, we could just look over the side of the kayak.

The views here have been stunning and that is one side of Fiji that we set out to find. The other side is the human side. We are keen to get a real taste for village life in a remote area of Fiji to meet the people behind the “Bula”s and the big smiles. So next we plan to to go somewhere even yachts rarely visit, an island one overnight sail to the south west.

 

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4 thoughts on “The Lau Group – Eastern Fiji”

  1. What an amazing trip. Fiji has always appealed to me. Is there any language problems or does everyone speak a bit of English?

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  2. OMG…what an amazing experience! You must feel like you are on a spacecraft of discovery, albeit your very own! Thanks for the time to share this with all. To see it through your eyes (words) only adds to the allure…

    Like

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