There is so much amazing things to do in Fiji, yet still I felt homesick for Samoa while there. It had a taste of the Pacific, yet was so different. The best part of my trip definitely took place in the Pacific Ocean. We scuba dove 5 different days seeing so many amazing things, yet we still weren’t at the best diving sites in Fiji.
If you do go to Fiji, here are four of my highlights from my trip to help you plan:
Sand Dunes at Sigatoka- At the sand dunes they offer 2 hikes, one taking an hour and the other two hours. I enjoyed this so much I actually went twice, once with my siblings and Kimora, a JICA volunteer in Samoa, and then back again by myself to see what else I missed by only doing the shorter trail. The shorter hike takes you on the “tame dune” as much grass and vegetation has grown on top of it, yet you are still hiking through the hills of sand from the Sigatoka River. It leads you dune climbing to the ocean where the waves are stronger than imaginable and back through the sand forest. For the two hour hike, which I made the mistake of going at the heat of the day, you are lead on beautiful bird trails until you reach the most fantastic site. The untamed dunes are incredible! They are so big and wonderful. There felt like there were kilometers of hills of sand, and only me exploring them. I attempted to climb them, and learned that after a running start, it still is difficult. There was only one other set of footprints in the area and I truly enjoyed leaving my mark everywhere I went to. In the sand I saw pottery that has been left there for hundreds of years. It was unbelievable and a must see in Fiji!
Cave Tour -Although there were many other perks of taking this tour, such as seeing a traditional village and riding on a bilibili (bamboo traditional raft), exploring the cave was awesome! The Fijians who had an enemy used to used to use this cave to protect themselves from their enemies in the time of cannibalism (their religion before the time of missionaries). In the cave there is an area called the pregnancy gap, where the river running through is extremely high. In order to enter the cave you have to crawl through with basically only your head sticking out of the water. To avoid being eaten by enemies, they would have the water flow stronger, so the cannibals could not enter.
Arts Village Tour-On this tour we got a hint of what life was like in the past, which showed me the most similarities to Samoa, except I think cannibalism was bigger in Fiji than it was in Samoa. Tribes would start wars with each other when the village chief wanted more mistresses, and they would fight until every man died. The women and children were on the side watching. The beautiful women of the losing side were kept as mistresses for the chief, the ugly ones died. The children were tied to trees for other children to be killed and eaten by the winning tribe’s children.
Robinson Crusoe Island-They have by far the best fire dancing in the world. Samoa is where fire dancing began, but after sharing it with all Pacific islands, they have helped to perfect it. I saw such amazing fire juggling as the Fijians did acrobatic stunts. It was incredible!
Fiji is a great place to visit, and it has helped me to realize how different each Pacific country is, even though they have many similarities.
(Pictures are of the beginning of an ava ceremony, the most amazing fire dancing show, fire walking, the entrance to the cave, and the sand dunes.)