The Ferry at The Edge of The World
I rarely find myself alone on business trips to Fiji. Whether the customer, contractors from other companies working with the customer, other people from my own employer or indeed visitors on unconnected business, there’s often someone to share a beer, a story and sometimes the odd weekend road trip with.
One Sunday, myself and Paul, a contractor working with my customer out there set out on a bit of a random exploration. We headed North from Suva, up the Kings Road and into Nasouri. From there, we crossed the Rewa River and continued up the Kings Road until we arrived in Korovou.
Now, Korovou is a two bit town with little to recommend it. But, it does have two interesting options. You can choose to turn left and continue down The Kings Road to Ba, Rakiraki and beyond (more of which in a future blog). Or, you can chose to turn right. On this occasion, we chose right and headed down a dirt track (a charitable term for an absence of road). Along the track, we could see views out to various small islands just off the coast. We suspected most of these are not inhabited. Eventually, we arrived at the deserted ferry terminal pictured above and a ferry, The Spirit of Harmony.
At the time, there was no one around to ask about the terminal or the Spirit of Harmony but this was clearly no graveyard. It was perfectly possible to walk onto the ferry (we decided not to trespass) and from deep within the ferry we could hear the hum of machinery. Locals we asked after the visit believed the ferry is now one of the services between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu (home to Levuka, Fiji’s old capital).
So, today I posted the image to the weekly landscape thread on the Olympus DSLR forum on dpreview and got a most enlightening response about the ownership of the ferry. It turns out to be owned by a company called Patterson Brothers, one of the oldest transport companies on the Fijian Islands, set up after World War One. After a little more research online, I found this blog on the subject:
The most enlightening thing about this blog is the safety record of these ferries but then again, this is the edge of the world and the people who live here all too often live on the edge.