06 February, 2006

Trekking in Colo-i-Suva Forest Park by an expatriate's wife, Suva, 1 June 2003

Last Saturday, my friend and I decided to go to Colo-i-Suva Forest Park in the suburb of Suva. The weather was perfect for trekking, a sunny day which is rare in Suva. Although it was pretty hot, it felt quite cool when we were walking in the woods.According to the guidebook we had, the visitor information center at the forest station should be able to provide information on the park. In fact, it was just a fee-collection facility: F$5 for a foreign tourist and F$1 for a local. When we asked for a map, they just told us to go to the "main entrance" and we shall see a map. We couldn't find, however, anything that looks like an entrance but only a small sign says "to the waterfall". Turned out, that was the entrance to the forest park. Of course, there was no map. Once we entered the park, we enjoyed walking in the woods, finding some interesting tropical flowers and trees. We were hoping to see lots of birds since we read in the guidebook that the park is "one of the best place for birdwatching in Fiji" but we didn't see any birds... After walking 20 min, we stopped to have our lunch (several rice balls, a typical Japanese lunch box item!) while looking down a waterfall. Then, we proceeded to the natural swimming pools where lots of locals enjoyed swimming and jumping in the pool from a cliff. On the way to the pools, we saw some very interesting trees with gigantic leaves standing along a small creek. We've never seen that kind of trees and thought that this could be an interesting place to shoot a movie.The way back to the entrance was through mountains, which was pretty strenuous. After 40 min or so, we finally came back to the first crossroads where we saw a white/purple flower. Now, the entrance was just a few minutes away. As we were very thirsty when we went out of the park, we stopped by the Raintree Lodge, which was close to the information center. They had a nice restaurant/bar facing a small lake where some tourists were swimming and playing with a Fijian kid. It was so nice to sit down after a long walk. Then, we headed over to the bus stop and got on a local bus, which charged only 87 cents for a ride to the city. It was my first time to get on a local bus and it surely was an interesting experience. Some locals threw small stones at us when the buss stopped at a bus stop, but otherwise, it was a very pleasant ride.

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