When I was a younger kid, I had this dream that I flew off to Neverland on the Jolly Roger. I was a lost girl and with my friends, I was captured by Captain Hook and whisked away to a magical land. There were dark wet caves and hideaway hollows and cool rushing waterfalls and flowers of every size and color and shape. There were bright little crabs that crawled atop boulders and birds with vibrantly colored songs in their hearts. The jungles were dense and green and humid and we all wore bandanas on our brows.
When I dreamed all of this, I thought well of my imagination for dreaming up something so out of this world, so far from reality, so very magical. But I never imagined that reality could one day be the equal to my childlike hopes.
December 27, 2015
I had been excited to see the Bouma waterfalls since I arrived in Taveuni and finally, the time had come. We travelled by ship, or rather, by Toyota Hilux, crammed in like sardines and we made our trip to the other side of the island. The air started smelling more sweet than hot and everything became slightly damp. We landed by a small house where we paid our fee to walk to the waterfalls and found 10 or so quarter sized black frogs on our way across the street to the entrance. Our initial walk was a fine grassy path lined with beautiful trees. Bamboo, ginger, ferns, coconut. There were beautiful flowers along the way too like the hanging red ginger flower, and a white flower that caught my eye that was a sort of cross between a rose and a gardenia.
We heard the sounds of rushing water and saw a wet bridge up ahead surrounded by dense green and brown forest. It was when I heard the birds start to sing as they swooped in and out of the high trees that I realized upon which dream I had stumbled. The waterfall was powerful. We climbed over rocks and boulders to get to a hollow behind the fall. It was majestic, just watching the water pound into the pool and cool us with wet whispers. I had to close my eyes for a moment just to attempt to know and understand the moment.
Then as any good lost boy or girl does, I jumped into the pool beside the waterfall. It was thrilling enough, but I immediately had to struggle against the strength of the water as it pushed me away from the fall and toward the rocks. Then again as any good lost boy or girl does after finally getting out of the water once again, I jumped into the pool a second time, because sometimes it’s fun to just play for a while in Neverland, when you’re not being chased by pirates.
After our fun, we began our muddy hike up to see the second of the waterfalls. But instead of a hike, it was really a treasure hunt. About every 10 steps or so, a frog would jump out of our way on the path and the occasional purple crab guarded her home. We were surrounded by trees I’ve never seen before, nutmeg, passionfruit, wild sandalwood, bamboo, banana more ferns (some whose leaves grew right side up and some whose leaves grew upside down). I found a large two-toned leaf, vibrant red on one side and dark maroon on the other, perfectly divided along the stem vein.
We finally came through to the second waterfall, that fed into the first one. It was lined with mossy boulders and hanging above where the water fell down over the cliff, was a sturdy looking branch that waved to me to come and sit down. I started climbing over the mossy boulders around the cool pool until I came over the largest one to find at least 20 purple crabs, standing ready to karate chop me if I came any farther. It halted my excited tracks. I just shook my head and laughed with such joy over this crazy and unexpected life.
It was an adventurous and overwhelming day. I couldn’t get home fast enough to write it all down, every detail of what I saw and experienced and I couldn’t wait to share it with you my dear adventurous Reader.
Until the next adventure,