Visiting Vuadomo waterfall on Fiji’s Vanua Levu island isn’t just a matter of showing up at the river. The waterfall is part of Vuadomo village and visits are only allowed with the permission of the village chief. To gain this permission, prospective visitors must present themselves and a gift of kava (a very popular tea-like drink which has distinctly mellowing pharmaceutical properties) to the chief. He then performs a welcome ceremony and, assuming all is well, grants permission to visit the waterfall.
After the ceremony, for which there are fairly strict cultural rules about what visitors can and can’t do, we took the opportunity to be shown around the village by a couple of the locals and also had a chance to view and buy handcrafts. Although this may sound like some kind of commercial show put on purely for tourists, I didn’t get that impression and it felt pretty authentic to me.
The waterfall itself was a wonderful place to visit especially on a hot and humid afternoon. There were very few people there when we arrived and we had the place more or less to ourselves for the couple of hours we stayed.
I took several “normal” images of the waterfall that day but think I prefer this surreal, infra-red version as it feels more in keeping with the magic of the place.
For the technically inclined...
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