Well, today I’m off to visit Paradise Taveuni on the island of Taveuni. In years past, such a trip would be no big deal, as I’d just catch one of the quick puddle jumpers at the airport. But today, as I pack up all my stuff, I’m a little anxious about the unknowns of my trip. There are no direct flights to Taveuni.
Two afternoons ago, I spoke with the concierge about the best way to get to Taveuni from Savusavu. It took but a few seconds for my question to manifest a physical response: her lower lip dropped, both rows of teeth showed, and she tried a smile. “Hmmm…. Well, Mr. Putnam, there is no easy way to Taveuni. Here are your options:
1. Take a plane back to Nadi and then take a flight to Taveuni. Your plane will leave around 8:30 in the morning and arrive in Taveuni around 3:30 in the afternoon. You will have a 4-hour layover in Nadi. The price is approximately F$600.
2. Take the big ferry. It will cost approximately F$45, excluding taxi, and you must leave Cousteau around 4 a.m. If you wait a day, you must leave Cousteau at midnight. You’ll arrive in Taveuni in the morning.
3. The third way is to take a taxi to Buca Bay on the tip of Vanua Levu and then take a small, F$10 ferry across to Taveuni. You must leave Cousteau by 8 a.m. to make it.”
Hmmm…. What should I do? I love flying over the reefs, but paying F$600 to get to Taveuni is ridiculous. The island is next door! The big ferry leaving from Savusavu is cheap, but the idea of leaving in the middle of the night is not enticing. So, hmmm… “Let’s go with the taxi to Buca Bay.”
“O.K., Mr. Putnam, I’ll book the taxi. You don’t need to book the ferry; just pay on the boat.”
Editor's Note: Watch Scott's video-- Vanua Levu to Taveuni for the whole story!