Thursday, October 31, 2013

Namosi Highlands–November 1, 2013

The day we went on the river trip down the Navua River we all said, “we have got to come back up here just to see the scenery.”  It was beautiful!

Flash forward a couple of months! 

It is a very quiet time at the office and institute.  School is gearing down for summer vacation and the students won’t be back in school until February, so not a lot of interest in what we do.  So it was the perfect time to clean the carpets in our office and the institute.  And so the signs went up – Institute and PEF Office will be closed until Tuesday (Monday is a legal holiday for Diwali) November 5th.

We had some things we had to take care of on Friday morning and when we got back to the office Elder and Sister Tennis told us they were going to go up to the Namosi Highlands, and did we went to come along?  We were in the car before they had a chance to change their minds.

Elder Tennis drove his big 9 passenger van and off we went.  It took the work of three memories to remember which road to take, but we found it.  It was a beautiful blue sky day – my favorite kind.  And the scenery was as good as we remembered it.

Almost at the top we stopped to take some pictures and a bunch of guys came running up – they wanted a ride to the police station.  Good thing we had the big van.  And good thing we gave them a ride because they told us where to turn – if not for them we would probably still be driving.

We took lots of pictures and walked down to where we put in.  There were a bunch of kids having a wonderful summer day playing in the water.  I asked one girl how come they were out of school, were they celebrating Diwali and she said no, they usually only can swim on Sundays, but today they were celebrating “Catholic Sunday”.  We never did figure out what she meant by that.

We ended the evening by going out to eat at the Victoria Café in Suva.  It was a lovely day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Back Road Exploration–October 26, 2013

Saturday, sweet Saturday.  And this will probably be the last week end that we have the 4 wheel drive Toyota Truck.  Little Red is supposed to be back  in working order sometime next week.

Elder and Sister Whitehead were telling Dew about a trip they made this last week, they drove to Nausori and then went up the mountain roads and over to Rikiriki.  They said it was scary fun, scary because it was pelting down rain, but other than that it was fun.

So we checked our our trusty Google map and headed out.  But we didn’t want to drive all the way to Rikiriki so we took another route that would bring us around to Korovau, which is out where we went to see the spinner dolphins.

It was beautiful and the sky was full of patches of blue with big, white, puffy clouds.  We were to go to the river, then across and down the other side.  As we headed down towards the river the road got very tight and you could tell it wasn’t used much.  We stopped and asked about it and learned that Google had left out one small detail – there is no bridge.  The road goes down and you can swim across and it continues up the other side.  We opted against the swimming bit.

As we turned around we saw a man with a small girl who wanted a ride.  We picked them up and he said he was headed for Nausori so we took them the whole way.  He told us he was 42 years old and that the little girl was his granddaughter and she was four and that he also had a 2 year old grandson.  He has two daughters, neither of whom are married and a 19 year old son, and is helping raise his grandchildren and is a farmer.

When he got in the truck he said that they had walked about 7 kilometers to get where we picked them up and that the people in the village told him the transport only went down in the morning and came back in the afternoon and he had missed it.  He said that he told them he thought that we were “LDS Ambassadors” and would give him a ride.  And right he was, although we don’t know how he knew who we were just by looking at the truck.

When we reached Nausori we let them out and decided we would take a backdoor route back to Korovau that takes you past where we saw the spinner dolphins.  The Collins had told us they drove it in a car and it was fine.  I don’t know what their idea of fine is, but it was one bumpy, steep road, but it was beautiful along the way.  We went up and at the top of the mountain we got a good look at the ocean and villages below.  We took picture after picture until we had more than our quota and then we just drove.

Again we found a man dressed in a suit, a Seventh Day Adventist, who was walking down to catch a taxi or transport when the paved road began again, which is a very long way.  And then we were flagged down by another guy who wanted a ride.  He had been out getting meat, and had a plastic bag full that I didn’t spend much time checking out, but that gave the truck a weird odor.

As we got to the paved road the meat man got out and said, “Thanks mate”, to us.  I just giggled, he thought we were Australians.  And as we sped back towards home we passed a couple that we really should have stopped and taken their picture.  It would have been award winner, or good to say the least.

It was a man and a woman walking down the road and she had this huge bundle of firewood on her back and he was following along behind her with one branch!  I about gagged and the fellow with us just laughed.

The blue skies ended and by the time we got back to Suva it was raining again.  All the rivers we saw today were that “red mud” color of rivers in the spring in Southern Utah.  We have had a lot of rain and the rivers are coming up again, but the clear, sparkling water is gone for a while.  Home about 7pm and we were amazed that we were so tired from just sitting in the truck and riding over bumpy roads.  But we enjoyed the scenery a lot.