By Richard Varr
It may be bad enough walking on scorching sand on the beach, but Fijian firewalkers firmly step on heated rocks with ease and seemingly without pain. Dressed in traditional warrior garb, they do so during the many chanting-filled rituals now performed at resorts along Fiji’s Coral Coast, on the main island of Viti Levu.
“I started practicing 10 years ago, passed on to me by my father and my grandfather,” says Waisake Ratuloaloa, the tribal leader of one such ritual I witnessed. “This is passed on from generation to generation.”
So how does firewalking not burn his feet? “I’m already used to it because I practiced a long time. When I did it the first time, it burned but I continued doing it until it didn’t bother me anymore.”
To prepare for the event, the firewalkers heat up the stones until hot with a fire and then spread them out into a small pathway for walking. The men must abstain from sex and not eat coconuts for two weeks before the ritual. Before walking across the rocks, they motivate themselves with powerful chanting.
After the ritual, I took a closer look at the bottom of Chief Ratuloaloa’s feet. They were not burned, but in fact just wet from the grass, with no apparent calluses or blisters. “It feels hot, but nothing happens,” he says. “It doesn’t burn my legs or feet.”
The Warwick Fiji Resort and Spa
Located along the Coral Coast, this five-star property offers 250 rooms and suites. In particular, snorkeling off the beach itself (15 feet from the shore) was excellent and I enjoyed watching a waterside wedding. And the fish platter is enough for four and second to none!
I would certainly recommend looking into this property for a vacation or visit.
For more information: http://www.warwickfijihotel.com