St. John's College, in the village of Cawaci north of Levuka, was founded by the Marist Brothers in 1884, primarily to educate the sons of ranking Fijian chiefs. The school sits on the grounds of St. John's Church, a Gothic Revival building typical of Catholic missions in the South Pacific. On a bluff overlooking the sea, the Bishop's Tomb holds the remains of Dr. Julian Vidal, the first Catholic bishop of Fiji.

Yavu, south of Levuka, is a hilltop overlooking the sea where, according to legend, a newly arrived chief lit a fire, which caught the attention of a chief who was already here. The two met at Yavu and agreed that one would be chief of the interior, while the other would rule the coastline. They placed two sacred stones at the spot to mark their agreement. The hilltop isn't marked, so go there with a guide.

Waitovu, about a 50-minute walk north of town (look for its mosque), has the town's nearest waterfall. Ask permission, and the residents will show the way. You can dive into the top pool from the rocks above.

Rukuruku village on the northwest shore has a waterfall and Ovalau's sole swimming beach.

Lovoni Village

A picturesque Fijian village in the crater of Ovalau's extinct volcano, Lovoni was the home of ferocious warriors who stormed down to the coast and attacked Levuka on several occasions in pre-colonial times. Chief Cakobau settled that problem in the 1840s by luring them into town to talk peace; instead, he captured them all and deported them to other parts of Fiji. Lovonians still bear a grudge against their coastal brethren. Some of them came down to Levuka during the 2000 insurrection and torched the Ovalau Club and the Polynesia Masonic Lodge, until then two of the town's landmarks. My friend Christine Moore Green and I took a bus up to Lovoni in 1977; it has changed little since then. The houses still are built of wood with corrugated iron roofs. Today's Lovonians have seen so many travelers wandering around their village that most are adept at pleasantly smiling while ignoring you. It rains a lot up in the crater, whose walls are carpeted with tropical rainforests.

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