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Do's & Dont's

Buses

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SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE MTB RIDES TO INVESTIGATE

1. Sigatoka to Ba.  110 k.m.

SECTORS

     Sigatoka to Bukuya Rd.  43 k.m. Bus 9 a.m.

     Sigatoka Valley Rd. to Bukuya  22 k.m.

     Bukuya to Navala  20 k.m.

     Navala to Ba  26 k.m. ( There is a 90 min. bus service to Ba three times per day check availability)

Overnight - Bukuya and Navala villages.

COMMENTS-Navala is a traditional thatched roof village.  At Bukuya plan to hike to the waterfall (About an hours walk each way).  Most of the road between Bukuya and Ba is reported as rough.  However this should not be of concern to mountain bike riders.  Take your time and enjoy the villages, people and scenery along the way.

MAPS: Viti Levu, M28, M27.

2. Variation on previous rides.

Take a carrier truck from Nandi market part or all the way to Bukuya, then ride to Sigatoka or Ba.

MAPS: Viti Levu, M27, M28.  

3.Sigatoka to Namoli return.  150 k.m.

SECTORS

     Sigatoka to Keiyasi 48 k.m. Bus 9 a.m. arr. 11.30

     Keiyasi to Korolevu  20 k.m.

          Side tracks on way to Vatumbalavu, Korovou Extra 10 k.m. return

     Korolevu to Namoli Walking Track only 2 k.m.

     Return bus from Keiyasi 2 p.m. or stay overnight

COMMENTS - Namoli is a traditional thatched roof village.  Underground fortress near Natuatuacoko.  Savua falls and hot springs side trip from Vunavesi village

MAPS: Viti Levu, M28

4. Tavua to Suva.  160 k.m.

SECTORS

     Tavua to Nadarivatu 30 k.m. Bus 2.30 p.m.

     Nadarivatu to Navai 10 k.m.

     Navai to Tomanivi ( Mt. Victoria) 10 k.m. return trail

     Navai to Koro-ni-O 25 k.m.

     Koro-ni-O to Naitauvoli 28 k.m.

     Naitauvoli to Naivucini (Waiga Gorge) 9 k.m.

     Naivucini to Serea 11 k.m.

     Serea to Suva 50 k.m. Bus

COMMENTS - The road from Koro-ni-O is reported to be one of the roughest on the island.  A challenge for mountain bikers?  Tomanivi is the highest peak in Fiji at 1323 metres.  To do this tour in the opposite direction look for a carrier truck at Suva Markets or Rolston Rd, to take you to Naitauvoli.

MAPS: Viti Levu, N27,M28, M27

5. Coral Coast

If you are staying anywhere along the Coral Coast at a resort between Tubua Sands and Man Friday take your mountain bike along, get hold of map M29 - Korolevu, and take half day rides into the forests to the north of the Queens road.  There are plenty of settlements and waterfalls within easy distance.

6. Other Islands.

Don't confine your cycling targets to Viti Levu the main Fijian island.  With more time on a future trip I will be considering Vanua Levu the second largest island, Taveuni the garden island, Ovalau interesting and convenient to get to, Kadava Group without a good road system seems interesting for mountain bikers, and for the go easy riders Lakeba with only 29 k.m. of road circling the whole island.  In general expect less tourism and to get closer to the real Fijian experience without having to climb high into the mountains.

 

   

THE BIKE

Giant Cadex Carbon Fibre Mountain.

Spares in seat stem: Spare spokes, spare brake cable and derailleur cable and emergency saw.

Tool kit: Finish line miniature chain breaker, spoke spanner and hex key.  Miniature pliers, small screwdriver, cloth tape, tube, puncture repair, and pump.  Small first aid kit.

Bags: Medium to large Mountain Tourer seat bag and Mountain Tourer small handle bar bag.

Tyres: Avocet Cross 1.5

 

   

TIPS, DO'S & DON'TS, WHAT TO TAKE

   

Do

Take a mountain bike or rough road touring bike in   excellent condition preferably with front suspension.

 
   

Don't

Take pack racks or panniers, they will make off road side tracks more difficult and restrict loading and unloading on buses. 

 
   

Always

Carry maps, first aid, water purification, sun cream and insect bite protection.  
   

Take

Sufficient minimum parts and tools and have enough knowledge to keep your bike going for another 20 km. no matter what fails.  There are no bike shops and very infrequent traffic off the bus routes.  
   

Travel Light

If you canít fit your minimum needs for up to two over nights in Fijian villages into a small back pack, seat bag and any small handle bar bag, you have packed the wrong things or too much.  
   

Include

A light weight, compact water proof cycling top, chamois towel, torch or bicycle light and light weight thermal hiking clothing for cool highland nights.  
   

Gifts

Photos of you on your bike mounted in a small acrylic frame. Miniatures of Australian fauna are light and easy to carry as gifts and mementos for villagers who take the time to make friends with you, or offer you morning and afternoon tea.  
   

Hospitality

Always ask permission to take photographs.  When villagers offer you meals or accommodation or spend considerable time to guide you to waterfalls, caves etc. always pay them a fair reimbursement in Fijian terms.  
   

BIKING BY BUS

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 Only take a bike with quick release hubs and seat post and be proficient in removing the front or both wheels quickly to load.

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 On arriving in Fiji familiarise yourself with the luggage areas of the four or so bus designs in Fiji. A major bus terminal is the place to do this.

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 Fiji bus fares are held low by government controls.  Safety and timeliness are good but customer service is different to what you might be used to in Australia.  If a driver says there is no room for the bike, it pays to see for yourself if you can fit it in.

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 Other passengers are most willing to help you.  Ask where to get off, when you will get there, what have we stopped for.  The driver will not help you unload your bike.  Other passengers will be most willing.  Ask for assistance especially if it is a lift up door which could easy fall on you or your bike.

   

SOURCES OF INFORMATION

-    My bible was the Lonely Planet Fiji travel survival kit.  Don't go to Fiji without it.

-    Maps are published by :

          Lands and Survey

          P.O. Box 2222

          Government Buildings

          Suva               Phone  211 395

     Agents in Nandi

          Bagia Brothers and Desai Bookshop

     Cost is about F$ 5.00 ea.

     Airmail to Australia around F$ 7.50 for up to 6 maps.

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 It is best to buy your maps in Fiji.  Despite a follow up phone call it took Lands and Survey two months to answer my letter and then the information I received was very difficult to understand.

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Don't waste too much time looking for " The Fiji Explorer's Handbook" recommended in the Fiji survival kit.  Despite the help of Lonely Planet and turning Suva bookshops up side down I never found it.

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The Rucksack Club wrote me a nice letter but they don't have much information useful to visiting bicycle tourers.

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Revised: April 01, 2006