Life in Tonga is fairly relaxed; it didn’t take us long to figure that out. One morning we headed to the market in Neiafu, Vava’u, at 7am hoping for fresh produce but it wasn’t to be – hardly anyone was there. Tongans are not early risers it seems. We went back at lunchtime and while the fruit and vegetables were all on display, there weren’t too many vendors and those who were there were snoozing. So, realising we were on Tongan Time, we slowed down too!
We explored the town of Neiafu and its surrounds on foot and by bicycle – our last rides on our trusty folding bikes. There was no room for them for the final leg to New Zealand and no need for them once we are home so we sold them. It was sad to see them go as we’ve covered many hundreds of miles on them in dozens of countries but they both went to good homes. The Bandit garage (the twin cabin) has now resumed its function as a twin cabin… we plan to use it on the trip home as it’s the most comfortable place to sleep.
We loved our time in the Vava’u islands. It was a great catch up time as cruisers we’d met as far away as Lanzarote sailed into Tonga. There were many wonderful happy hour get togethers and pot luck dinners on the beach. Highlight was meeting up with fellow Marlborough sailors Pete McLean and Richard Batchelor. Pete bought Jungle in the UK and we first met up in Olbia in Sardinia in 2010 and again the following year in Corsica. Sharing an anchorage in the Vava’u islands on a perfect day was an unexpected bonus.
The best thing about the Vava’u group is the distances are all short – only an hour or so between anchorages. We’ve had some lovely walks ashore with the outer islands offering great views of the Pacific Ocean. We’ve also continued to have some wonderful whale experiences seeing them up close most days. Not a lot more to say about this wonderful piece of Pacific paradise so will let the pictures do the talking.