Beqa Island

12. November 2012, Monday
18° 23' 30" S, 178° 9' 3" E

What a wonderful free feeling it is when, after all those weeks at anchor, the bow of the ship plows through the waves again and the wind fills the sails.
After a short stay in the bay of Lumbalekeleka, where we installed the new thermostat (unbelievable, we got it in Suva), we set course south-west towards the small island of Beqa.
Hardly 50 km away from Suva and yet we find a completely different world here.
Time stands still and life follows the rhythm of nature.
No roads, only trails connect the two villages.
Well, visiting such a village is not that easy:
Before entering the settlement, you look for the Spokesman and give him a bundle of kava roots as a gift.
He then goes with them and us to the village chief and asks on our behalf to be allowed to visit the village and the island.
A little blabla with the village boss, where from, where to, is it cold where you come from etc. and the “formalities” are already taken care of.
Although everything is quite simple, the houses have neither electricity nor furniture, the people are incredibly cheerful, lovely and hospitable.
Of course we are also invited to drink kava in the evening.
The stuff numbs the mouth, the effect is like that of alcohol, you get quite "slow". However, you don't get a high, it's more like smoking bad weed ;o)
Well, and the taste.....I'd say it's a mixture of cleaning water from a car repair shop and that of a muddy puddle in the forest.
At the kava ceremony, you sit on the floor in a circle, drink the broth from a coconut bowl, which makes the rounds, each time in one go, clapping your hands once before and then twice and making an appreciative face.
Well, cheers!