Fiji # 8 : “Garden of the Sleeping Giant” Part 2

I left you wandering in the beautiful orchid gardens of the sleeping giant just off the road between Nadi and Lautoka. But there is much more to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant than just orchids – much more. It’s a tranquil place to walk on a hot day. Unfortunately we did not see it all, partly because of time constraints – we had to get back to the ship for our next island hopping adventure – and partly because cyclone Evan had badly damaged the forest. Much of it was closed to the public for the time being. I’m sure it will be open again soon for those who wish to walk through the forest to the top of the hill for the fine views that I am promised are there.

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P1130932  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

The path we were able to walk was a board walk that led us down into a shady gully

where part of the jungle-like undergrowth had been cleared

to make a welcoming grassy patch.

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P1050232  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

Small gardens of  tropical ground cover plants edge some of the ‘lawn’ area.

This part of the gardens is sometimes used for weddings.

A wedding ‘chapel’ is on the hill above here.

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P1050242  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

In the forest, some of the older trees were just magnificent,

held into the ground with formidable roots.

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P1130927  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

At the base of the gully is a lush lily pond.

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P1130929  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

And where there’s a lily pond, there are usually lilies!

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P1130929   ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

I love the structure of a lily.  One of nature’s beautiful sculptures.

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P1050228  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

Several beautiful red dragonflies made use of the lily leaf water pools.

Their gauzy wings are another delight of nature.

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P1130939  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Water iris are another delight found beside this pool.

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P1130936  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Nearby, there were tropical gingers in abundance.

I’ll leave you to enjoy them as we did.

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P1130925  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

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P1050235  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

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P1130931  ©   JT  of  jtdytravels

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Thunbergia battiscombia  P1050223  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

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Thunbergia grandiflora  P1050245  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

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P1130946  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

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P1130943  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Too soon it was time to wend our way back up the board walk towards the entrance.

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P1130942  ©   JT  of  jtdytravels

On the way there was time to look back at the hills – and enjoy more orchids.

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P1130960  ©   JT  of  jtdytravels

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P1130955  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

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P1130979  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Close to the entrance to the gardens is a delightful shaded ‘fern house’.

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P1050249  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

Palms.  Again, one of nature’s masterpieces of sculpture.

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P1130968  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

A small water ‘rill’ had been diverted through the fern house.

The sound of gently running water gave authenticity to the fern forest feeling.

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P1130971  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

In this area, dashes of red and gold lifted the predominant greens.

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P1130969  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Shape and texture were also there to be enjoyed –

 if you took more than a cursory look.

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P1130866  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

Just outside the fern house, a few bananas were in flower.

Aren’t they superb?  Well worth a close look.

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P1130975  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

The entrance area is furnished with inviting, comfortable cane lounges.

Welcomed back with a cool drink, this is the place to rest awhile.

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P1130858  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

Taxis arrived, and it was time to leave this delightful garden.

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P1130982  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

It was time to drive back to Lautoka.

We were about to embark on another island hopping adventure.

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P1140049  ©  JT  of  jtdytravels

With some new passengers on board , we set sail for the Mamanuca Islands.

Arriving at a small coral cay,  we stopped to enjoy the late afternoon.

An hour of snorkelling was a great way to end  the day.

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P1140056  ©  JT of jtdytravels

On the horizon, though, clouds began to gather.

This is the tropics and afternoon storms are very frequent – and to be expected.

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Now join us as we sail through the warm tropical waters.

Ahead of us, an interesting three days as we explore the small archipelago of the Mamanuca Islands.

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P1140049  ©  JT  of jtdytravels

With the Fijian flag flying in the breeze,

we are on board Captain Cook Fiji’s exploration ship, the MV ‘Reef Endeavour’.

Why not join her sometime for your own Fiji adventure!

Jennie and David

All photography ©  JT and DY of jtdytravels

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