Walkin’ the Line

Finding new experiences that are fun ,exhilarating, involves nature, are what Lou and I are passionate about .Sometimes they are right in front of you ,a walk in the forest, idly strolling along a sandy beach searching for unusual sea shells, breathing in fresh mountain air it’s just a matter of looking around you. Today we find ours exploring an old sugar cane railway track.

Here in Fiji sugar cane was a main crop for many farmers, the cane would be grown then harvested and finally packed on the sugar cane express. The train would transport it to Sigatoka to be distributed among the buyers.

The train track is a narrow-gauge size as the path it took had to be chiselled from rocky outcrops along the coral coast from where The Fijian Resort is now, passing many villages on the way to final destination Sigatoka.

The track passes by the back of our resort and is used by the villagers to walk on it to get from one village to another. It is like their local pathway.

We set off on our adventure, backpack filled with towels, reef boots so we can have a swim on the way, camera, sun screen .We follow the track as it meanders between overgrown forests either side ,it hasn’t been used for sugar cane for 20 years but a couple of entrepreneurial lads have made it into a eco tourist train .As we pass some villagers clearing some of the forest they tell us the train is coming further down to their village ,and they are helping to make the track more accessible ,good for the tourists good for the village.

As we move along the track, we come across a section where the forest from both sides has joined and it feels like we are walking through a forest tunnel. The air is cool, a relief from the blazing sun, this is what we know as tree bathing, also known as Japanese shinrin-yoku being totally surrounded by mother nature, smelling the forest, sighting a different array of colourful butterflies as they dart about observing us on our trek. We come to a wooden bridge we have to cross; a few sleepers have been replaced leaving 6 original ones. Perhaps all should have been replaced I think as we make our way across. Lou is a bit hesitant but with some encouragement she makes it across.

Further along we come to Myoli Resort with high fences and signs warning all and sundry to keep out .This is where Love Island is being filmed, actually the girls from Love Island wearing only barely there bikinis came to do a photo shoot at the beach in front of our resort yesterday. It certainly stopped all the workers in their tracks!! We can hear music and laughter as we pass by and leave them to it.

There is a long section of the line that is very straight, about 500 mt. We traversed it until we come to a bend and first impressions are from the infamous Burma Railway in world war 2.  The track has been hewn from the sheer rock face on both sides. Now towering trees with gnarly roots rise on the rock face as nature takes back what was hers. As we make our way through the valley of rocks, we come to scattered tropical trees where we catch glimpses of crystal clean water lapping the white sands below, tempting us but we keep on going exploring.

We pass some friendly local villagers who want to take selfies with us, we happily oblige as we part with the friendly Vinaka the Fijian word for thank you. They are a very friendly race and always have a smile to give.

We pass another rickety wooden bridge, this time walking on the steel tracks balancing like a ballerina, I feel as if we are in an Indiana Jones movie!!!As we move on, we make good progress stopping only for a quick drink of warm water. We have been walking for about 2 hours when we come across a dirt track going down to the beach. We follow the track and are rewarded with a picture postcard view of a tantalising white sand beach.

We frolic around for an hour, then take some amazing photos using Ryan’s camera filters to bring out the stunning colour of the ocean. Not a professional but I am pleased with the shoots. Our stomachs are rumbling so it is time to go home as we pack up and make our way back to the train track. We are in silence as we follow the track with only the gentle waves keeping time with our steps.

“That’s it lets go for a swim “implores Lou so we change our shoes for our reef boots, slip off our shirts and shorts, we had our swimmer’s underneath, and dive into the beckoning emerald ocean. Such a refreshing feeling swimming around as we explore the reef further out. There is even a yacht that has run aground on the treacherous reef. Two days ago, when the wind was at its peak, from our room we saw this yacht being tossed around like a cork in the boiling ocean, it looks as if he tried to take shelter in the channel but was blown onto the reef. Hopefully, no one was injured.

We smell tempting meat being seared on a B.B.Q. that means we are near Love Island. I wonder if we could join them for lunch, I think not. We keep on going meeting locals on the way, we give each other the traditional greeting “Bula”and a friendly wave as we pass.

In the distance I hear the moaning of cows as they shuffle to their next eating place. We pass 2 cows, one white and one brown, they contemplate us for a few seconds then back to munching on grass. We cross the 2 bridges we passed on the way; a lot easier on the way back, the butterflies flapping their farewell to us as we make our way past their home.

A horse whinnies to let us know home is around the bend we give him a small pat on his head as we pass him, his mane gleaming in the sun.

Our stomachs dictate we head straight to lunch and relax around the pool.

Another illuminating, fun filled, experience of our trip to Fiji.

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