Herewith, I continue my narrative from the fantastically fascinating Fijian islands and atolls.
Quick reminder: Fiji looks like this:
The next island we landed on was Taveuni.
These are the first settlements we came across. Not much fantastically fascinating Fijian here, but the nearer to the center the houses get bigger and decidedly better-heeled.
Love this registration plate:
Next up – the Tavoro Waterfalls. Very photogenic. And you can have a dip in the lake below. You can’t swim into the falling water without breathing apparatus (the water’s too fast and heavy), but you can swim behind it. Sadly no pics thereof (repeat note to self: buy waterproof camera!).
Here’s a green wall. That is, covered with several layers of lush overgrowth:
That’s what you get here: greenness everywhere because it rains so much.
Another tourist attraction we couldn’t pass up on was the 180th meridian – the line of longitude that ‘splits the world in two’ (so it roundness fits neatly onto rectangle maps) and is used as the basis of the International Date Line. The 180th meridian and the Date Line differ as the former is a straight line from the North to the South Pole, while the latter wiggles around it so as not to split territories’ time zones up by a full 24 hours. Apparently here the Date Line was once the same as the 180th meridian across the island. You used to be able to take one step east and it was yesterday, and a step back and you’re back to today, or the other way round. That must have been fun for a while (48-hour birthday with a few tweaks to your location?! Two New Year’s Eves?!!…), but pretty soon the locals hated it so they moved the Date Line out into the sea – as they did right the way along it at different times to maneuver round other land masses.
When was this pic taken? Today or yesterday or tomorrow?! How can I be here today and also here yesterday/tomorrow? Boggling!
Where am I? Today or yesterday? At the International Date Line this is a good question. For the first time in my business travels I had a flight from today to yesterday: we departed on March 29 and landed on March 28. It was fun to have two Thursdays! | Где я: сегодня или вчера? Это очень уместный вопрос на линии перемены дат. По пути у меня впервые случился перелёт из сегодня во вчера: вылетели 29 марта, а приземлились 28-го. Так у меня получилась 8-дневная неделя с двумя четвергами
I think they should have kept the International Date Line here. Imagine the pull for tourists? ‘Come for a week, but actually spend two weeks on the island!’
Random Fuji fabulousness ⇨
In closing – how to get here: It’s a lot easier getting here than, say, to Tahiti and its other French Polynesian neighbors. There are regular routes from several Oz and NZ cities, from Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, San Francisco and Los Angeles. With so many options, I highly recommend a visit if ever you can; you won’t be disappointed, as I hope these pics show.
The rest of the Fiji pics are here.
PS: Briefly – a few words on the security situation in Polynesia and Melanesia, meaning – are they generally safe for tourists to visit. Quick answer: yes, it’s all good.
Security guards are rarely seen, apart from at the airports (like anywhere in the world), and I didn’t see any barbed wire anywhere on any of the islands. And we weren’t told about any security issues on the islands by anyone (if it’s not so safe somewhere, tourists are always warned accordingly).
And safeness of the ocean around the islands… – also all hunky dory: no sharks, no poisonous jellyfish, no sea urchins, nothing but exotic, pacific marine life ).
The locals are all smiling, welcoming and friendly. Everyone you see beams at you and sings ‘Bula!’ (hi) in Fiji, or ‘Iya orana’ in French Polynesia. And when they meet each other there are whoops of joy, gestures and almost hugs!
PPS: I return to the topic of waterproof/underwater cameras; rather – my lack thereof. Please, somebody help me! So far I’ve been recommended a Nikon COOLPIC W300 or an Olympus Tough TG-5. They seem exactly the same to me; will either do? Or is there something else out there I should have a look at?…
That’s all for today folks, but I’ll be back from… tell you in the tomorrow’s post…