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It’s a good time to explore today

Deserted island looks good enough to camp on.

Deserted island looks good enough to camp on.

To celebrate today’s expected high of 17 celsius in the city of Toronto, I leave you with a photo that was taken on the waters of the South Pacific. It’s of an island that looks somewhat deserted, but I’m sure is home to many tourists throughout the day. I love the hills on either side of the island, with that dip in the middle leading to all the palm trees. It’s a small island but I’m sure if I were to land there with my camera, I could spend hours taking pictures of anything and everything.

It may not be this pretty outside in the city, but it’s day’s like today that sure make you want to just go out and explore.

Let’s Explore

Exploration is key to making great images as it gives you a chance to not only see the city you live in, but to also see it from a different perspective. Sure, we walk by that famous building everyday on our way to work, but when we go there specifically to explore the area, you’ll find that you’ll see things you may have missed during your commute to work. It’s things like this that keep your eyes sharp, your mind in a constant state of wanderlust, and ultimately improve your photography through experience. And isn’t that what you want to do?

Be well my friends!

Viseisei Village

Viseisei Village is the oldest settlement in Fiji, located about 12km. north of Nadi. It’s a great little village that will let you experience what a traditional Fiji village is like. Most indigenous Fijians still live in villages similar to this, and make their living off the land and sea.

Historically, the first Melanesians were known to land around here, just 1km North at Vuda Point. Some of the historic bures in this village are still used to this day for important occasions.

Dress appropriately if you come here, as you are required to cover your shoulders and knees, and to remove your hat.

Our tour guide

Our tour guide, walking us through well-manicured lawns

A typical bure in the village

A typical home in the village

Abandoned vehicle

Abandoned vehicle

Viseisei Village

The gong

Our guide

Our guide leading us to the village church

Viseisei Village

The Viseisei Village Church

 

The chief's residence

The chief’s residence, which is always built higher than all other homes in the village

 

The Vuda Lookout

The Vuda lookout stands atop Fiji giving you a breathtaking panorama of the island. It is a private lookout therefore only select tours are allowed up to this viewpoint.

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Mind your head

It’s a great place to see the island, mountain ranges, and surrounding areas. From what I remember, you’re able to get a glimpse of the Nadi Bay and the Yasawa Group of Islands on a clear day.

Thew view from the Vuda lookout

Thew view from the Vuda lookout. Panorama from my iPhone 5s.

We were treated to a tropical drink and a large platter of fruit that we were able to enjoy under a canopy. This sign below is a popular spot for the tourists to pose and take pictures of.

At the Vuda Lookout

At the Vuda Lookout

Stay tuned for my next post on the Viseisei Village.

Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple

Because we took the morning tour, our package also included a visit to the local market (previous post) and the Nadi temple. The Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere. Compared to its surroundings, its colours and textures literally pop out at you, begging for a visit.

Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple

Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple

Another section of the temple

Another section of the temple

The temple is dedicated to the deity Murugan, and with intricate illustrations on the ceilings and walls, it’s a unique temple to visit that is well worth the trip if you’re ever in the area. The Dravidian architecture of the temple is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and is said to be rarely seen outside of India.

A close-up of the details of the temple reveal intricate patterns and vibrant colours

A close-up of the details of the temple reveal intricate patterns and vibrant colours

As it is a Holy Shrine, there are things that one must abide by. I wasn’t able to take any photographs within the temple, women had to be properly covered, and we had to remove our shoes before entering. This last part made for an interesting walk to the temple as the Fijian sun made the pathway beneath scorching hot—so hot that you could not stand there for more than 3 seconds!

iPhone 5s capture

iPhone 5s capture

Stay tuned for my next post on The Vuda Lookout.

The Garden of the Sleeping Giants

The Garden of the Sleeping Giants sits on the foothills of the Naosori Highlands, and is home to Fiji’s largest orchid collection. Another hidden gem surrounded by the rich forestry that Fiji has to offer, it’s a great escape and calming walk that shouldn’t be missed.

All photos courtesy of my iPhone 5s.

Then first pathway as you enter The Garden of the Sleeping Giants

Then first pathway as you enter The Garden of the Sleeping Giants

The History

Started in 1977 by the late Raymond Burr of Perry Mason fame, it was originally created to house his personal orchid collection. It has since grown to become one of the most popular attractions in the area, now housing more than two thousand different kinds of orchids, spanning 20 hectares.

The lush greenery of the Garden of the Sleeping Giants is calming

The lush greenery of the Garden of the Sleeping Giants is calming

Many colourful and different types of orchids in this garden

Many colourful and different types of orchids in this garden

More orchids in the garden as you walk through the pathway

More orchids in the garden as you walk through the pathway

 

Walking at your own pace through this garden can be relaxing yet captivating, as you soak in the natural sounds and scents of your surroundings. I didn’t realize it at the time, but you are more than welcome to have a guide come with you, explaining to you the different flowers that you encounter. The garden is also full of beautiful lily ponds. After our walk, we were given a most refreshing juice to drink and further relax in the shade.

One of the many lily ponds within the Garden of the Sleeping Giants

One of the many lily ponds within the Garden of the Sleeping Giants

The green is so lush everywhere in this garden

The green is so lush everywhere in this garden

A frog's POV of one of the lily ponds

A frog’s POV of one of the lily ponds

I’m not the most enthusiastic person when it comes to flowers, but I have to admit, I did enjoy this particular garden! If you’re ever in the area, be sure to make a stop by the Garden of the Sleeping Giants to soak in one of Fiji’s hidden treasures.

 


For more information on the Garden of Sleeping Giants, head over to their website, or to their Facebook page!