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Published: November 22nd 2015
Another beautiful day waking up to the sounds of the water crashing along the sidewall, with the dull roar of ocean rumbling along the Astrolabe reef, which is visible along the entire horizon as though a tsunami was being held back from coming any closer to shore. When we first arrived, I mistook the rumbling sound for a jet, but we haven't seen or heard a plane in days. We haven't even seen a car or a road, as everyone on Ono island and nearby Kavadu Island get around by boat. Between the lack of major transportation and the lack of communications devices, Mango and I find ourselves with loads of extra time to do anything or nothing at all. Though at some point, we normally like to do something.
Today, we took an hour boat ride to a waterfall, which was set back about a half mile on someone's property. Along the way, we passed Chobit's village and stopped at a hospital property and convenient store in Kadavu, both replete with cock-a-doodle-dooing roosters and adorable island puppies that chased the cock-a-startled roosters into submission. Chobit's village was soon to be relocating to a nearby hill, so it had the initial signs of being forgotten. It did, however, manage to have two perfectly painted churches that appeared to be the shiny toys continuing to extract good will from the village inhabitants.
While traveling through the glass-flat bay at top speed, the driver suddenly veered our fiber-glass dinghy into a mangrove outcrop. The mangroves whizzed by, and we dodged a few low hanging branches just in time to consider it a fun adventure rather than necessarily crowing back to the island hospital. At the end of the long mangrove alley lay a once-powder blue boat, now salt stained and barely holding any semblance of the dazzling color it must have once flaunted. Along the shore, a shack perched on top of a lush hill. Our guide, the ever talkative Dee, scampered ahead and paid some bucks to the landowner, since we would be walking on their property to get to a waterfall.
Given our vast experience hiking the mountains in our own neck of the world, it always surprises me when we end up finding a path somewhere that is absolutely nothing like anything we've walked before. This path was certainly one of those. The grass was very tall and the trail was surprisingly not well marked considering we paid a fee to be there. I would've been much more concerned and likely would've turned around if it wasn't for barefooted Dee leading the way. I mean, if she can lead us across this without anything protecting her feet, I guess we could manage tromping in her steps with the warm, squishy protection of our dive booties.
The trail skyrocketed up, then cascaded down, in what seems to be the standard for hiking in Fiji (given similar undulations we scaled during our Resort hike a few days ago). As expected, then, it continued like this for most of the walk.
While we could hear the waterfall before we arrived, I was still taken back by just how idyllic the setting was. Really, there's no reason to describe it. Just imagine exactly what that would look like. Yup, that's is! The waterfall showered a healthy heap of refreshing (ie. cold!) mist from more or less 80 feet above. Though the sun was teasing us mostly from behind the clouds, the pond was the reason for coming here. And so we really didn't think or discuss what to do next. We hopped in!
Indeed, the water was on the cold side. But it also felt invigorating. Mango and I splashed around and had a grand old time. I felt like a little kid in a big, magical bathtub. We swam around, looked for some footing, then tried to get as close to the falls as we could without being thwacked away by the forceful droplets. Then we repeated the sequence. Finally, we agreed we were cold enough and ready to head back to the boat.
The long return ride to the Resort was probably the bumpiest yet - given the formula of one small dinghy crossing a channel that was receiving it's first rainstorm in months - thanks in no small part to Mango and me, otherwise known as "the Rainmakers." But Mango took her sea pills so while we both got tossed around and showered with icy hard rain pellets, we had a pretty fun ride back to our sun-drenched Bure.
And while it was so nice out, we decided to soak in the sun, both by walking along our private beach and by taking out a kayak to explore a mostly calm bay a few hundred yards down the coast. After kayaking, we found ourselves with a couple hours to spare before dinner. Without a doubt, we have found the sweet spot of Fiji time.
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