The Navatua caves

Rhonda, Henry and Ben were determined that we go to the Navatua caves, an hour boat ride away from Tavewa. Near the end of our stay in Fiji, we realized that we hadn’t been yet! Every day seemed too windy for the boat ride, but on one of our very last days on Tavewa, we decided that it was either go in the wind, or don’t go at all.
The boat ride was extremely wavy, which was actually quite fun! We went past a few resorts and villages along the way.

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An hour later, we were there. There was a small entrance fee, then we entered the limestone cave! Mask, snorkel, waterproof flashlight and GoPro (underwater camera). Let’s go.

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Watch your head!
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Apparently, one of the scenes from the movie "Blue Lagoon" was filmed in this cave!
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The big limestone chamber

There were a few otherpeople there when we arrived. Henry and Rhonda had told us about another cave attached to this one, one where to get in, you have to swim under a rock for a few seconds, then come back up. Ben was very excited because he had only done this once before, and he was looking forward to doing it again. My family was very anxious! Even though you’re only under for maximum five seconds, swimming under a hanging cliff and coming back up in a very dark cave was definitely out of my comfort zone! Henry went first. When my turn came, all I could see of where I was going was the beam of light from Henry’s waterproof flashlight. I was quite scared, but I took the plunge. Henry’s hand on my head guided me to a safe place to come back up. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! As Jake mentioned in an earlier entry, when my Gramma’s cruise visited the caves, she went into the next cave as well! We were very impressed, Gramma!

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My mom swimming into the dark cave

Next, we explored that cave. There were many nooks and crannies in there, so we spent a long time looking in corners and finding chambers and stalactites.  We sang together in an echo chamber.  The waterproof flashlights were very important! There aren’t any good pictures, so I’ll put one in to show you how dark it was.

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Ben with Rhonda under water, exploring the dark cave

Getting out of the second cave was much easier than getting in, because you can actually see where you’re going!

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Rhonda swimming back out

Then they showed us another, smaller chamber, and by then I was much more comfortable with diving down under a submerged rock wall and coming back up.

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I'm diving in the first cave here.

What a great spot! We had so much fun there. The Navatua caves were definitely a highlight for all of us!

After the caves, we went to a beach for lunch and some snorkeling.

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We're drinking coconut juice- YUM!

Before heading home, we visited the village of Navatua across the channel.

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Navatua: a typical Fijian village

We brought Kava as a gift. Some local girls showed us around.

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The very new primary school for the village. Up until then kids 4 and up had to board on the other side of the island Monday-Friday.
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The big (yellow) hollowed out log is thumped with a smaller log when the chief wants to meet everyone at the community center. My dad was curious about the sound and wanted to try it, but then realized that would be a bad idea.
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The only source of electricity in the village was from one solar panel at the community hall, so all the phones charged in one spot!

The villagers were very friendly, and the chief gave a long thank you speech for the Kava we brought. When we were saying goodbye, we got our first Christmas greetings of the year, in the first week of December. It’s refreshing to see communities that celebrate Christmas without all the consumerism. We trolled for fish on the way back to Tavewa, with no luck. We had an amazing day, but it would have been better with fish for dinner!
Kaia

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