Saturday, May 28, 2016
Kula Eco Park
Apologies for the 10-day silence. I have been very busy looking after a very sick Mum. Anyhow, here's some photos of a happy Mum meeting some of the critters at Kula Nature Park in Fiji. This small zoo was close enough to the Warwick that we could get to it even though the major roads were flooded in several places. The aim of the park is to preserve Fiji's endangered animals and birds. The most spectacular things I saw there were the green iguanas. Mum made friends with a Banded Iguana called Kevin. He was quite happy to have visitors handle him, provided they washed their hands first. There are also Crested Iguanas at Kula, but they are too nervous for visitors to nurse, and they can run and climb really fast so they are kept in special enclosures. The aim is to breed and release these rare reptiles. Mum also played with a small Boa Constrictor. She is not scared of snakes, but I kept well out of the way; I didn't like the way it was looking at me. The large parrots are also now rare in the wild. The red guy is a Crimson Shining Parrot and all he was interested in was chewing a small log to bits. The Masked Shining Parrot in the next cage was much more suspicious and kept us under close observation the whole time. You can see lots of rare species at Kula Eco Park, so put it on your Fiji bucket list.
Labels: animals, birds, Fiji
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Look What It Did To Our Lagoon !
The Oldies planned to spend lots of time snorkeling in the lagoon at the Warwick. Well, 2 tropical lows and a cyclone made that impossible. These photos show why. The first 3 show the large debris that came over the reef into the lagoon. The photos only show the bits that were big enough to be caught on the lagoon bottom. There were other bits that were drifting on the surface with the current. Logs, from small firewood chunks up to whole trees were being dumped into the lagoon almost continually for 5 days. The heavy rain caused major flooding along the rivers, trees were uprooted, and all sorts of debris from the river banks and low-lying areas was washed loose. The flooded rivers carried all this out to sea, the current bought it along the outside of the reef and the big waves caused by the weather tossed it over the reef into the lagoon. Tides were exceptionally high due to a combination of Full Moon and storm surges. The lagoon had to be closed; moving logs and swimmers are not a safe mix. After the cyclone passed, staff were hard at work from small boats clearing out the lagoon and picking up the muck that was littering the beach. Maybe next trip the Oldies can snorkel.
Friday, May 13, 2016
Cyclone @ Fiji !!!
Of our 8 days in Fiji, 7 of them had bad weather. The only good weather was the afternoon we arrived and the following morning, and the morning we left. On day 2 it started to rain and over the next 3 days we had 2 tropical lows dump about 20 inches of rain on the island. Much flooding, roads blocked and we were marooned in the Warwick. But it looked like worse was to follow. The top left image is a cloud map of what was following the lows; The 2 main islands of Fiji are outlined centre right. The map shows the last of the lows passing over the big island. We were staying about where the tip of the smaller blob is. The systems were moving from west to east (left to right). You can see a huge cloud mass following. That developed into a Category 3 cyclone, named Zena, heading straight for us. For those not sure what a cyclone is, it is the same thing that is called a hurricane or a typhoon, depending on the country you are in. Fortunately, the cyclone slightly changed track and the worst of it passed just south of us during the night of April 6. The second photo shows the track of the cyclone. The bottom photos show the storm clouds building up in the afternoon and the last one was just before dark. Much rain and the palm trees are all bent backwards to what you see in my other photos. We were told to stay inside, the doors were locked, windows taped, restaurants closed (Hey! I spelt resserterornt right that time), and we waited for the storm. Well, the wind peaked at about 200 kph, coconuts were blowing off the trees like canon balls, and it rained and rained. No bad damage to the Warwick and the next two days were a bit better. My first cyclone and I don't want ever to be any closer to the central path.
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Exploring Around the Warwick
Fijian Resorts have lots of interesting things for small bears to explore. I managed to escape from the eagle-eyed Oldies one morning and found some fun things to do in the gardens. You can see me in the photos if you look carefully. Just outside the reception driveway is this tiny waterfall. I had a real battle with my conscience - to swim in the pool at the bottom, or not to. Remembering what Mum would say if I came back soaked, I just sat in the spray for a while and dried off in the Sun before going back to the room. Some of the trees had vines growing right up the trunks. I found one that looked just like the pictures in the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, so I tried climbing up to see if that giant really did exist. I still don't know, because one of the big Fijian gardeners hauled me down; actually he could have been a small giant. The gardeners turn every tree stump into strange sculptures. I had a look inside one that looked like a warrior, and he was hollow. Actually, palm tree trunks have soft insides that are easy to scoop hollow and were used as water pipes and gutters in the olden days. The tiny umbrellas? Well, after a strenuous session of exploring, small bears like a cool, refreshing cocktail. The best cocktails have tiny umbrellas in them for some strange reason. You can see that I did a lot of exploring.
Labels: climbing, Fiji