Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ascending Fall #7

Fiji: White sandy beaches, azure blue waters, with soft ukelele music playing as you swing in a hammock . . . Oh wait, we're in Ba and haven't seen that Fiji yet, but we did have the wonderful fortune of spending the day with some great people exploring a natural beauty in the interior mountains overlooking Ba.
Our trusty Toyota truck was recently named "Vosota" by Fijian friends.  It means "patience" and how we put her to the test on our way up the winding, rocky, pot-holed, and deep muddy roads to Fall #7.  Have we mentioned it rains in Fiji??  Each downpour has a marvelous accumulated affect on the roads.
Looks beautiful but this road through the cane field was just the beginning
of testing Tom's 4-wheeling agility.
At several points, worried about the welfare of Vosota as well as ourselves, we would yell back to Lalesh (owner of the land & falls who was riding in the bed of the truck): "Do you think we can make it?"  His reassuring response: "Don't worry, I have bullocks that can pull us out!"  Great, no worries (saga na laga - in Fijian).

Prizes go to those of you who can figure out why this fall is named, "#7"
After arriving at Lalesh's mountain farm home (a deceptively quaint title), we caught the horse, grabbed a large cane knife, and headed to the river flowing down the mountain from the falls.  Lalesh continually reassured us, "hiking up the river is probably safer than bush whacking through the jungle."  Thanks Lalesh.  Later we learned that Lalesh was worried about our ability to make the climb "due to our age" (most people in Fiji die before age 60).  Tuliana, our friend who arranged the trip, assured him we were "fit."

Tuliana's constant cheery playfulness made everything fun

Tuli's friend, Mere, was a wonderful addition.  Along the way she kindly (but unnecessarily)
 worried about Annie's climbing safety.  On particularly steep slopes she would give a little
bum boost to "steady the aged grandmother." Such sensitivity!
When our movie camera quit working (water, battery, or . . .?),
Mere's faithful assurance was; "Don't worry, I had a prayer and Heavenly
Father will bless it."  And by the time we returned home, it was working.
Our first full-view of the falls
Our faithful and fearless guide, Lalesh
Tuliana was first into the falls
Tuliana's father, Tuvusa, joined in the fun

More about Tuli in our next blog . . . 

Ginger "on the hoof". We also dug fresh curry root.

All cleaned up and ready to enjoy. Soon gingerbread aroma was wafting through our
apartment and for just a minute we thought we were back home.

We hated to leave #7 but the weather was changing and Lalesh
got uncharacteristically concerned about our welfare.  Soon, we were dodging
lighting bolts and raindrops as we munched on fresh sugar cane stalks. 
Before coming off the mountain, we helped Lalesh retrieve a "hand"of bananas which had been
ripening in a little hut.  Pretty handy to be able to grow and harvest your own bananas to
be sold at the family store.  We also stopped by a bread fruit tree where Lalesh and Tuvusu
handily used a bamboo pole to harvest several ripe ones.  
A great adventure, special friends,
and a fresh perspective on our side of the island.


Matt said...

I'm just so proud of you two! Little do they know that not only did you invent the Pioneer Club, you are full-fledged board members!

James Humphreys said...

Amazingly beautiful! Thank u for sharing that totally sweet hike. Seemed a little out of the norm for Annie to scale that river and go along with such confidence? Way to go sister!

James Humphreys said...

Amazingly beautiful! Thank u for sharing that totally sweet hike. Seemed a little out of the norm for Annie to scale that river and go along with such confidence? Way to go sister!

Ditto Family said...

This kind of reminded me of Sacred Falls on Oahu and Penny Falls in NH. I'm not surprised at all to see you guys on such an adventure. Glad to know that if we go on a hike while in Ba you'll have friends to give me a "bum lift" if I get weary.

Cute swimsuit!

emily a. said...

I wondered when Fiji would join in the Pioneer Club. You make us proud, Dad.

The waterfall is gorgeous. I bet the gingerbread was amazing. I just made my first batch of your recipe, Mom, and got rave reviews at our party.

Love you both.

Leah said...

Oh my! So gorgeous and what an adventure. I'm jealous she got to give you a bum lift...

So neat about the ginger too.

You guys are awesome!

Running Rinnes said...

What an exciting hike!! Thanks for posting the photos & video.

Always a little slow on the uptake, and never one to spot the obvious, I decided to google "Falls #7" to find out how it got its name. The result: it brought me back to your blog. :P But then I took another look at the photo. Duh!!!

We'll skip the prize, but we'd love to do the hike.