Taking a breath of Fiji provides for a perfect holiday

IT'S just the priest's son and I alone in the last chamber of the cave, his barely audible hums bounce of the walls, which were once the sanctuary of cannibals.

This is not what I had in mind when I thought about a holiday in Fiji.

I have found myself in the Naihehe Cave, on a property in the mountains outside the Fijian town of Sigatoka, on the Coral Coast.

The rest of the group is walking towards the opening of the cave, they have squeezed under the low hanging rock separating the chambers and it's just the two of us left.


It's warm and the air is a little stifled but not suffocating. It's completely dark apart from the small glimmer coming from my head torch.

Like an old church or historical building, you can feel the history of the cave in the air - and see it in the human oven and the various markings on the walls and ground.

The priest's son doesn't say anything, he just waits.

Eventually I walk through the shin-deep water, duck under the low-hanging rock and glimpse the opening of the cave.

The morning's trip over the Sigatoka River was short, but it took us what seemed like miles from the blue water and palm trees I woke up to at the Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji.

We have weaved through the green forest passing by brightly coloured box shaped houses, horses and bulls tied loosely to the side of narrow dirt roads and of course villagers who welcomed us with loud shouts of "bula" the whole way.

But the muddy road traversed by an all-terrain vehicle wasn't the only thing we had to overcome to make it to the cave.

Before the priest's son could show us the way to the place once used as a fortress again colonials trying to convert the natives to Christianity, we had to gain permission from the landowners at a kava ceremony.

Seated on a thatched mat in a cement building, we watched on as our guide Bill exchanged formalities with the land owners while the traditional muddy green drink was mixed before taking a large swig from a coconut bowl.

While the cave tour wasn't physically difficult (there were some young children with us), a visit to the Bebe Spa is a treat after the adventure.

As far as spas go, the hill-top location with views across the palms trees, thatched roofs and the blue lagoon of the Coral Coast, is what really sets it apart.

With an extensive menu of treatments, there's only one way to decide - keep it in theme with the Fijian Bobo massage.

It's everything you expect from a facility awarded ASPA Best Spa Destination and Pevonia Spa Design of the year.

The white robes and slippers, beautiful rooms, attentive hosts and quality treatments. The only unwelcome thing was a small case of accidental indecent exposure, but that will happen when you have men wandering around in robes sans underwear.

The men of the Naihehe Cave have a little more experience, there was exposure there.

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