OUR ADVICE: highly recommended! (See below for more info)
WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN: most definitely!
VINAKA Fiji Eco Tours! This was one of the top 3 highlights of our honeymoon! :-D
FIJI ECO TOURS: NALESUTALE VILLAGE FULL DAY TRIP w MUD POOL
- rainforest/waterfall nature hike and swim
- relaxing genuine village experience
- yummy traditional lunch in host's bure
- therapeutic mud pool & hot spring soak
WHAT TO EXPECT:
I've always been a firm believer in treating others how I would like to be treated and in all of my travels, this has resulted in great experiences... but in Fiji, we had a TRULY wonderful experience!
* We booked easily through our hotel booking desk
* We were picked up from our hotel efficiently & on time
* Iliesa - our driver - was very warm & friendly, excellent to chat with :-)
* Our hike guide was helpful, informative & kind (chief's son)
* Our lunch host was generous & accommodating (chief's sister)
* The traditional lunch was delicious & filling (I want the recipes!)
* Transport to the mud pool was very comfortable too
* Mud pool guide was funny, helpful & informative (big smiles!)
* Hot spring was decadent - I've found a new addiction! Lol!
* You can also have a traditional relaxing massage for a small fee
* We were returned to our hotel feeling relaxed, entertained & happy!
WHAT TO WEAR/ BRING:
* Travel light for the hike up to the waterfall - a small backpack is good
* A camera to capture the stunning beauty of nature you'll see
* Swimmers/bathers for swimming at the waterfall
* A small towel to dry off - microfiber ones are excellent!
* Insect repellant and sunscreen
* Wear closed in footwear for the hike - dah! you are hiking through nature, after all - after rain it can be quite muddy & a bit wet but well worth it! Anyone who hikes through a rainforest in thongs/flip-flops/slippers needs to recheck their common-sense-meter! So pack your flip-flops in your bag until you come back to the village. NB:- don't wear your best Nikes either! I wore "disposable" rubber soled lace-up canvas casuals because Australian Customs & Immigration is extremely strict on soil/dirt being brought back into the country ( I couldn't be bothered scrubbing my shoes like hubby did ;-)
* A sulu/sarong to sit on in the shade of the big mango tree back in the village
VILLAGE ETIQUETTE - not compulsory, but really appreciated:
* The people are very friendly and understanding, but if you can remember a few of these small things, it's returned with big smiles & very generous hospitality
* Do not wear hats or anything on top of your head - only the chief has this privilege - this is the main one to remember.
* Modesty - everyone, keep your shoulders & chest covered in the village - a short sleeved t-shirt is fine. Ladies also, shorts or skirt to just below the knees is nice (I wore one of my long fiji sulu/sarongs)
* If you meet the chief, please be respectful, it's truly a privilege to be welcomed as a guest into his village :-) we felt welcomed & honoured to be there.
* When welcomed into their bure/home, take your shoes off before entering and you can also show a little thanks/respect by bending forward a little with your head down as you step inside - our host responded with a huge smile :-D she was lovely!
My hubby and I love hiking, nature, history, traditional stories & learning about other people's cultures, so this earthy tour was exactly what we were looking for! We are unsure as to the toilet facilities because neither of us needed to use the bathroom while there.
* we were lucky enough to have the chief's son as a tour guide - he was very knowledgable, helpful & friendly - we asked many questions & were delightfully surprised with his knowledge of the land & the history of his people.
* being a herbalist, I was interested in traditional medicine plants and was treated to lots of interesting inside knowledge on the medicinal plants here.
* experience village life & traditional food - lunch was cooked for us by the chief's sister - it was delicious & plentiful... Our favourite was the rou-rou! It was fun to sit on the woven mat and chat while we ate too. Afterwards, we were so full that we were glad to have some rest time in the shade of the mango tree :-) LOL!
* My hubby was lucky enough to catch a fish the traditional way in the river after lunch!
* I enjoyed a little ride on their horse - I love horses & haven't done that in years!
* We were also taught the basics of weaving leaves to make mats etc before our driver came to pick us up & head to the mud pool.
MUD POOL & HOT SPRING:
- we both loved this experience and I've found my new obsession! *chuckle*
- the guide shows you what to do & tells you some of the history of the pools
- after changing & using the toilets, he stowed our bags/shoes etc for us
- he helps you coat yourself in the therapeutic, soothing mud - I swear it took the redness out of my minor sunburn too!
- you bake the mud in the sun to almost dry then swim in the mud pool
- after the majority is washed off, it's time to soak lavishly in the hot spring! This was my favourite part and the warm, mineral-rich water soothes any aches while deeply relaxing your muscles... I've decided that I'll seek out thermal mud and springs in all future travels!
We truly had an amazing day with wonderful people and fantastic weather!!!
VINAKA VAKA LEVU!!!
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