Levuka is a wonderful place. It was the first capital of Fiji and was the site of the first school, post office and bank in the country and it was the place where Fiji ceded to Great Britain in 1874; Prince Charles came here to hand the country back in 1970. Its expansion was limited by the high cliffs surrounding it so the capital moved to Suva and Levuka has remained mostly undeveloped ever since. It was accorded World Heritage Site status last year - see this website for more: http://levukatourism-com.webs.com/about-levuka
The anchorage just off the main street which runs along the seafront is ok but suffers from a few assaults on the senses. A huge, modern tuna-processing factory lies upwind of us (so the boat has a not unpleasant aroma of cooking fish around her), the town's very noisy diesel generator is also upwind of us and, for today especially, the cliffs have echoed with hundreds of loud explosions.
|Fish cannery to the left, generators to the right, Maunie in between|
|The less industrial side of the town|
|Quay Street in the morning light|
|The first MH supermarket (the main brand in Fiji) now the town's rather run-down museum|
|A great 'we sell everything' Indian shop, in the same family since 1934|
|Hopefully World Heritage status might lever some funds to maintain some of the decaying buildings|
|Others are lovingly looked after|
|Above and below - Colonial churches|
|The Anglican church, built in 1904|
|Inside the church|
|One of many exampled of British involvement|
|As ever, we were stopped by friendly Fijians. They'd all worked out that we were the yacht crew and wanted to know about us. Here Dianne chats to Talley who has invited us to tea when we return next year!|
The reason for the public holiday is that it's Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light. Everyone, native Fijians particularly, seems to love the opportunity to buy industrial quantities of Chinese fireworks (of the 'light it and 25 rockets go up' variety) and so we've had prime seats for an amazing display. Some couldn't even wait for it to go dark!
We'll aim to update the blog each day of the voyage with a short story on our progress but, as ever, don't worry if there isn't an update as there's always the risk of computer or satellite phone problems. We'll be reporting in to the daily radio net so will have regular safety contact with other boats should our computer comms let us down.