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Published: January 5th 2008
Rafting down the Upper Navua river was excellent! I don't know if there's that much more to say really. Well, OK, here's a little bit more...
This was another one day expedition with Rivers Fiji. It was great fun and I would recommend it to anyone. I guess it’s not the cheapest but in my opinion well worth the money. We set off from the Rivers Fiji office in Pacific Harbour and again (see the Luva River kayaking trip in September) headed into the Namosi highlands. It took a couple of hours to get to the starting point and then we had to grab a paddle and do a short hike down to the place we would be setting off from on the river. It was quite muddy and a reasonably hilly short walk, so I was already quite dirty and warm (read: sweaty) by the time we got to the waters edge. This was a trip I was doing with the rucksack club so there were about 22 of us altogether. We were split into 4 rafts of 5 or 6 people each and a guide who acted as the steerer and sat at the back with two huge
paddles to control (we hoped) the raft. Looking at the brown colour of the river water we knew we did not want to be drinking too much of this stuff. And then without further ado we set off for our ride.
The best parts were the rapids, one including a two metre drop which really made the heart flutter! The scenery was also beautiful all the way down and we must have gone past at least five or six waterfalls, some of which were pretty big (see pictures for scale). Our guide turned out to be an expert steerer of the raft and we encountered no problems at all. In fact, a lot of the fun was had when he deliberately turned the raft round and round as we went down fast flowing rapids. Like being on a ride in an amusement park. Really good fun.
Eventually we got quite hot from the paddling and the sun, so there was only one thing for it - yes, we all jumped in. The water was quite warm and so we floated (at a good pace) down the river with our raft behind us. No effort involved whatsoever. Lots of
fun. Getting hauled back into the raft head first and arse over legs was also quite amusing, if not very dignified!
All good things come to an end though and so did our rafting adventure. I was fairly tired but very happy. We bundled into a bus for the ride home just in time as it started raining fairly heavily. I was just about dozing off to sleep when we came to a halt. Slight problem, the river crossing ahead was overflowing and impassable. Hmmm, I think at this stage we were all thinking the same thing: this might turn out to be more of an adventure than we had bargained for and have I packed enough food for the night :-) However, the driver of our bus was not particularly worried and decided that we simply had to wait until the water fell to about shin height. At the moment the torrential flow was more like thigh high but the guides assured us that the height of the water would drop in half an hour or so. And it did. The crossing was still a little nail-biting (or exciting - depending on what your perspective is on getting
swept away by a river). At least it made the trip back a memorable one!
I got back to Suva ready for a hot shower and bed - but only got as far as the shower as before I could get any rest I was dragged out to a friend’s birthday party - they really had to twist my arm ;-)
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