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A Great Holiday Destination On A Heavenly Fiji Island: Taveuni

I’ve traveled to a a lot of places in the world and now: Taveuni in Fiji is one of my favorite destinations. It’s heaven on earth. When I research  for a holiday it normally takes me a couple of weeks: going on  the internet, finding chat lines, falling down internet-worm-holes, contacting my global crew of friends for tips…  and this time the info I kept getting was:  “Go to Fiji and if you go, make sure you get off the main island. Go to an outa island and  see the real Fiji.” Taveuni, the garden Island kept flashing up again as the place to go.

So, I rented a cute house with a pool (that didn’t cost a fortune) Villa Sekoula, but you can find other accommodation here.

Here are some pictures from my holiday.

Bulla, our helper in the house will take you into town to buy food which she will then cook. This fresh fish was about $5. We found eating in restaurants in Fiji really expensive for a family of four, so Bulla cooked at home for us (  cooking included with the house rental).

Below was a market stall in town to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Everybody grows their own vegetables in Taveuni; it looked like people popped into town to sell their extras.

There was so much to do in Taveuni  apart from sitting on a beach. There were so many magical waterfalls to visit and – no one was there! Below is a couple of pictures. The bottom picture is a natural rock-slide that falls into another waterfall filled with other happy little fish. (Make sure you get a guide that will show you how to navigate the slides and jump into the pools.) Cino helped us out and  he was a good taxi driver too. TEL: 9846899.

Things to do:

1. Bouma Falls: Spend a morning here. Unless you’re geriatric – walk up to all three waterfalls. Take snacks and water as by the time you get to the third waterfall,  you’ll need to munch on something to replenish your energy  to get back down. Maria ( who works in the office where you buy a ticket to see the waterfalls) can prepare you a great lunch positioned by a river for your return. Here is her number : 78507113/78204709  (Maria  has 8 boys and doesn’t earn a lot of money so if you have any spare second hand boys clothes, takes them with you and give them to her as a gift: she will be even happier to see you.)

2. Wairiki Mission: If you are on Taveuni on a Sunday – this is a must! I’m not religious but sitting crossed legged on the church floor listening to everyone  singing stunning a cappella hymns,  was a truly a religious moment. Near here is the International dateline marker. A dateline cuts right through Fiji. To make life easier though – they have put Fiji, all on one time. If you go, it is the only place in the world where you can place one foot in yesterday and one in today.

3. Lavena Coastal walk: You walk through a local village, along a stunning coast line and arrive at another magical waterfall. You have to  swim up a shallow river to get to it. Take a guide, they will show you how to jump into the waterfall and maneuver your way onto another, natural, stone water-slide. Take a snack, get your guide to bring a fresh coconut to share. Another thing you can do from here is take a boat or canoe  up the coast to view more waterfalls.

There are heaps of other things to do too and I wished we had spent two weeks there instead of 8 days. You can go horse riding, diving and pick a sacred flower: The Tagimoucia. They grows in only two places on the planet, Taveuni and a mountain top in Nepal. If you are taking small kids to Taveuni check out this website: Fiji magic. They have great stories about Fiji, personally I would print them out and use them as bed time tales.

Below pictures of:Wairiki Mission & the inside of Villa Sekoula and the view from the villa’s lounge.

Villa Sekoula is in Matei (north of the island). It’s a great village, super chilled. It has good snorkeling just off the coast and on the 2nd and 3rd Islands nearby. Our house came with kayaks so we would kayak and snorkel around the islands at leisure. If your looking for huge white sandy beaches, this isn’t the beach area for you. I met a tourist who raved about the Mananuca Islands as they had those kind of beaches.

And what made this place extra special? The people!  Below is a policeman! Also pictures of: houses in the local village and Seppo who cleaned our pool at the house and  then turned up on the last night to make us a Lovo ( special meal cooked in the ground). His friends then arrived and we drank kava sitting on a straw mat on the floor,  whilst they all sung and played music till midnight.

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What you will find in Fiji Taveuni

I always like going into supermarkets when I visit different countries to see what the quirky differences are. In Turkey they sell a lot of self-waxing kits. In the USA I found aisles filled with plastic slabs (the size of cushions) containing breakfast cereal ( often multicolored). In Fiji I found canned sheep and missionary workers.

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Facebook buys Instagram: Waiting for Mr Right

I love Instagram for taking pictures on my iPhone. Check out this picture I took today in Shanghai of a sticky note I found stuck to a shop wall.  Maybe if you help to spread this post, we could help her find Mr Right.

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Meet my Himalayan Pussy from Hong Kong: Boo (and find an animal of your own to love)

I was never into cats, much preferred dogs. I always found cats too independent and they never seemed to give enough love… but then I found Boo in Hong Kong and I  think she is actually a dog, in a Himalayan cat-suit.

She was sick in the pet shop with a shitty bottom when I found her. I would go in and visit her everyday, hold her lovingly and  hoped that I could transfer life into her.  When my husband said maybe we should get  a friend for Maisey (our independent and unloving cat) I didn’t say anything, but jumped straight out of bed and I was at Boo’s pet shop early that morning waiting for it to open.

At the vets with my newly bought Boo on my lap, a man sitting next to me was very excited: he had a Himalayan  cat too and showed me a picture of what Boo would look like when she grew up. The picture freaked me out. I couldn’t believe my cute little thing could turn into the monster below.

Now two year later, with a pretty version of the hairy Garfield above, I’m a confirmed cat lover and  I think: Himalayan cats rock!

But – please don’t get me wrong. I love our Scottish Fold cat Maisey as well, but I only  get to be nice to her when I put her food on the floor and give her a quick stroke. Also I would not suggest buying pets from pet shops: find a reputable breeder instead or go to the SPCA in Hong Kong, they have lots of animals who are in desperate need of a good home. Or go to this great website: HK Animals Speak. It will tell you of all the animal welfare organizations in Hong Kong, where loving animals are in need of your help. Or, If you live in Shanghai go to this website, Second Chance Animal Aid. Or if you live somewhere else in the world just Google: pets in need of a home (and your country).

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China and Hong Kong Pets

I must say, the dressing-up of pets I do find interesting here. When I lived in Hong Kong there was even a cafe where you could have a latte  whilst your dog was served a doggy pizza. On Saturdays the cafe pumped like a fashion show, girls  oooed and ahhhed at the best-dressed pooches and birthdays were also celebrated with doggy birthday cakes and candles. I would take tourists there as part of my alternative Hong Kong, tour-guide service. In China and Hong Kong they also  put shoes on their dogs: they don’t like their feet to get their dirty. You will also see dogs in prams.

But the best fashion-prize must go to a neighbor of mine in Shanghai, who makes panties for her dog out of g-strings.

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Hanggai: Good Mongolian Throat Gurglers

If your into  going out and seeing bands, look out for this Chinese one from Beijing: Hanggai. They are highly entertaining using throat gurgling, horse-hair fiddles and  they wear fabulous outfits (that I am sure they go to the pub in). I saw them at the Black Rabbit Festival, live in Shanghai, with other local and international acts but: they travel the world. Check out their Myspace page and go and see them if they are playing near you. I think they’re Stars!

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Cupping: Chinese medicinal therepy for backache.

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Yesterday in Vietnam, I saw this woman selling fruit. Today, she had transformed – with dragon looking scales all over her back.

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October 6, 2011 · 9:24 am