Exploring Matei (Taveuni, Fiji)

July 31, 2013

We did find out there was one disadvantage to the Matei anchorage: a wide shelf of coral between us and the shore. At high tide we could motor over it in the dinghy, but any lower and we’d have to tilt up the outboard and bring out the yelling sticks.

That’s what I call the oars because as soon as we start to row as a team, we start bickering. One of us (usually me) is always rowing too much, too little, in the wrong direction, etc. We get into arguments about the definition of “straight ahead.” It never goes well. If I were a divorce attorney, I’d have an advertisement printed on dinghy oars, give them out as free promotional items at boat shows, and wait for the stream of clients to roll in.

We had to figure out where to land and decided on a nice beach fronting a park, the kind of a place where young people gather to play rugby or soccer. After being assured by some young men that it was fine to leave a dinghy there, we walked up to the street to explore. This whole area had the feeling of a resort as one landscaped area blended into another, while about a million palm trees surrounded it all.

We walked to check out the local market, Bhula Bhai & Sons. It was small but pretty good once we started poking around. Unfortunately they don’t have produce aside from onions, garlic and potatoes. While it was possible to get a cab down to Somosomo for their produce stalls, not having good meat was a problem. We’d have to stick to our plan to return to Savusavu in a few days to restock.

We also checked out the two small markets down the street to see what they had. These tiny, one-room places are always worth ducking into as you never know what you’ll find. We noted the occasional passing cab; so we felt assured we’d be able to get transportation to the waterfall.

After returning to find our dinghy undisturbed on the beach, and noticing that while the breeze had picked up, we only had small movement on the boat, we felt comfortable about leaving the boat for a day trip to the waterfall tomorrow.

Below, a gallery of pictures from our trip ashore, starting with the view of the shoreline from our boat. –Cyndi

P.S. Good idea Cyndi…

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