Monday, December 19, 2016

The Wananavu, Totoka, Upper Navua...




Our adventure began in the Upper Navua Conservation Area...


The area is a pristine and verdant area. The forest seemed untouched for years, unspoilt by mankind...


As we make our way down to the Navua River, we are told that the locals believed that the river is the "River of Eden" and it leads a pathway directly to their ancestors...


I always had a stereotypical impression of Fiji - sandy beaches, blue seas and the rolling hills (like the ones we hope to see on the Nausori Highlands), but this kind of place was a true revelation. The Upper Navua area has been free from subsistence farming and that has preserved the natural habitat here...



We carefully make our way down - the path is very slippery...


Bamboos, ferns, banyans and all kinds of vegetation is to be found here...


We descend nearly 50 metres...


And we make it to the river. Here we get safety instructions and we are teamed up with a couple from San Jose, California. We are led by an experienced local hand, Moses Batirua, a sturdy Fijian, who knows this area like the back of his palm...


And the adventures begin with the first inflatables floating out and we can hear shrieks of joy, or probably fear...

The Upper Navua snakes though the base of a narrow canyons, which are 50 metres deep. The wonder of Nature that it is, we were told that over millions of years, the river has sliced straight through volcanic rock...


We raft down the Navua, and driven by the powerful flow of the river. The scary bits were bumping against sheer cliff faces. And the real revelation were the numerous waterfalls that we passed by, that gush out with an incredible force. There are over 50 waterfalls - small and fairly large, in the Upper Navua...


At some places, the passage seems barely wide enough for our inflatables to pass through...



The river seems quite muddy, perhaps due to the heavy rains that have been happening over the last few days...



Cheering after clearing a particularly intense rapid...


Wananavu kei na totoka, or amazing and beautiful...





Moses keeps us entertained as we are propelled down...


Another waterfall...




A small waterfall...




And that was one powerful waterfall...



A series of waterfalls...



Say bula...





And we rowed straight through the waterfall...




A high-five...



Kayaking...



Going for it...




Breaking for lunch...


Fruit, tuna, bread and spreads...


The crew...



And off we go...





A particularly rough rapid...




A short video of our drive up to the starting point and few sequences from the incredible journey down the Upper Navua...

As we are heading back to Nadi, we feel incredibly humbled by the amazing beauty of Fiji. And more specifically, we can only say wananavu, totoka Fiji or wonderful, beautiful Fiji...



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