T O N G A
Well we are not exactly sure what it was that attracted us to Tonga, we had a couple of other options but something about Tonga just appealed to us. For me i think it was the many comments that i heard along the lines of 'never go to Tonga', (i guess there's just something about others discomfort that appeals to me). I can see why perhaps someone who had only ever stayed on the main island might say this, but as for dean and i we travelled north to the Haapai group of islands where it truly was a tropical paradise. However i still enjoyed my 2 days in nukualofa where id heard the many stories of wild scavenging dogs that travel in packs and attack unwary tourists by night. The thing is i hardly saw any dogs, but there were pigs of all size and description everywhere, this was a pleasant surprise and made me very happy as i love pigs.
This is a picture we took flying north, when i saw it i got excited because a tiny tropical island in the middle of the ocean fitted in perfectly with how i had imagined things to be and i just new from then on that we were going to have a great holiday. As we got closer to our group of islands we could see reefs stretching out for miles and were eager to go snorkeling and see the hundreds of little fishies and enjoy the water that was an average of 26 degrees, (as quoted in lonely planet).
This photo was taken at sunrise on the one day we managed to get up early enough to see it, its taken looking back towards our resort which is just out of the picture. This beach was perfect for snorkeling, it was very shallow and the reef seemed to us to be very diverse, this same day we kayaked out to some of the other islands close by, the water was beautiful and clear and we could see right to the bottom of the ocean wherever we went, there were fish and coral the whole way, dean said it was more beautiful than Hawaii and i believe him.
So the island where we stayed was amazing, I'm glad we spent the extra money to fly there and the accommodation was great. I was even more pleased we went there when we arrived and found out a few more facts about the place. Just off the reef where we were staying was the Tongan trench, the second deepest volume of water in the world, I could hear the waves breaking on it in the night and had a dream that i floated over the reef and was drowned in the waves. And then 40 nautical miles away was Tofua island home to a live volcano and also where 'mutiny on the bounty took place,' we wanted to go out there but 40 nautical miles is actually quite a way and we would have needed to charter a boat. The other thing I noticed were the people, who did not seem to be very industrious and basically rely on subsistence farming to get by, all these things interest me being a Hist. Geo. Pacific Development graduate. Anyway enough rambling from me, here's a few more photos to give you a better picture of what its like.