On our last day in Fiji, our new great friend Bale decided he would make us a traditional Lovo (Earth oven) as a special dinner before we sadly left the wonderful island of Qamea. It was a truly special evening, Bale and friends had been building, preparing and tending to the Lovo for hours, with skills passed down generation through generation.
A traditional Fijian Lovo consists of a shallow hole dug in the sand, filled with sticks and wood to make the fire. Large fist sized stones are carefully placed on the top of the fire and stacked up, these are lava rocks – they use these as they don’t explode. They also use the same rocks over and over, to almost guarantee they won’t explode or splinter. Once the rocks are red hot and the wood has burnt, sticks of Banana Palm trunk are placed over the incredibly hot rocks. The food is then placed on this lattice of green, fizzing mesh. Casava, Breadfruit, Taro and all kinds of fresh food wrapped up tightly in Banana or Taro leaves. Fresh fish and seafood caught on our little stretch of ocean and beach and coconuts taken from the trees minutes earlier. Once all the food was placed on the rocks, banana leaves we places over the top creating a lid – this was then totally covered up in sand and left to cook for an hour. The smells of cooking food and sweet coconut was incredible. Once uncovered it was time to eat straight away, wonderful.
Through all my travels I’ve yet to find people more friendly than the families and friends we found on Qamea island. These selection of images are some of my favourite images I have taken in a very long time.
If you would like to purchase prints of the images, or would like to license these images rights managed, you can buy my stock photographs of Qamea, Fiji islands – here. Thank you.