Wednesday, August 14, 2013


It had been a great week at Viani Bay, but we needed to stock up on a few supplies, so we sailed back across the Somosomo Strait to the island of Taveuni. I rowed Vicki ashore, where she could catch a taxi to the supermarket, while I kept watch aboard the boat in case of a change in the weather or a problem with the anchor. After she returned, we headed for the south end of the island and a completely different experience. Based on recommendations from our friends on The Rose and Legacy, we decided to pick up the mooring in front of the small Paradise Resort. The owners, Allan and Terri, gave us a warm welcome and encouraged us to enjoy the resort's amenities, including pool, restaurant, dive operation, and lovely grounds. The next morning, Vicki had a nice massage at the waterfront bure, while I returned for a second visit to Nabogiono Farms, only 3km down the road. Bobby agreed to show me the parts of his farm that we had missed the first time around, including his eco-friendly farming operation and a patch of primary rainforest toward the upper end of his property. While we didn't see as many birds as on the first outing, it was very interesting to learn about the wide variety of plants that Bobby tends, both natural and horticultural species. For example, I got to taste cocoa beans (you just suck the outside of the bean, the bean itself is bitter until processed), and heart of palm. This was the first time I had seen kava being grown. It takes from 3 to 5 years before it is ready to harvest. Here's a fiddlehead on a tree fern. At the end of the tour, Bobby invited me to lunch with his wife Jiu. It turns out she is originally from Vanua Balavu, one of the more remote islands that we had visited a few weeks ago. On our way back to the resort, Bobby showed me this enormous raintree that local villagers had attempted to cut down. He stood up to them in protest, as it was the last large tree along this section of the highway, and they had grudgingly backed down. This was a poignant reminder of the challenges Fiji faces in conserving its precious natural resources. Hopefully more people like Bobby will become involved with conservation and sustainable practices.

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