My legs wrapped around the local Fijian lady in a vise grip as we positioned ourselves at the top of the water slide. My heart was pounding, I was certain I was sitting at the top of a huge set of rapids. Her arms went up, my squeals came out and we were off sliding down the mountain. The water thrashing us about as we slid sideways up the rock walls, before sliding back down and into the rapids once more. When we hit the bottom my body was pumping with adrenalin. The lady broke down in hysterical laughter along with the rest of the group. I had made her day, by doing the slide with her and squealing the whole way down. They thought it was very funny.
I had never ridden a rock slide/waterfall and I was very nervous to say the least, but after seeing Beany fly on down the mountain with a huge smile on her face, I had to conquer the fear. I couldn’t let a 5year old be braver then me !
We had sailed from Savusavu to get to the waterfall, if I didn’t go I would of regretted it. No sooner as I had landed in the bottom pool, the rain came absolutely bucketing down. All of a sudden the group of us up at the slide where on an emergency evacuation, running down the mountain. The slide that we were on only minted early turning into huge raging rapids. We ran as fast as we could, the knee high mud path sucking us down. The girls were carried with the big strong man up the front, while my little legs brought in the rear.
The girls were then passed along a line of everybody to get down a very steep cliff. I was grateful I didn’t have to try get them down alone. On the way up, the rock was slippery and as I tried to carry AK across we slipped. AK screamed as, as I went thump, going ass up on the rock, but some how managed to pull a super Mum move and keep AK from hitting the rock and got her onto her stomach. It felt like we tumbled forever, before I landed with a deep moan and splat in a crevasse at the bottom. I could of sworn I broke my bum cheek. Ak soon slid onto me, sliding safely down on her tummy, while I went backwards. I took some skin off and was battered and bruised. Now we were both stuck at the bottom of the rock face, with the sound of the waterfall no one heard us scream. Finally Beany, who was obviously a mountain goat in a previous life, stood at the top looking down at us, crumpled in a heap, laughing. She got help and we were soon, heaved back up the rocks.
Those rocks were now a waterfall. As soon as the kids were passed down, we all continued running through the dense jungle. After 20minutes we made it to the main road, only to be greeted by a huge electrical storm. We all ran for cover looking like drowned rats. We took shelter to re group under a corrugated iron bust stand.
Then there was this huge flash, the ground shook and the clap of thunder vibrated through our bodies. We jumped out from under the tin shack immediately, deciding it wasn’t the best place to hide in an electrical storm. We ran down to the beach, the rain prickling our faces, the visibility down to zero.
Finally we stumbled across the dinghy. It sat well and truly high and dry on the sand, the rain water over flowing from the sides. We bailed hard but the rain was filling the dinghy faster then we could bail. The girls were freezing, shaking like scared little dogs. We got the water halfway out and then we tried to lift it up to empty it. On the third attempt my swizzly arms found enough strength to lift the dinghy and empty the water.
We carried the dinghy down the beach. Got the kids in, started to paddle away from the shore towards our boat. The lightning and thunder, becoming scary. Moment later we all jolted forward as the dinghy went crunch. The tide was too low and we were now stuck on the reef. We waited for a set of swell to roll through, the we paddled like mad as the water slid under us, until we hit again. We carried on like this till we made it over the reef and to the boat.
With the strong current, ripping through the somosomo straight, the boat hadn’t been held into the wind, so the rain had come in to the cockpit. The cockpit was now full and starting to lap inside. The girls and I bailed out the cockpit, enough to stop it going inside. Then we filled it with bubbles and had a good bubble bath.
As soon as we were dry and all snuggled up under a doona trying to get warm, the rain stopped and so did the storm.It was one hell of an exciting afternoon to say the least.