Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fun in New Potatoes

We enjoyed our stay in Niuatoputapu (aka New Potatoes).

One fun thing we did was hike the ridge trail. We hitch-hiked early one morning down to near the 3rd village of Hihifo, found the path up to the top of the ridge (thanks to Avril on Dream Away's good directions), and hiked along the ridge top. We found viewpoints for every direction, and the weather was great for taking pictures.

Another fun thing was a 'pig roast' that Sia and Nico hosted at their house (for $25 pa'anga per person). They baked 2 whole (small) pigs and fixed some other traditional Tongan side dishes (taro, greens, etc). We had home-made mango juice to drink. And a fruit dumpling mix for dessert. About 8 boats participated--everyone ate their fill and had a good time.

Another thing that provided a lot of amusement was watching the animals around the village. It is springtime here, so all the animals have babies. As we walk thru the village, there are tiny chickens following the hens, little piglets capering behind their mothers, and even a (horse) foal wobbling next to its mother.

Finally, we had the chance to see the 'about monthly' supply ship come in. Most of the cruiser's dinghied in to the concrete quay to watch the fun and games around the supply ship. About 20 passengers arrived on the freighter, along with lots of cargo. Rumor had it that after the cargo was unloaded, the captain would break open the freezer and sell ice cream from his stocks, but we didn't stay on the docks long enough to watch the ice cream caper (it was hot as heck standing around watching). But later in the evening, we were amazed to see that all the town kids were shinnying out the bow line and jumping off the bow of the freighter. We couldn't believe the captain would allow that. But the kids were having a ball.

We also had a short snorkel on the reef one afternoon. The wind was down and the tide was up, and we actually were able to anchor the dinghy inside, and swim out over the reef, to get to the deep water. Much of the reef was pulverized during the tsunami 2 years ago. There is new coral growth coming back, but it is still fairly barren where we were. Lots of fish, and lots of interesting 'profile' (caverns, etc) on the reef.

There were whales about while we were in Nuiatoputapu. We saw them from the ridge while we were hiking, to the west of the anchorage outside the reef. And we saw them fairly close to the entrance to the anchorage as we were leaving. But we never got to go out and try to observe them up close.

We could easily have stayed a week or two longer, to take our time, do some more snorkeling, hiking, and meet more of the local people. But we do need to get down to Neiafu and get settled in soon, so we reluctantly left Niuatoputapu on Sunday morning.
Sherry & Dave
Hanging out in Tonga for cyclone season!

At 10/10/2011 9:38 PM (utc) our position was 18°39.73'S 173°58.99'W

No comments:

Post a Comment