A Pleasant Evening in the Malaka Anchorage (Vanua Balavu, Fiji)

September 17, 2013

After we returned to our anchorage in Malaka Bay, we were able to relax and leave the earlier stressful part of the day behind us. Well, we did have one small worrisome surprise. We knew we were anchored near a runway and that planes fly over this bay, but who’d imagine they’d fly so low? We thought we were well out of the way, but it seems not so much. It was rather unnerving, I’m sure for the pilot as well as for us. Luckily there aren’t very many flights here. Below, a clip of the plane coming in for a landing.

Later in the afternoon, we decided to head into Malaka Village and see how long it would take us to get to the bus stop (for tomorrow’s early morning trip to Lomaloma, the main town on the other side of this island). With the convenient ramp belonging to the Department of Fisheries and Forests building, the landing was easy. The village sits right behind all that, along a dirt road that heads inland from the shore.

As we walked, we noticed the village was off to one side of the road. The other side had low grassy hills scattered with pine trees along with the usual palms. I’d been worried about walking here without a sulu (Fijian skirt) or being told we need to do a sevusevu ceremony for this village. Sam had told us that since we’d done the sevusevu in Dalconi, we didn’t need to worry about it in this village. I had a sneaking suspicion, though, these villagers might not agree. Seeing that the road went alongside the village and not smack through the middle, I felt better.

In all it was a very pleasant walk, the sun low and golden and the village very quiet (nap time? dinner time?). Below, a few shots from our walk through the village and the government buildings next to the shore. (Click to enlarge/scroll through galleries that follow.)

In the evening we had our usual sundowners in the cockpit, and by now the day had gone from being trying to very lovely. The sunset was beautiful along with the full bright moon hovering above. Venus came out shining brightly as a finale to this beautiful show. Below, a few photos.

This was one of those evenings we didn’t want to leave the cockpit, waiting as twilight became dusk, and dusk became dark. Life was good again.–Cyndi

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