NOTE all words in ITALICS were either written on the trip or before we left (labelled HISTORY)
The Friendly Isles - Malo e lelei
UPDATE 10/12/2007 We have now left Tonga. Grim last day with cyclone and quake, plus we saw on the news from NZ some sort of coup/riot, we are investigating. Anyhow even though we enjoyed it pleased to have got out. Last day at 8.45pm house, tables and everything shook. seems to have been a quake nearby, deep underground , no tsunami warning, storms raging. Cyclone Daman. But apart from that things we did were,visted Atata , idyllic desert island, hired a car on the mainland (Tongatapu) for 3 days and leisurely went round everything over 2 days (i guess you could do it in a 1/2 day) and on the 3rd day went to the Cultural centre. Saw trad outrigger boat, Houma Blowholes (ace), National Holiday procession for King Tupou 1st on 4/12, village traditional dancing and a cultural dance eve at the International Dateline Hotel. Tonga is slightly different from Fiji and Samoa....All the ladies wear what appear to be mats over their skirts, and sometimes the chaps as well. Plus visible signs of protest against goverment in the streets. Great inequality , see some of our pictures! In Nuku'alofa town we saw the Kings Palace, had lunch in the 2 Sisters (often, its ace!) and Robinas Express cafe. She is half tongan/ quarter japanese and a quarter german and is gr8 (forceful business lady with 'high' connections) generally the town is not that inspiring but the market excellent
HIGHLIGHTS Atata Island, Blowholes, 2 Sisters restuarant and village dancing
LOWLIGHTS cockroach, rat, tongan tummy, dead sea krate (the worlds deadliest snake) on atata beach, cyclone daman & earthquake
HISTORY Boy most of the reviews we have read of Tonga denegrade its infrastructure and believe it or not their people...bad stuff...we keep an open mind and are really looking forward to it....We will be staying at Nukuma'anu cottages on Tongatapu (the main southernmost group of islands) in the Executive fale cos guess what they have 24*7 internet....no water (joke)....now thats not bad for reports of a decaying infrastructure...more when we arrive. We are there 11 nights 29/11 to 10/12 ...have just found Nov is close of parliament and last year at this time there was civil unrest, fires and looting....Oh dear, let's hope no repeat this year....
Remember the Fale, Robina, Nuku'alofa market - coconut drinks, Black Rose (Rosiloa) album bought in market, New Eagles album downloaded, outsized washing,tonga's stonehenge,Captain Cook monument, cockroaches, earthquake & cyclone and getting out alive.
Summary: TONGA 11 days , Day 35-45, 29/11/2007 - 10/12/2007
including Nuku'alofa & Atata Island