Monday, October 01, 2018

First few days in Tonga (Vava'u Group)

[Kyle]After clearing in with Tongan customs and immigration, we had the usual list of things to do on arriving in a new country. What was nice was that this time, we didn’t have to waste half of our time figuring out where everything was, since we had been here a year before. After only a day ashore, we headed out of the city bustle of Neiafu to the nice, quiet anchorage at nearby Mala Island for a couple of days of snorkeling and solitude.

Familiar sights in Neiafu (main town of the Vava'u group, Tonga)
And Kyle could not resist a little more sailing.

I remembered Mala as being a pretty spot to watch the sunset, but having relatively uninteresting snorkeling. This year, we got to see all sorts of hard to find sea critters. We went out for a quick look the second day to see if we could find anything new and arrived back at Begonia six hours later. We were having so much fun, we hadn’t even noticed the time passing.

Once we were sufficiently rested and recovered at Mala, we headed back into Neiafu for the annual Blue Water Festival. Our modest registration price entitled us to admission in a whole week of different events. There were breakfasts, dinners, seminars, races, parties and shows to attend. First however we’d booked in for a Tongan Feast at the botanical gardens. There isn't much to do on a Sunday in Tonga as everyone closes for the day. The feast was it! While not especially Tonga, and with no actual access to the gardens - it was still nice to hear the history and hard work of the Botanical Gardens development from the founder (the first person in Tonga to have a degree), and we got to enjoy some beach time too!

Feast Day at the Botanical Gardens (Ene'io Beach)

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