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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Aug-Sept
Active RetireesTM | 23 TRAVEL CRUISING The route less travelled I t’s a searing hot day at the tail end of the wet season as we take our seats on a little verandah at Levuka’s St James Anglican Primary School. Dozens of schoolchildren – bare-chested boys in grass skirts and war paint, and girls in costumes made from printed tapa cloth – wait to perform. St James School, which opened in 1952, has 66 students, most of whom take part in the performance, known as a meke. Boys dance with clubs and spears, girls do graceful turns with fans, and the littlest of students clap and sway to the music. Afterwards we mingle with the kids, handing out lollies, as they take us on a tour of the four classrooms and library. Fortunately we’ve been given a heads-up and most of us brought pens and other school items, which we deposit in a basket along with any other donations. Small port Our ship, the Reef Endeavour, arrived that morning in Levuka, a township of 3000 people that was once the capital of Fiji. Home to whalers in the 1830s, Levuka was a boisterous South Seas port with 52 pubs and a population of traders, bootleggers, entrepreneurs and missionaries. It boasted Fiji’s first bank, town hall, school, post office and municipal council, but lost its status when the capital moved to Suva in 1881. Today it’s a charming colonial outpost, with a main street of colourful clapboard shops and a fair sprinkling of churches and schools. Captain Cook Cruises visits Levuka every second month on a seven-night Discovery Heritage itinerary, which explores the more remote parts of Fiji. » Meandering among Fiji’s lush smaller islands is not the way hordes of tourists spend their South Pacific holidays, but it's a great way to meet the locals. By Caroline Gladstone Getting there: Pacific Blue, a division of Virgin Australia, flies from Sydney to Nadi (Fiji) daily, with fares from $600 return. T:131645 W: www.virginaustralia.com Island hopping in style: Captain Cook Cruises operates the seven-night Discovery Heritage Cruise every two months, with fares starting at AU$1475 per person (in a cabin with bunk beds), AU$2202 per person (in a stateroom) and AU$2632 per person in a suite. Stop in at: Taveuni to lie on the same beach as Prince Charles once did and attend an island church service; Naselesele village for a kava ceremony and lovo; and Levuka, where the local schoolchildren perform a meke. TRAVEL GUIdE
Active Retirees Jun-Jul
Active Retirees Oct-Nov