Thursday, January 03, 2008

Peter's excellent adventure in babasiga land

from w
Go to Ball of Dirt website for an entry about Korovatu Beach and also visiting the snake-god temple near Labasa.
Cobra rock, Korovatu beach, and a Sunday off

Friday 16th Sept I drove back over from Savusavu and I went to Cobra Rock with Vijay and his family. It was a very strange sight. A huge boulder growing up through the floor of a Hindu temple. Covered in garlands. The temple decorations were very colourful. We went for lunch at the New World Supermarket Cafe and Vijay helped me buy a phonecard for cheap calls that does work. Vijay offered to show me Korovatu beach which is the best public beach on the island, most of the good beaches now belong to various upmarket resorts so there is not much choice for an independent traveller like me. We decided to meet up and go there tomorrow as it was getting a bit late and also his other children who were at school were keen to meet me. The journey back to the hotel was straightforward as the road is becoming familiar and I know I must turn left at the end of the pine forest to stay on the Savusavu road. It feels good getting it right at last almost feel like a local.

Saturday 17th Sept Drove back over to Labasa again a bit later after doing some shopping in town and collecting my laundry. I met up with Vijay and his family and they took me to Korovatu beach. It is situated at the back of a farm and the farmer maintains the beach and charges an entrance fee of $5 per car. There are picnic tables and little straw covered shelters and also showers and changing facilities. I met Vijay's older children Shayal and Vinal. They were very quiet at first but eventually livened up and they both spoke good English. We bought takeaways from New World and had a picnic and bathed in the sea which was like a warm bath. I showed the children how to build sand castles and we had a great time. On the way back we stopped at Vijays relatives farm (It was his dead brothers father in law I think).I didn't catch his name but he was a very upright older Indian man. He and his family were very welcoming. This farm was bigger with lots of pasture and chickens, goats and a few cows and a grove of coconut trees. I think his main business was chickens. I found out that Vijay's brother had died last year of leukemia and his widow and 2 sons lived near Vijay. His father also died last year when he was 58. One thing I noticed there weren't many old people around only the father-in-law and his wife who were my age but looked a lot older. We sat and drank tea and ate Indian sweets in the garden. This is what foreign travel should be like not sitting in a resort with a bunch of other westerners. Later I took them all home and and we swopped addresses and said good-bye, I think we will keep in touch. I was late back over the hills to Savusavu and drove the last part of the journey in the dark There were lots of people walking about the place and you have to drive right down the middle of the road to make sure you don't hit anyone as it is very dark. I went for dinner to the Fiji restaurant. On Sunday I returned the car and did very little. Everything is closed to-day except 2 Indian shops and the Marina. It reminded me of England when I was a child. Only one shop open till Lunchtime and then nothing. I went to the Marina for dinner as it was the only place open. I had a very poor pizza it was supposed to be pepperoni but it wasn't more like spam. I spent the afternoon by the pool with 3 Irish colleens from Belfast. Nice view !. This is their last stop on the way home after a year travelling in Australia and NZ. We agreed it is difficult to just sit and relax when there is always somewhere interesting nearby you haven't seen yet.. Still I managed it to-day. Tomorrow I am off on my adventure cruise on the Tui Tai schooner. I am expecting this to be the highlight of my trip so far I will let you know if it turns out that way.

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