05-Nov-2010 -- 5 years ago in November 2005 I first tried to reach the confluence point E 178 00 00 S 18 00 00 together with my sister and two friends.We walked with heavy backpacks (up to 30 kg) through the dense Fijian rain forest. 1,200 m before reaching the point we had to return because we were exhausted and did not have enough food left. We had walked 4 days in the bush.
This time I started with two friends from Fiji. Arieta and Save. We each carried a light backpack with approx. 5 kg. A truck took us from Suva, Fiji's capital, ton the village Naqarawai in the district of Namosi. In this area of Fiji there are few villages and plenty of small mountains up tp 900 m covered with dense rain forest.
We spent a night in the house of Arieta's aunt. The next morning on November 4th 2010 we started at 10:30 am from the house of Lepani in Naqarawai. He is 74 years old and wanted to show us the tracks that would lead us as close to the point as possible. To the point it was 8.5 km air-line distance.
A forestry track led us 2.9 km to the point. There was hot sun at the beginning and heavy rain started at 2:00 pm. At the end of the forestry track Lepani showed us a small track the villagers use to hunt wild pigs. This track brought us 2.2 km to the point. We reached its end at 5:00 pm and spent the night under a bamboo shed beside a river.
The next morning at 7:15 am Lepani went back home and we started cutting our way with sugar cane knifes through the dense forest. We used the "wombat-method". That means we walked straight following the GPS. The ridges and creeks were 90 degrees to our way so we had to climb up, climb down and walk through
creeks several times. After 7 hours walking we reached the point at 2:00 pm on Friday the 5th of November 2010.
It is located on a slope in a height of 746 m above sea level. We signed a Fijian flag and left it at the point and returned at 3:00 pm. At 5:00 pm we stopped and spent a night in the bush. We slept beside a small river on a bed of leaves. Next day at 7:30 am we started walking and reached Naqarawai village at 5:30 pm. At 11:30 pm we returned back to Suva by truck.
Coordinator's Note: The DCP strongly discourages leaving behind permanent markers, especially in wild areas. Please see here.