Storytelling

Category
  • Stories from Fiji: Part IV

    Fiji supplied many opportunities to be active, or quite leisurely. As in most aspects of life, we decided it was best to find the medium.

    Since I was on my way to becoming a professional piddler, we signed up for something called a “Salt River Drift.” David made a number of considerations, and told me he thought we should do it. I assumed it meant tubing. But, when we were given life jackets, I looked at David with a very quizzical brow.

    We were driven to the river, told to simply climb on in, and then given a beer. Because of the salt water, we were notably buoyant. 
    Our party was comprised of our guides (toting behind us in a small boat- with the beer), the two of us, and two other international couples. The Japanese couple pounded their beers, while the Canadian couple told us of their recent hunting trip in New Zealand. The wife described the delights of their hunt, “If you see anything you like, you shoot it.”  She was a butcher.

    Outside of our own chatter, it was nearly silent. Flanked by thick jungle and deep shadows, our surroundings were wild in every sense. The scenery would have been easier to comprehend if you told me we were on a ride at Disney World. 

    During our drift, I spied some absolutely enormous seed pods hanging from a tree. One of our guides, who swam unassisted the entire time for exercise, told us it was a mangrove! Just saying the name aloud felt a little magical.
    Mangrove.

    The river connected to the ocean and ended in a sizeable lake. We climbed onto a floating platform near the lake's center, where we found a 360º view of untouched land. Jungle, mountains, clouds, and streams of late-day sunshine. It was incredible.

    Balance is not always easily found. For this reason, I was grateful it came to us so effortlessly and with such enjoyment. On that day, we had plenty to be thankful for. We were told that barracudas and sharks often swim in the river- a fact I certainly appreciated to learn afterward.