Published: April 28th 2008April 28th 2008
Last Saturday I headed out with the Rucksack Club for a day on the Navua River, about 45 mins from Suva.
We headed out on longboats for about an hour upriver - passing by villages, fisherman, cows and the odd underwater excavator.
We stopped for lunch at a waterfall about a 5 minute walk from the main river. To get to the second waterfall we had to walk through the stream - sometimes with the water up to our chests - but it was worth it for a refreshing swim under a 20m high waterfall.
Back on board the longboats we headed down river to catch our bilibili. A bilibili is a traditional Fijian raft made from bamboo posts and tied together with rope. You steer a bilibili standing up with a long bamboo pole - quite similar to a Venetian gondola but without the cheesy version of O Sole Mio.
With 25 of us on the bilibili it made for some slow travelling and naturally the bilibili sat a bit lower in the water than normal resulting in a few unsteady moments when our guide jumped from one side to the other to steer us away
from rocks and submerged trees. So when the option came to abandon the bilibili and float down the river with only our Mickey Mouse lifejackets for protection I literally jumped at the chance. The river flows at quite a good pace so there wasn't much effort involved. It was a very relaxing swim.
When we came upon the first set of baby rapids, we were a little hesitant. But after one brave person ventured forth we all followed after and by the third rapid we were enjoying the little obstacle courses.
I could have quite happily floated all the way back to Navua but in order to be back before dark we reboarded the longboats and puttered back to Navua with a stop at a village handicraft stall on the way.
There are more photos below