Day 2: Crows Nest to Suva
A 7am start and we continued around the Coral Coast to another little town where we hopped into a truck that looked like it had been used to transport soldiers in WWII. We drove about half an hour over veritable goat-tracks up to the base of the highlands - plus a bit.
Then we walked. And walked. And walked. Two hours along open tracks in blistering heat, stiflingly dense rainforest, relievingly cool streams, and down the steep side of a mountain with the aid of a hand-rope, to the Navua river. Quickly ate lunch, then into inflated inner tubes and floated down the river over rapids to a waterfall where we swam in a rock-pool and jumped off a three or four metre platform. Then it was into "longboats" for the half-hour ride back to the bus. It gives you a bit of an appreciation for how far you trek when the outboard-motor boat takes a good half hour to do the trip back!
We saw some amazing and beautiful country, grass fires, rain storms and river dredging by half-submerged machinery. One thing that occurs to me now is that you frequently encounter people in Fiji. There is not much time between one village and the next.
That night we bunked in a hostel in Suva, the capital of Fiji. The hostel was more like a home-stay except there were 20 or 30 beds in one dorm. For dinner, we gathered at a restaurant in town called the "Bad Dog Bar". It was pretty good - food too - and had a bar attached. Played pool against some of the locals. Dave, an American who had come over from Melbourne, and I played pretty well. We won a few games. Stayed until closing with half a dozen of the group, knocking off around 1am.