Levuka is the old capital of Fiji, the first settlers who landed in Fiji landed on the island of Levuka. When there was no more land for expansion the capital got moved to Suva and is now Levuka is a world heritage site.
We went to a local Fijian lady for tea and story telling to find out how cannibalism first started in Fijian, this story has been passed down from her great, great grandfather, who was actually part of the incident which started cannibalism.
I was concerned about if there was really going to be cake or if I was it… But luckily they don’t eat super white meat! And no this time in Fiji hasn’t changed my tan whatsoever, I am still as pale as I was, but it’s still early days so maybe!
No big hats today because it’s disrespectful to have head coverings in the village, so have to just let the sun try bake me, luckily our host invited us to have the story telling inside instead of outside so that cooled us off and kept me from bursting into flames.
So the summary of the story telling, was that during one of their traditional feasts, when the food is ready the chief eats first but on this particular day a villager had a some of the feast first, one of the other villagers saw this and was going to report it to the chief, so the guilty villager hit and killed him. To get rid of the evidence he put him into the Lovo (a pit that they dig to cook the feast in) Then he ran away. When the villagers returned to the Lovo they found the body of the villager and weren’t sure what to do with the body so they took it to show the chief who decided to try the meat, he liked it and said it was the best meat he had tasted. I’m not so sure but I’m not willing to test the theory!!
So from that day when the chief decided he wanted human meat, a sacrifice was chosen by him for dinner. It was either the oldest or weakest person, or an enemy from another tribe that was chosen for consumption.
Now there is no more cannibalism is practiced in Fiji!
We were shown how to make a traditional basket out of a coconut palm, the young men are shown how to do this and it is passed down from generation to generation. This is a great way for the community to make use of what they have and live off the land. Coconut is an important part of everyday in Fiji, they drink the water, eat the flesh, use the fibres off the husk to help start fires, the shell of the coconut is used as a bowl and they use the palms to make mats, baskets and hats. So when they are going to the shop they don’t need plastic bags because they have the coconut palm basket and it is fully biodegradable!!
The great thing about Captain Cook Cruises was that there is snorkeling every day at whatever island we were at. This was my first outer reef snorkeling experience and it was so cool!
A bit daunting in the beginning as in the shallows I probably wouldn’t find sharks(or so I thought but that’s for another story) But out in the ocean…. that’s the sharks garden, if you play in it and you have the luck I do then I was bound to come across a shark!
I think the trick here is to make sure I was always swimming with someone slower than me so if I spot a shark I can get away faster and avoid a nibble! Just kidding! Luckily no sharks at this spot.
It was an awesome experience, entering the water right off the tender boat to the outer side of the reef, and seeing the massive coral outcrops was a sight to behold.
Many different species of fish and the variety of coral was beautiful! Amazing to see they coral holding up against the waves on the outer reef yet on the protected side of the reef was far more damage, when chatting to the marine biologist on board, he explained that the changing currents could be the cause of this destruction.
All in all a cool second day, saw the history of the town and a new snorkel experience!