The first order of business upon getting to Fiji was applying for a new visa that would allow me to return to Australia. Once my application was lodged, I was free to explore Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu.
I braved downtown Nadi — a community located to the West of the mainland — before leaving Viti Levu to island hop in the Yasawas. A good friend and fellow traveller accompanied me on this journey, easing the learning the curve for this new culture.
At first it was a bit tricky to navigate the streets as we found ourselves faced with aggressive “salesmen” harassing as at every turn. But we prevailed and found a fantastic Hindu temple hidden in the heart of downtown.
The Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere. As a visitor, I had to cover my shoulders and knees, and ditch my shoes — hence the fashion statement.
(You may have noticed I don’t normally put pictures of myself in posts. I am making an exception in this case, since I don’t have any other options due to being a forgetful klutz. Forgetful because I left my camera in the hostel for my first day of wandering, and klutzy because I dropped my camera on the beach a few days later. Sand + optical lens = new camera-shaped paperweight.)
The detailed carvings and vibrant paintings depicting Hindu gods captured my imagination. In particular, the above carving of the Elephant diety, Ganesh, fascinated me enough to drive a bit of internet research. (I intend to investigate this religion and its many Gods in the future, especially in preparation for adventures in South East Asia.)
As the sun set, we made our way to the Bula Festival, which the locals had told us about. The bustling fair ground we encountered offered a delightful array of trinkets for sale and a plethora of junk food. (No matter where I am in the world, if there’s a candy floss kart, you can bet I’ll be nearby! ) In addition to the typical festival sweets, I discovered irresistible Indian desserts. I didn’t know what to call any of the cakes and candies pictured below other than delicious!
* Photos courtesy of Anja Buccheim. If it weren’t for her, I would have little to share due to being a forgetful klutz!