After traveling through beautiful Fijian countryside for an hour we arrived at the river and longboat pier ready for our Longboat Ride & Waterfall Swim. We boarded the longboats with eight people per boat and set off down the river. The banks of the river were unspoiled lush vegetation. We passed many beautiful waterfalls and through gentle rapids until we reached a small channel and stopped at a rocky inlet. The area had experienced very heavy rainfall overnight and our path up to the ‘Magic Waterfall’ was in some places completely flooded and underwater. We followed the path using the rope handrail around the edge of the water and up some steps to turn the corner and see the huge waterfall right in front of us. There was a lot of spray from the waterfall and several of the guests dipped in the water for a quick swim. It started to rain, but this didn’t matter because we were all wet anyway!
After another short ride in our longboats we arrived at the village where we were met by a warrior holding a traditional weapon, accompanied by a drummer and man signaling our arrival by blowing through a shell. We entered the village hut and our elected ‘chief’ sat in the center facing the villagers. Alongside him all the men in our group sat in a row and at the back of the room the women were positioned. Our chief was given instructions on how to receive the Kava when the welcome ceremony started. While the village spokesman spoke in Fijian language, two of the warriors prepared the Kava. The coconut shell cup of Kava was offered to our chief with one clap, he replied with one clap and took the offering. He then drank the Kava and clapped three times and the villages replied with claps. Kava was then offered to the whole group. Afterward, a traditional lunch was served and the warriors and ladies of the village danced while other villagers played guitars, sang songs and accompanied with local percussion instruments. Finally, our group were invited to dance with the villagers, which almost everyone joined in with and had a great time.
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