Fiji – Viti Levu (Pacific Harbour & Suva)

The main island of Viti Levu hosted our last few days in Fiji. We stayed at a lovely villa in trendy Pacific Harbour, which touts itself as Fiji’s adventure capital. 15 years ago, we dove Beqa Lagoon with Aqua-Trek which was a thrilling shark dive. Based on the rumors that the shark dive was even better than ever, we eagerly signed up for a repeat session with BAD (Beqa Adventure Divers). During peak season, the shark dive gets booked out a year in advance. Lucky for us, we were visiting during low season but we still made our reservations a month out to avoid disappointment. Let’s just say the shark dives were amazing and worth every penny! To be in the water with so many apex predators at such close proximity could be foolhardy in some places, but with BAD’s stellar reputation and overcautious dive guides, we were in good hands. The marine conservation program at Beqa Lagoon is a magnificent success story – we dove with over 30 bull sharks, 5 gray reef sharks, 15 blacktip and 15 whitetip sharks and this was in “low” season! We were told that in high season, there could be over 80 bull sharks in the water with us. Two massive thumbs up for the Beqa Adventure Dive team and we highly recommend any shark lover make Beqa Lagoon a top priority. Simply amazing. Other than getting an adrenaline rush from SCUBA, we did a bit of souvenir shopping in Suva at the handicraft market, scoring a couple of nice kava bowls to bring back home. But the real highlight of our stay in Pacific Harbour was an impromptu reunion with some very dear friends from Singapore whom we haven’t seen in 31 years! It was a magical night as we reminisced and laughed our way through dinner and wine. Sigh…and with that, our 6 week adventure to Fiji came to a rapid end. Goodbye dear Fiji and we can’t wait until we visit you again!

Fresh juice for sale at Sigatoka market Getting checked out by a local girl on the bus from Nadi to Pacific Harbour Swimming pool at our Pacific Harbour villa; Sevua Circle Pretty villa driveway near Sevua Circle; Pacific Harbour The twins getting ready to explore Pacific Harbour White flower at the Pearl Hotel The Pearl Hotel at Pacific Harbour Manicured gardens at the Pearl; Pacific Harbour Chilling on the beach at Pacific Harbour Camp huts; Pacific Harbour Bridge leading to Arts Village Arts Village; Pacific Harbour Colorful swimming pool; Arts Village Warrior bure; Arts Village Helping mom break into our villa after we locked ourselves out; Pacific Harbour Enjoying the swimming pool at Pacific Harbour Ann getting her shoe fixed at a shoe shop in Suva Fruit market; Suva Fresh produce for sale at Suva's municipal market Fantastic selection of meat in Suva's butcher section Bundles of fresh fish for sale for only 20 FJD each Olympic pool; Suva Grand Pacific Hotel, an old colonial hotel in Suva Rugby players at Albert Park; Suva Fiji Museum at Thurston Gardens in Suva Standing beneath a massive tree at Thurston Gardens; Suva Zeus license plate Harbor Front building in Suva Fresh flowers for sale; Suva Colorful woven mat for sale at Suva's craft market The girls get ready to board the tiny puddle hopper from Taveuni to Suva View of Fiji's biggest island, Viti Levu Shopping for fresh fish at Bailey Bridge Holding up a bundle of fish for sale; Bailey Bridge Fish Market Fruit and vegetable section of Bailey Bridge market Smiling before our SCUBA dive with bull sharks; Beqa Adventure Divers Boarding the Predator for our shark dive, one of the best in the world! The friendly and competent dive guides who probably have the best job in the world; Beqa Adventure Divers Receiving our shark dive briefing on board the Predator; Beqa Lagoon Bob getting chummy with Ben (whose claim to fame is winning "Mr Fiji" bodybuilding championship seven times); Beqa Adventure Divers (BAD) Final touches before we enter the water - the shark feeder puts on his chain mail gloves SCUBA diving with an apex predator is a thrill like you wouldn't believe! We are mere feet away from these magnificent sharks Despite our close proximity to dozens of hungry apex predators (bull sharks), the BAD boys ensure that we come to no harm Its hard to guage how massive these bull sharks are but we estimate they range from 12 to 14 feet long After spending some time with the big boys at 30 meters, we laugh at the white tip sharks that dart around us like overeager dogs (15 meters); Beqa Lagoon Becky may or may not have peed her wet suit when this shark came in for a closer look Agile white tips dart in and out in search of some easy food; Beqa Lagoon A hungry gray reef shark gets ready to gorge on fish bits Massive bull shark devouring a fish head Beqa lagoon is a prime example of a marine conservation program done right. We dove this exact site 15 years ago and were thrilled to see many more species of sharks thriving here today Bull sharks in formation Robby loving the bull shark spectacle; Beqa Lagoon We spent a whopping 35 minutes observing these incredible creatures on our second dive Bull shark checking us out Posing with the BAD team - we love you guys! Avocados cost a whopping 26.30 FJD per kilo; Pacific Harbour Entrance to Baka Blues Cafe, owned by Stella (a dear friend of ours from the Singapore days) A serene spot nestled in a banyan tree; near Baka Blues Cafe in Pacific Harbour Water lily; Arts Village in Pacific Harbour Final dinner in Fiji with old friends and new (Emma, Frannie, Cakau, Stella, Ann, Becky, Talei, Nancy and Bob) The perfect way to end our Fiji family reunion! Our dear friends from Singapore (Stella and Talei) swung by for dinner making for a memorable night Wooden masks for sale Demonstrating the "fish hook" - our defense against a shark attack Gracie and Emma beat a lali while grandma and grandpa look on in approval Hugging Aunt Nancy goodbye at the airport as our 6 week adventure in Fiji draws to a close foto gallery lightboxby v6.1

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