ExploreOceania

Tonga

By September 24, 2019 No Comments

After an amazing trip in French Polynesia, here we are, in Tonga!

After long hours in airports and on planes we arrived in Tonga! A new experience in the Pacific. Here people speak English (sometimes it’s an approximate English). It’s super late, the airport is tiny and our business takes ten years to arrive. Leaving the airport there are some guys playing ukulele while singing. It’s nice. Our driver is waiting for us with a sign. We will not understand very well what she tells us and vice versa! An hour later we arrive at Paea, our host who speaks better English! We are dead, we go to bed when we arrive.

The next morning we get up later than expected as we have changed time! But we do not have anything special to do except plan our stay. We are waiting for Paea who will be kind enough to help us organize and bring us to the ferry and the city.

Quentin is very eager to take the ferry for 24 hours instead of taking a 2h plane … he wants to travel to the local … well, I cannot refuse it as I impose quite implicitly a lot of visits … it is still okay in the end I specify! the technique is to say that I really like to do something but as I do very often what I say I would like to do he knows very well that it will do: D you follow? In short, we will be typing 24h ferry. Since there is only one on Mondays and Fridays we have to deal with Saturdays and Sundays, but Sundays in Tonga are for Jesus … so we can not do much, there is do not even have a plane! We decide to book a tour for the whales … lack of luck tomorrow it’s full !!! In prevention we reserve for the last day … I hope we will not leave here without our great experience under water (it seems that it’s a crazy thing here, that whales play with people … to be continued). Paea leaves us in town. We will eat with the locals. It seems like there are a lot of Chinese here to see the restaurants! We go around car rentals, airline, tourist office, ferry. We will eventually find a program that suits us. We will only do three of the four islands we would have liked to see because of the flight and ferry schedules. The fifteen days on Tonga are very nice!

We return to the accommodation trying to finalize the bookings with the little internet we have. We meet an Australian who works for the government and squats for 8 weeks here. He’s very nice. After this big day we go to bed, tomorrow the adventure begins at last!

After a morning wake up we get ready and we try to organize our next stay in Vanuatu as there are flights to book.

It is a bit of a hassle because we would like to go to places where few tourists go but suddenly there are not many flights. We do our best and then we ask Paea to drop us off at the ferry. We arrive much too early, we thought we could buy our tickets for the ferry Monday but it’s closed until Monday … So we take the opportunity to buy something to eat on Eua because it seems it There are not many fruits and vegetables there.

We can get on the ferry even more than an hour before, so we decided to move. It’s quite funny because locals prefer to spread their mats on the ground and lie on it. Everyone spreads anywhere. The ferry is full! It is Saturday, and tomorrow nothing is open, there are not even planes circulating.

The trip will last more than two and a half hours. I found it quite long so I dread a little 24 hours Monday …

It is not very nice on Eua. We are picked up at the pier and dropped off at the campsite. We are very well welcomed by a big family. They look very friendly. We pitch our tent, we are the only campers and there is only one other person in a room. We are getting ready to eat: fish & chips! It was not bad but they had spiced in the frying suddenly I had a little mouth on fire.

As it is quite late we will not go too far. We boarded a beach at 30min walk but in fact it was an hour away. The beach was full of crushed shells. Unfortunately no whales in sight! On the way back people stopped to pick us up but we refused because we wanted to walk. A group of young people completely broke up the cluster for a few minutes but we did not really understand the sequence of sentences of the type driving … he had trouble making sentences built.

Back at the campsite we glandera, we will be punctured in fact suddenly we will not do anything special.

It’s been raining all night and it’s still raining. So we will not go hiking. The day looks bad.

We have breakfast. People are not very friendly today; There are not the same people as yesterday. They are told that we would like to eat the traditional meal, the “umu” this afternoon instead of the night of the coup. It’s better since they are preparing it. It’s a bit like a marquisian oven. They dig a hole in the ground, make fire, put stones and install the food in aluminum inside. The meat is cooked in a leaf of tree. I went to see how the guy was doing. I had some information but no more. They do not really want to talk to us …

We will play scrabble and watch series a good part of the day. We will stop trying to talk with them since they obviously do not want to.

The meal arrives. It smells super good but lacks luck for me it’s lamb and I really do not like it. So Quentin will have two plates!

We adjust then the sun comes out a little. We take the opportunity to go for a walk in the area. There is something to see: one of the two largest and oldest trees on the island. He is super handsome and is 800 years old.

When we come back we pass the time. I do not want to be tomorrow because the ferry day between Monday and Tuesday will be horrible but at the same time we are bored here, there is nothing to do when it rains. We’ll see if we come back, only if the weather is nice!

After this beautiful long day doing nothing we go to bed because tomorrow we get up at 3am …

It’s raining ropes on Eua! We had a single day like that in 8 months of travel, it was in Tubuai (French Polynesia) and we were in a house, not in our tent! It is difficult to repack all. We get wet to the bone. It does not stop raining. The water is back in our shoes and in our coats. The girl yesterday told us to be ready for 3.45am … but nobody seems awake. There is the other Chinese or Japanese tourist who is there with us, she is getting impatient. At 4:10 she will try to wake someone up. Christie, the youngest and nicest girl wakes up and tries to call her dad who is in the hospital with her mom. She tells us that he should not delay. Obviously they completely zapped us and nobody was going to bring us. If there were several boats not days no worries but there the only one there is at 5am and it is too ugly to do anything … another day to do no thank you!

Dad will come at 4:45 … then disappear into one of the houses. The girl got crazy and tells them to move (she has her plane tomorrow … so she is more stressed than us). We are told that the ferry was waiting for us. Cool. Dad gets back after 5am, nickel. We leave completely dipped to the ferry waiting for us. Dad tries to talk but I do not understand anything he says. We try to hurry up and get on board. It’s not the same as the first leg. It’s a bit stuffy inside. There are not many people and people are lying on the seats. We find a row for us. I try to change because I’m too cold. Quentin falls asleep in a strange position. It left for 2h30 ferry. I cannot sleep. I watch people. There is a gentleman who makes strange snores. After two hours there is an announcement that we do not understand. A nice guy translates it to us in English. Ticket control. The controller arrives and tells us that we got into the wrong boat..hum..there was only one boat. Not serious. We pay and we will try to get a refund. The journey ends. It is ugly on Nuku’alofa too but it is less bad than Eua. To see the stadiums and the lawns there was a big rain here too.

Quentin sees my head and has pity on me. He tells me we will fly to Vava’u. Inside I’m happy but I know he wanted to take the ferry for 24 hours so I asked him ten times. He insists on flying.

We go to the ferry office but the ticket office is closed. By cons another is open and a lady tells us that there is a boat that went on Vava’u this morning at 2 am, weird. She also tells us that today there are no more … weird bizarre. The news is contradictory all the time here! Good one to Real Tonga Airline to see if we can take the plane. Again, everything is full! Even tomorrow! So we decide to go to our new headquarters: the “friends cafe”. Quentin is having breakfast and me a hot chocolate half cut in the water … yum! (ironic). We decided to go see for the ferries again and look at all the agencies to make a whale watching trip. It’s super expensive !!!!! But hey, it’s the game my poor Lucette as we say in French, you do not go to Tonga without trying to see and swim with the humpback whales! We call several and we will confirm tomorrow.

We arrive at the ticket office of the ferry. The girl is nice and we refund our ticket back. We go back to see the other girl at the counter opposite to see how much the ferries cost. She pulls us out this time the boat has not left this morning and is scheduled for 3pm today, but we must buy the tickets in another place. She talks about booths … it’s tilt in my head and Quentin understood that we would not sleep on the floor! Well we go, we go for it. Thirty minutes of walk later we arrive at the ticket office. We meet at the ticket office, the girl is soft !!!!! but we manage to get our tickets for this afternoon. It is 11am and we have to come back at 2pm. In the meantime we have to go back to Paea to pick up and exchange business and possibly take a shower. We walk. I hitchhike without much conviction but a car stops. We will be lucky, it is the son of Paea who brings an Australian tourist (there is almost that here from where exorbitant prices). We arrive and by chance Paea is there. It allows us to squat the room of a girl who just left and shower. We do all our stuff and we return to the ferry at 1 pm walking because Paea is not there. I raise my thumb without conviction and a very kind lady takes us to the ferry.

We will wait until it is 3pm before boarding (not 2pm as we were told); Basically we embark on departure. There are not many people. We are shown the cabin which is at the bottom of the boat! We put our stuff and then go back exploring. People settle wherever they are. They all took mats they put everywhere and settle. It is really too cold in the boat, so much so that some people are settling in the corridors and outside! I’m happy to have paid more … The boat leaves and we settle up on the bridge. People greet us and seem surprised. We are the only two tourists on the boat. A guy comes to us and tells us that he was on the ferry coming back from Eua this morning, with his wife and children, that he had seen us. Indeed, I had noticed, he had a beautiful tuft of hair at the Jackson 5 and a beautiful tattoo on the arm and his children were very beautiful. He’s trying to talk to us. Obviously he does not speak English well but he is happy to talk to us. It will stay an hour with us and other people will arrive. With Quentin we look off hoping to see whales. Well we will be served! We will see a dozen and before sunset a calf will make us a show: big jumps! Very cool ! Another gentleman comes to talk to us and a member of the crew. We must intrigue people. They are very nice anyway. We go buy food and we realize that in the canteen they sell only chips, chocolate and cookies … we will take cookies for the evening meal. They are good but ultra sweet, we had discovered in Polynesia when we had forgotten to take a lunch and we had the choice between cookies, cookies and cookies.

We go down in our cabin at -2 and that’s the horror (for me). Cockroaches, everywhere !!!!! I start crying. I am repugnant. They are everywhere ! On the bed, the floor, the walls. I tell myself that my night is going to be horrible. Quentin tries to kill them but there are plenty of them. Will have to do with … We unpack our stuff, we’ll do a last pee, and I’m wrapped in my sleeping bag because it’s -15 in the cabin (I’m too happy to have taken!). I tell Quentin he will pay dearly for his desire to live locally! “But you wanted adventure! ” No ! Not that ! “Ah bin in Namibia we will not take the train then” … if, the train chic: D “bah in Vanuatu will have to take on you” We are not yet let me! After this beautiful discussion, we watch a movie (and I also look cockroaches) and finally we fall asleep quickly because of the lack of sleep of recent days. What a day !

Finally, even though we woke up several times in the night because of the ferry stops on some isolated islands, we slept well … it is noon … and we should arrive in three hours.

Quentin wants to get up but I do not want and finally at the sight of cockroaches I get up pretty quickly! We redid our bag and get on deck. We see the islands of Vava’u. We already arrive with them hours in advance. We put ourselves in a corner and we look. The islands are not very big and really flat. We think that a fortnight in Vanuatu is more than enough. Personally I am not really convinced by the country. At the moment I do not think it’s extraordinary and people leave me with a mixed impression. Quentin tells me that we are setting the bar too high now because of our dream holiday in Polynesia; That is true ! it was so beautiful and the people were so cool with us.

We get off the ferry, it’s gray. Quentin would like to go to the tourist office. We see a market, we buy vegetables to make food. We walk and there we smell good fish … we look, there are nice pies … we settle down even if we are not very hungry. Quentin will get his first local beer, not great but passing. The meal is very good. The manager is really not smiling, we think he is Australian because there are only Australians here! We learn that today is a holiday and that Thursday too … cool … we will be pissed! I call an agency for whales. The girl tells me to go tomorrow; we will take the opportunity to take a tour of the city. We take a taxi to Maria, our airbnb host. We will be fooled on the price but hey, that’s life! Maria is nice. She shows us our room. We have a house to share with other people who will arrive tomorrow. She, she lives just downstairs. It’s good, you just do not have to be very careful about the cleanliness and the finishes of the house but hey, it’s very often that in the islands and indeed in South America. We do not mind us. By cons, no hot water! Damn … I hope we’ll be hot so that the cold shower passes better. For the internet it pays and it will only be from tomorrow. It seems like having internet is difficult on Tonga.

We settle in and we will eat all the rest of the day.

After a big sleep we get up quietly and we go to town looking for a car rental for tomorrow, as well as to finalize our Friday whale tour.

After an hour of walking, we stop at the club, the girl is soft !!!! besides she does not understand anything. Fortunately his colleague I had on the phone arrives. We finalize everything and we go to see craft shops. Well, the craft here is really very very nice. The sculptures have nothing to envy to those of Polynesia and the rest … no comment. We go to the tourist office. The ladies are nice and try to explain where to go but they look too much their words in English and it’s hard to follow. We understand that we must find a Chinese who rents cheap cars. It will be our mission.

We follow his directions and we find the Chinese who does not speak, too, really not good English! in addition he is not very friendly … He tells us that the car will be available around 17h … good bin we will wait. The city is tiny which means that we will eat somewhere. There is a restaurant with sea views. The meal will not be bad but we got a little inflamed … so we’ll have to pay more attention on our restaurants! But hey, it made us spend time.

We stop in a shop that sells beautiful postcards and printed photos. I started to take lots of cards when the girl leaves us that the card costs 4 euros … good bin nobody will have a card of Tonga, sorry! We move slowly in the city then we decide to go for a drink in another cafe (we will test them all I think so there is nothing to do here!). It is nice, a little more expensive but not bad. It is the rendez-vousof sailors (rich, Australian and American). We made our coca and our beer last and then we decided to go see the Chinese for the car.

When we arrive, not even a smile, we give him the money and we go with his car.

The end of the day will be calm and we will do nothing more.

Big day of planned, we will go around the island! woop woop! we have the Chinese car, we are ready to splurge on our bodies!

We go through all the villages … well … they are all alike and there is nobody in the streets …

We will see a first point of view which is superb! finally something positive!

We will see a second point of view … we wonder why it is a point of view, the view is on the weeds. In addition we almost screw up the car in a dirt road …

We continue our journey to see the other places on the map but it is nothing exceptional. We come back “in town” to return the car and we say that Tonga is boriiiiiing! However sailing there must be nice but on foot it is really not interesting. Maybe that’s why people only stay a few days, just to see the whales!

His car is returned to the Chinese, always so kind, he has nothing to wax. So we leave and go back for a drink before walking for an hour.

When we arrive at Maria’s house, she tells us that there will be another tourist. The famous tourist arrives late, does not speak, and puts a padlock on his door to go to shower … hum … we will not do the social with him suddenly! We eat quietly (there is a toaster of the coup we make cheese toast is too good!) And then sleep!

Well, I will not write anything special because the photos summarize the great day we had: D

After our beautiful meeting with the whales (in conditions not very ethical) we decided to go shopping at Tonga Beach Resort where the boat came to pick us up. The beach is not unpleasant, it’s quiet and you can eat and drink. They will even be given a glue: “you make ice cream balls, nothing? “… after fifteen minutes of reflection I would have my cone with two beautiful balls of vanilla ice cream. We will take naps and Quentin will do some snorkeling. We were told that it was all too well snorkeling here … Quentin will tell me the opposite! Oh Tonga … we will not come back!

We take our time this morning because the ride we want to do will not take us all day. We would like to go to the highest point of the island: Mount Talau. From the house of Maria we should have for 1:30 walk only.

After breakfast and chilling a bit, we start. Five minutes after the “big” climb a grandpa and his daughter offer us to take us to town … we accept … so it shortened our walk pretty much: D

When we arrive in town we see a lot of animation to the port. So I suggest to Quentin to take a look (he goes backwards). In fact, there is the market. People sell big roots and kinds of tree trunks. We will not dare to ask … we are tired of trying to be interested and it does not follow in the face. So we do not care and we resume our way to Mount Talau. It climbs a little but nothing really bad. We arrive at the end and there we see nothing special but two minutes later we see stairs that rise and are very steep! Let’s go ! The view from above is very beautiful, it cheers up! You can see almost the whole island and small islets and motus of Vava’u. We admire then we turn back.

We decide to go eat in a small restaurant that does not pay mine but where they seem to serve fish. The restaurant is tiny and stuck next to a barber who has a lot of people to style with music. We order our meal to two girls not nice (it does not surprise us too much) then we moved. When the meal arrives we are happy because it smells great: fish and chips. It is delicious ! We enjoy and we decide to return Monday before taking the plane.

We’ll do some shopping before going home. Cannot find bread !!! We have too many balls because since we discovered the cheese toast we wanted to do it every day! Now we find ourselves with a big pavement of industrial mozzarella and without bread … we return sad to housing.

On the road, as if that was not enough, I fart my tongue right! Damn ! I walk oddly because of the small pebbles on the ground. We hitchhiked, fortunately a nice lady stops, it saves us 40min and surely a bloody foot!

We will spend a quiet end of the day without doing anything special.

On Sunday nothing is open because the people here are very religious and all go to church. We did not really understand the times of the Masses but what we can confirm is that people sing in the morning before 6am and in the evening after 9pm! Sunday is almost all day. How do we know? Well, we are lodged in front of two churches … it helps.

So as we have absolutely nothing special to do in town or elsewhere on the island, and because it’s really ugly (sometimes it’s raining ropes), we will stay in our own corner. Quentin will read and I will try to finish season three of “13 reasons why” (I advise you it is really bad!).

The day will be calm. Quentin will give me my scrabble pie (again … I won a few times anyway).

That’s it we will finally leave this island! We cannot wait because the days were long. Paea did not send us a message, deep down I know she does not care about us. We think we’ll have to take a taxi to Tongatapu to go home.

We prepare our bags then we leave Maria. She was very friendly, we thank her. We decided to go to Quentin to have a drink at Mango Cafe (our headquarters here because in front of the sea). We sip our drink and then around noon we go back to the little restaurant that served very good Fish & chips cheap (4 euros!). We wait for the meal and I point out to Quentin that we have been listening to the same song for 15 minutes … he had not noticed until I sang the three words in English at the end of the third part of the chorus (yes I had time to analyze the music even if it was in Tongan). He listens with more attention and yes, it’s true, the barber listens since all this time this piece (which seems very romantic) since surely hours! After the meal the song will still be listening! We did not count the number of times we heard it but we know that it is boring and lasts well 5 minutes!

We thank the girls not nice but who cook well and we will take a taxi. We will be too good for check-in but we will spend time playing scrabble. We hear employees laugh on the other side, they also play a game. The plane is going to be full it looks! When it’s time we check in and then three scrabble parties, coffee too sweet and cookies too sweet so we board the smallest plane in the history of our world tour. We will sit in front. The flight will be short and nice. We will see the reflection of the aircraft in the aluminum propeller, it’s funny because it looks like a plane follows us. We will pass over the islands of Tonga some of which we have passed by ferry. It’s beautiful seen from above but from below I think we are really too shit! They are super flat and although the beaches are beautiful, there are huge coral reefs and suddenly if it is not high tide to swim it’s so!

When we arrive, no sign of Tonga Villa … which does not surprise us. We take a taxi that makes us pay more. The guy must pick up his wife who will take the wheel and lead as a crazy (she found the way to double, each time, when a person arrived in front and is a few meters!). The initial driver was napping beside him. So as she did not know the road we put a little more time …

When we arrive we cannot say that the welcome was warm. Paea told us that we could stay free in her house under construction … I felt the scam … She gets us out of the door “Ah, you’re coming to get your stuff back! “… ” Hello how are you ? good and you ? “… no this part she zapée! She tells us we can not stay because she did some work … yeah cool she could have warned us before the bitch! Fortunately I suspected the false plan and that I had spotted housing. To prove her good faith she calls us a friend who has accommodation elsewhere. Quentin asks the price … almost 50 euros a night! uh … no thanks we’ll manage on our own.

We redid our bags. The friendly Australian who has been there for weeks comes to greet us, we discuss a little and we tell him our adventure of the day. She is one of the friendliest people we have met here.

When we finish and we want to leave, Paea tells us that she will bring us. Cool ! We leave, she asks us if we saw the whales, how much it cost, if we go to see the dance show if it wants to go through his friend for the taxi, and also how much is the room we take for at night … she is a little obsessed with money! She asks us to put a good comment on booking … When we arrive she is surprised because the place is very pretty and as she has a bad bottom, and she does not lose the north she leaves us “give me 10 dollars for gasoline “. There I had a bug, Quentin too. We take our bags, we give him his 10 balls (I will not even look at leaving so much she abused on the end). She will have her booking comment except that I will rot! I will put the same comment I will put on my blog!

In short, it is shocking that we arrive in our other accommodation for the night. The guy sees that we are a little to the west, we explain, he hallucinates! He gives us the key to the room. The place is really good. The room is huge and a simple but great thing: there is hot water !!! All naked it’s time for a shower! After a week in cold water our bodies do not recover! We feel so relaxed! I will see the menu of their restaurant, it is not very expensive. So we decide to have a drink and eat. The same guy comes to serve us, he is very effeminate and seems to like us. He is super nice. He brings us out “where do you come from? you have a weird accent! “. We laugh and we tell him that we come from France. He is super happy, he will make us laugh all night. The meal is too good! Quentin will fart the beer and I … the ice cream. The server asks me if we order only one ice cream I tell him yes. But as he seems to like us he comes back with a huge cup with 4 balls! Too kind. We must be his only nice customers of the evening. Beside there are 4 people who seem to ease it … the girl returns the tuna because not cooked enough … uh hello! the tuna is not cooked entirely! ah these tourists!

After this good evening we will finish “Mad Max” … uh … it’s big daube this movie! Quentin loves … sometimes I ask myself questions … after this chase in the sand with weird people we go to bed.

After our breakfast and a little excitement about wedding accommodation next year, we are heading to our new accommodation for the week. We decided to take an airbnb to another part of the city and stay there for the next six days.

We have all our things on our backs. People look at us smiling. They do not seem to be used to seeing backpackers.

We walk in full sun for a good half hour and after asking our way at the end of a dead end we find the house in question. The mother and grandmother of our host are there and welcome us. They are super nice. The house is huge and really nice. We have a very nice room in which we will be good I think!

We rest a good hour and then we go to town. Quentin spots a tiny restaurant that serves curry. Perfect. They have four choices on their menu and they have roasts like Mauritian roasts! We will feast!

We will see the big church and the kings’ cemetery. The church is completely dilapidated and the cemetery of kings is not accessible … the tour is so fast. We train a little in town, I finally take a big ice cream that made me feel good since the beginning of the stay. We do some stuff on the right and on the left of which to buy new flip flops in a “Chinese” then we will be stuck in our headquarters, the “Friend’s cafe”. We settle in and there is a little commotion in front of us, people take a picture of someone. So I go out my phone (big tourist) and I ask the girl all exhilarated who she takes a picture; she’s the princess! ouaaahhh lol, we do not care about it but it’s funny. We watch them. Then when she passes us by car I say hello and she answers me; a moment to make all people jealous in the country! After this little excitement we take a drink and then we spend the time a good hour before returning and shopping for the next two days.

On my way back I talk a little with our host who is very kind and a German couple who will be there all week long. We wait until they have finished eating (at 18h … in German J for dinner and then have a big sleep!

Today we make fart the excursion on an island to glander. We have that to do and it’s nice.

We take a big breakfast and then we leave for an hour walk towards the port. We arrive too early suddenly we sit on a bench. A group of rednecks australian arrives and start smoking right next to us … okay … we break up, we sit at the edge of the water waiting for the departure and hoping they do not go on Fafa island! Luckily they do not go there.

Fafa island is a small island or motu 30 minutes boat (30min because the boat really goes to two per hour). On this island there is a resort, obviously run by rich Australians. To sleep there costs a blind but they offer the poor like us to spend a day on the island to relax.

When we arrive, the lagoon is really beautiful, the water is transparent. Too bad the corals below are a little … uh … dead? in any case it seems. We are greeted by the staff after getting off our mobile pontoon. We are told how it works. We decide to have lunch first and go to find a chill-snorkeling spot. We settle on their beautiful terrace which is at the edge of the water and high tide in the water. We decide to take tuna … the girl asks us how we want it cooked … question trap? in fact they are so used to the fact that Americans and Australians ask them for over-cooked tuna that they prefer to ask before. When the meal arrives we are super disappointed. The presentation is not neat and it looks like a canteen meal. We think that for people who sleep on the spot and who pay more than 150 euros per night is not great! By eating we find black tip sharks.

After the meal we decided to go around the island. It’s nice but at low tide it’s not the best. In places there are a lot of corals. We will see a school of black tip sharks. We decided to move not very far from where we had arrived, not having understood that in fact there was a special space for non-residents … Quentin jumps into the water, I do not It does not happen, it’s too cold. While waiting for it, I see that the sea is starting to rise. So I take our things and I change places but it’s less good (there are algae and corals everywhere). No problem because the water is still rising so we will still have to move. When Quentin returns we change and we see empty chairs … we’ll see if there are people in the bungalow … nobody! good bin we squat the deckchairs! Quentin will return to the water and me to give me a good conscience I will throw myself in because she is really too beautiful! I will only stay immersed for five minutes because it is frozen! Quentin will find me a little later to tan (burn). Around 16h we will return to the boat because we have to return at 16:30.

The day was short but nice. On the return we see Tongans who are all in sportswear to “run” but in fact no one runs. People walk quietly or eat ice cream in sportswear. Three-quarters of the population seems obese to us. Children not even two years old eat chips before 10am and drink sodas …

We decide to make a stop in our headquarters for a drink and then we return to make toasts brimming with melted mozzarella for dinner … luckily we leave soon!

This morning our host tells us that to rent a car we need a special permit. Strange, we have never heard of that. She tells us that it costs 40 euros (100TOP)! The balls … it’s more expensive than renting a car for a day …

We start after a breakfast a bit rushed (it was a little drag in bed and if we want to have a car, which is not guaranteed we must go a little early). It’s hard to understand where to go. So, after a good thirty minutes of walking I ask a girl in his car. She knows what we are talking about and offers to drop us off. Great ! She tries to speak French, her family makes fun of her in the car but it’s nice to try!

To have the famous permit you have to go to the “Ministry of Transport”. This is an office like in “zootopia” with the lazy at the counter (if you do not know what I’m talking about you really missed something in your life … .I advise you to at least look for what I speak on youtube because I think the choice of characters was perfectly well chosen!). Finally as it is only for two days (we think that’s why), we will only pay 40TOP! Relieved we leave to pick up a car.

We are always welcomed (ironic) but at least we have a car … completely broken down, which we suspect the rear wheels not to be well fixed, and without rearview mirror, but rolling! We climbed in and we went forwards, direction points of interest of the map!

First stop, where Captain Cook landed for the first time on Tonga. We were expecting something crazy … well, it’s a pontoon with a closed cabin.

Okay, do not stay pessimistic! we take the road to see the cemetery of kings. Tongan cemeteries are very special. People are buried under a mound of earth or sand with corals. So aesthetically it’s special. They put on top of the plastic flowers and sometimes large banners or placards with the face of the deceased, sometimes even both! We arrive on the site. There is an explanatory panel saying who is buried and what size is the grave. Some tombs are on several floors and others only one platform. They are immense; about fifty meters long (not sure it was because the kings and queens were very big …). Well, it’s not really great but it was to see.

We continue the road to see the “Ha’amonga ‘on Maui”: monument dating from 1200 BC. It consists of two vertical stones of 5m high on which is placed a stone of 5.3m long. People are not sure what it is: either a lunar calendar indicating the new year, or that it would indicate the shortest day and the longest day of the year. It’s in a sort of pretty garden where people try to sell their crafts.

We decide to go eat somewhere, because it is already 14h! We will try the resort where we would like to see the dance show tomorrow night. There is a cave to see. We arrive, the resort is really ugly … poorly maintained. Girls do not serve much … we go down, the beach is pretty. We will see the kind of bar restaurant where the boss, not at all pleasant tells us that we cannot eat and we can book with girls at the top. We go up to reserve, we ask girls who tell us we do not know where. We go out and with Quentin we agree that we will not give them our money, even if we do not see a show at all! So we go to Nuku’alofa to eat a pizza that will be huge but too good, with a small dessert (for me only) ice two balls that would be equivalent to four balls in France …

We take the road to see other things on the map. First stop, the “Mapu ‘a Vaea” or “Blowholes”: beautiful place to admire the geysers that make waves crashing into the coral. It is really special as a place and we will have a good time!

Then we go to see the “Tsunami rock”: A large coral stone on which many plants and trees grew. She was reportedly sent here during a volcanic eruption. Ancient tribes came to take refuge in its mini cave below and there had been cannibalistic rituals. We had a good laugh with the discovery of a bathtub … I let you look at the photos on instagram!

We will then find beaches on the “sunset coast” and have a drink in the resort where we will see the show tomorrow.

We will end the day with a sunset at “Blowholes”.

After this big day, Quentin will fall asleep around 8pm while I’m working on my blog.

After a lazy morning we take the road to see the cave that we had not had time to visit: “Anahulu Cave”. It is an underground cave with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. It is possible to bathe indoors but we were lazy and there was a family of Australians who was screaming … we quickly left.

Then we went to see the steep coast. There is a kind of beautiful natural bridge and several impressive views where you can see straw-tails everywhere! We will enjoy this place for a long time so it’s beautiful! Then we will return to town for lunch for fear of finding nothing else like yesterday. We will eat fried chicken pieces at the request of Quentin, I think I will take 48 hours to digest them!

On the way to the “sunset coast”, I will look at some accommodation for the Solomon Islands … we will leave a kidney is too expensive, we even think to shorten the stay there!

We arrive at the beach, it’s high tide. The water is good but there is not much background. I’ll let Quentin snorkel alone. At the end of the day we will return to the airbnb to shower before returning to the resort to see the show.

When we arrive, it is too early but they have plenty of tables! we did not think there would be so many people! We have a special table for two. We watch people arrive, they are all super well dressed! We notice that there is a large majority of women too. There is a band playing love songs at the beginning and then it becomes a bit more rhythmic. Women start to step on the stage and shout with excitement (I weigh my words). They dance like crazy and have fun! It is 19h and we will be able to eat around 20h. People are all excited. We note that some people put tickets in the clothes of some people who dance! Funny custom but interesting, I hesitate to send Quentin dancing blow! One wonders if finally the traditional dance is not that …

The waitress discreetly tells us that the buffet is open, which is very nice because there are a hundred people excited to swallow everything! Queuing then we do not know if we can have large portions or not but we will take a little bit of everything and it will be enough for us. When we see other people come back with plates filled to the brim with a mountain of food, we say that we could largely ask for more. I look at people and I wonder how they can eat all that! We finish our plate and we see people serve again so I take a quick look at the desserts where I will abuse!

People start dancing again, I start to hurt my head with screams and loud music. Quentin is laughing at people. The show will start ten minutes late and last only thirty minutes instead of an hour … It was too weird. The dancers had costumes and danced traditionally on local music and recent music. People came to put underpants in their costumes at any time. At the end, people came to dance with them … we did not understand everything. When it ended we headed towards the exit. It was a really special evening!

We leave the car in the late morning and then we try to find a place to exchange our TOP in AUD (Australian currency). Lack of luck, all banks are closed on weekends! We say that the Chinese must exchange well … We go to see the first Chinese who runs the restaurant where we had eaten the first day. She does not speak English very well but she understands what we want. She tells us to come back this afternoon. Well, okay, we’ll go back.

We go back quietly then we will spend the whole day trying to advance on the organization of the Salomon Islands.

Around 17h we decide to return to the city. When we arrive to see the Chinese she is not there and of course her restaurant is closed! We should have known! What a moron, she could have given us a more precise schedule! Good bin we will try where I bought my flip flops. Quentin asks the Chinese who does not catch anything because his English is more than approximate. So we end up with too much TOP … and we are very annoyed!

We decide to go to the ‘friends’ café’ to have a snack. We have plenty of money to spend. We get ice cream and cakes. We decide to continue the festivities with an aperitif. The girl takes ten years to arrive to take our order. We will wait 45min! After the aperitif it is 8 pm, we decide to eat a pizza as they were super good … I had to be on a diet but hey … We’ll drink 45min before having pizza. We will see dozens of people who ordered to take away. She has a huge success this mini pizzeria!

After the meal we go back slowly and then we’ll go to a late night.

We will not do anything special of the day. We’ll take care of things and others that have been waiting for a while.

We will have a great meal at the restaurant of our previous hotel because it was good and the server super nice.

Cannot wait to be tomorrow!

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