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Getting to Taveuni from Savusavu (part 2)

So, packed and ready to go, I take one last look at the resort before heading to the front. Greg and Bart (the managers) are there to wish me off: “Give us plenty of warning before you show up here again…” and “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” We all laugh. I take a look out the foyer to see my taxi: a 4 wheel drive taxi (see photo). Uh oh. The road is going to be rough.

Upon getting in, I ask the taxi driver how much the fare is going to be. It is better to get this over with now, rather than at Buca Bay. “F$130,” is the answer. Well, it’s more expensive than the midnight ferry, but cheaper than the airplane. So, off we go.

As we drive along Savusavu Bay, I start to ruminate about the price. A new law is coming into play in a week, whereby taxis have to use meters. I wonder how much this ride would cost with a meter? What about all the people that go to Buca Bay from Savusavu, not only to catch the ferry, but also to go to the clinic (Mission at Natuvu Creek)? There’s no way they could afford F$130! Hmmm… they must take a bus from Savusavu. I wonder if this is costing F$130 because I’m being picked up from the Cousteau Resort – do they think I’m made of money?

My thoughts are interrupted as we enter Savusavu town. “This is the last town you’ll see”, the driver says as we climb the hill. “We have only a little over 2 hours to get you to Buca Bay. It’s going to be close. I hope you don’t mind if I speed. It’s going to be bumpy.”

“Ah, no.” I mean truly, what else am I going to say. Let the adventure begin!

Editor's Note: Watch out for Scott's video-- Vanua Levu to Taveuni for the whole story!

Thanks to Marilyn Marsh for the great photos of the ferry boats (top) moored at the Buca Bay pier.

Views: 642

Comment by Marilyn Marsh on August 26, 2010 at 7:49pm
Can't wait for the next instalment - we did this trip in the reverse direction some years back. Wondering if they are still using the same boat (passenger cabin with no headroom - had to sit down or you banged your head - and I'm only 5 foot tall - pigs tied up in sacks on the back landing platform that nearly disappeared when a wave broke over the back. On Taveuni we were assured before boarding that there was a bus at Buca Bay to take us to Savusavu - when we got there they looked blankly and said "Oh, but not today!" An Indian truck driver who was meeting the boat took pity (and $10 each) on us - it was the dustiest ride ever & we got to Savusavu completely coated in a thick layer of dust - then hosed ourselves down at the airport before boarding the plane to Suva with a party of Americans who had just come from Cousteau resort - every one of them dressed in white couture clothing!
Comment by Scott Putnam on August 26, 2010 at 8:32pm
Very funny story Marilyn. The pigs weren't on the boat when I made the crossing, but there were chickens (as if you can't find a free-range chicken every few yards on every island). There were no waves either- flatest water you've ever seen. I'm going to bed tonight with a smile on my face, picturing the look on those Americans' faces when they saw you being hosed off. What a hoot!
Comment by Marilyn Marsh on August 28, 2010 at 5:17pm
I had forgotten - but was reminded when looking for photos of this trip - we had just got round the corner from the boat landing at Buca Bay when the truck was stopped by a huge coconut tree which had fallen right across the road. It took some time with our men & the driver chopping (lucky they had an axe in the back) to cut it up and push the halves aside so we could continue.

Comment by Marilyn Marsh on August 28, 2010 at 5:20pm
Can't work out how to add comment to the post below - photos are of the boat we crossed on (the white one behind); pigs in sacks - you can just see the sacks at the bottom of the picture;passengers disembarking at Kioa; - and the hose-off at Savusavu Airport!
Comment by Robert F. Kay on August 28, 2010 at 11:09pm

Loved your photo of the boats so much I added it to Scott's blog! Hope you don't mind. I gave you credit.
Comment by Marilyn Marsh on August 29, 2010 at 12:10am
Might get into trouble there - I stole it!


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