By Patricia Page
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Extra info for Across the Magic Line: Growing Up in Fiji
Patsy, the fearful. The coast became rocky and sandless for a few kilometres then greener where the mountains came down to the sea. Across the Magic Line 49 We climbed, took curves around wooded flanks, then descended and came out of the trees. And there it was: a perfectly semicircular harbour, blue in the sudden sunlight, with, on its far side, the city of Suva. Rectangular highrises on the foreshore marred the harmonious downhill tumble of colonial dwellings, foliage and palms. But the city hadn’t spread from its original position on the east side of the bay.
Most of the buildings in Suva were built on stilts for coolness and underneath them were nooks and secret places. Joyce’s cousins joined us there and we built ‘cubbies’ and ‘shops’ from bits of wood, bottles and boxes. We had pet geckos — funny little lizards with pads at the end of each toe. If we found neglected gecko’s eggs we put them in matchboxes lined with cotton wool and waited for the babies to hatch. I liked Joyce’s cousins because they were just as protective of the geckos as we were.
A world of dragons and fairies. When I’d explored every pool and crevice I would wade to the edge of the reef where a ledge pierced with large holes overhung the deep water. From there I’d look down through one of the openings into a wider realm of turrets, domes, shrubberies and forests spun by coral on the sea floor. Here the big fish skulked: giant rays with undulating wings, huge sharks. In the Coral Coast area sharks were a feature of the local lore. In a sandy cove near the reef a gory event is supposed to have taken place.
Across the Magic Line: Growing Up in Fiji by Patricia Page