Monday, November 4, 2013

Cave Safari–November 4, 2013

Diwali was on Sunday, but Monday was the holiday.  And with our carpets still drying we had a free day.  The Christiansens work in the temple and they also had Monday off so we went together out to Sigatoka and took the Jeep/Cave Safari.  Same company as the jet boat trip up the river, and we started the tour at the same place.

We no sooner had we got to the place where our tour was to begin and the tap was turned on and the rains came.  To get to the cave we had to cross the river so they had us pile into a jet boat and took us across, or we could swim over…not.  Our group was the four of us, a couple from Australia and a single girl who is in the Australian navy.

On the other side of the river we loaded into a four wheel drive safari car and off we went along one of the narrow back roads.  We drove through one of the villages and you have to remove your hats when you enter the village and can put them back on when you leave.  The little kids all came running out to get a lolly as they call them and to high five us.  So cute.

Up we went to the tops of the mountain where we had a condensed version of the Kava ceremony.  Our tour leaders didn’t seem any more excited to do it than we were to watch it again, so it was short and sweet. And then we hiked down to the cave.  It was a lovely walk, with huge banana trees and bamboo all along the way.

The cave was used by the natives as a place of safety for the women and children during their battles, and there were a few battles fought inside the cave.  To enter you have to get down, practically on your knees and crab walk sideways to get past the low rocks at the entrance.  It is a limestone cave and we waded through water to get in.

Inside they talked about a high shelf where they warriors would wait in ambush for their enemies to have to shimmy their way in.  Inside there is a huge natural cave like structure in the rock which they called “the oven”.  Seems after they killed their enemies they threw them in the oven and roasted them and feasted – Yum!  These groups were some of the last to give up their cannibalism.

As we left the cave it had begun to rain quite hard again and our native host pulled some huge leaves off for us to use as umbrellas.  I felt like something from a Disney movie as we walked along under our leaf umbrellas.

Lunch followed – sandwiches which were very nice and they even had grilled onions to put on them.  Then back into the vehicle for a wet ride back to the river.  The windshield was folded down and the rain hitting your face stung a bit, but it was fun.

As the jet boat came to ferry us back across Dew told him he thought he ought to give us a couple of boat spins so we could get the most for our money.  And he said, “okay, one for the Aussies and one for the Americans”.  So we did a couple of spins, then climbed back into the van still dripping wet and headed back to our car.

We finished the evening with a stop at Pacific Harbor where we wanted to visit Baca Blues for dinner, but it was closed so we ate at the Oasis Café.  Not even close in taste – won’t go back there again.

Drove back and made it home by 9:30pm, slightly damp, with muddy feet, and tired from a fun day.

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