Lavena Coastal Walk, Fiji

We’ve just come back from a phenomenal week in Taveuni, Fiji with a couple old friends. What a trip!

Inter-island travel
We took a 12-seater propellor plane from Fiji’s international airport in Nadi to Taveuni

I’d picked Taveuni, out of the 300 Fijian islands, because of its fame as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ (Jacques Cousteau). What we didn’t realize – and reveled in – is that Taveuni, also known as the Garden Island, is a quiet slice of haven still quite set back in time and away from the bustle and smog of city life. The island is 42km long and 10km wide, and has only 18,000 or so inhabitants who mostly stay in small villages dotted around the lush land. There are two small towns with grocery stalls, but most of the villagers grow their own crops, rear their own animals, and catch their own fish. There isn’t much to do in town, and there are only a couple restaurants that the locals frequent.

We spent most of our time on land lounging around our resort anyway. Nakia Resort & Dive, a small eco resort with 4 bures (Fijian word for wooden and straw huts) and a maximum of 12 guests. The week we were there, there were just 6 of us, and our routine was that we’d wake up at sunrise for an early breakfast before going diving. In the afternoon, we’d come back to a late but hearty lunch, then lounge around by the pool or the hammock with a book in hand. In the evenings, we’d gather for more food and drink, spend a couple of hours comfortably chatting or playing some board or card games, then retire to bed by the moonlight. Rinse and repeat.

We did spend a day poking around the north-eastern part of the island though, on the Lavena Coastal Walk:

Lavena Coastal Walk
Visitors can choose to do a roundtrip walk (13km) to the waterfalls and back. We took a boat one way – the lazier, but infinitely more fun option
Piglets
The villagers typically keep a vegetarian diet, but rear animals for meat for special occasions
Lavena Coastal Walk waterfall
Wainibau Falls, the highlight of our walk. To get to the falls, we actually have to wade / swim our way through strong current. But the water was most refreshing

DSC07281

Wendy and Chris Lavena Coastal Walk
Along the trek back, we passed by little villages and tons of banana, kava, cassava trees / plants
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