Photos from Waya in Fiji

Village of Yalobi

Village of Yalobi

We visited the village of Yalobi on the southwest side of the island of Waya in western Fiji last week. We entered the bay right after our brief encounter with the dolphins when going around the southern part of the island. The anchorage was a bit swelly, but we decided to stay here and visit the village of Yalobi. It ended up being a popular anchorage that evening. Joining us were our buddies on s/v Stray Kitty and s/v Jackster, later friends on s/v El Regalo came in. And there were three other boats we didn’t know anchored that first night.

We all went in late in the afternoon to the chief’s house to do sevusevu (ceremony to ask permission to anchor and visit the village and its lands). We all offered our sevusevu gift – mostly kava – and he said some words in Fiji accepting us as friends to the village. This was the largest group of people we have done sevusevu. But, since individuals aren’t required to do much more than give our gifts (one for each boat), it didn’t add much to the time. The chief spoke with us for a few minutes while the local ladies put out some arts and crafts and shell necklaces on mats outside for us to consider buying. We then all walked to the east part of town, because on Friday afternoons they have a village rugby game against other nearby village teams. We stayed and watched part of the game which was enthusiastically watched by people from both villages.

Yalobi is nestled in a bay with shallow reefs shielding their two nice beaches. They also are surrounded by tall volcanic-derived mountains with big rocks and tropical vegetation. They can never see a sunrise or sunset in the village. The next day, I was interested in walking up one of the mountains to see if I could get a view around the islands and take a 360 panorama. Both Stray Kitty and Jackster crews wanted to join me. We were treated to some great views of the anchorage and village on the way up, but once at the top of the lower ridge, there didn’t appear to be any trails to the higher parts of the mountains. We ended up splitting up looking for a route. I asked a local walking on the path and he tried guiding me through some of the tall grass to find a high point on a ridge. But, we didn’t have much luck. I also tried valiantly to go through some of the brush, but it was just too thick without a machete (note, I plan to buy one of these soon). I did get some photos with views of the village from part way up the mountain. My favorite is in the link at the top which was near some small crops the villagers were tending up the mountain. I took a 360 in another area which I will post later, not sure yet how that turned out.

We enjoyed our visit to Yalobi, but the swelly conditions combined with our need to get a package shipped from the US, meant we needed to continue south toward Musket Cove. Here are the photos from Waya and our visit to Yalobi. Some nice photos in here of the village, the beautiful beaches, the walk up the mountainside, and pictures of the crews of the yachties.

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