Blogs from Tongatapu, Tonga, Oceania - page 2

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Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu June 14th 2016

Last Friday and Saturday Tonga received an unprecedented amount of rain: According to the Tonga Meteorological Services at Fua’amotu, a 273.1mm of rainfall was recorded in the 24 hours between Friday and Saturday. Yep, June is not the best time to start a swim program! It has also been very overcast and cool. Many low lying areas flooded at the weekend (and rains continued yesterday) so there was the threat of evacuations. We are on slightly higher ground so are fine. You can see from the Nuku'alofa picture that the town and area has no hills. Sunday was a welcome surprise with sun and some warmth! So we headed out on our bikes. Remember Sunday the whole of Tonga comes to a screeching halt as nothing, really nothing, opens. So cycling is our main distraction. We ... read more
Keleti beach
Whales

Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu June 10th 2016

Tonga is very much a Royal society. The current King - Tupou VI - was crowned July 2015 in a huge ceremony lasting days with traditional feasting and dancing. The Royal Palace takes pride of place on the foreshore and you can often hear sirens for the Royal cavalcade!. We live near the "Kings" church where they attend. Our first Sunday they dressed us up as Tongans with the traditional mat (photos later!) and the Queen was in attendance. The Royal Family is extensive and anyone not directly of the Royal family is a Noble. Queen Salote was a particularly loved Queen - and a rarity - only the male line has succession unless there are no male heirs. She had a governess called Leisali - a nice version of my name! The kings and queen ... read more
Coronation feasting
Dancing for the Coronation
Royal Palace

Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu May 31st 2016

After a few days in the guesthouse it was time to find somewhere to live. Housing in Tonga varies greatly - see the pictures! The mansion beside the water belongs to friends. Ours is the rather suburban looking one! It is in fact NZ built and huge. We have 2 volunteer houses with 3 volunteers and some partners in each. Ours is in a fabulous compound with our neighbours - an Australian/Tongan couple and their 3 children. Note Jan having a bear with Salesi our landlord (unbelievably Jan is clutching a can of Fosters). We also have choocks and several pigs plus lots of fruit trees. I'm trying to plant some veggies (where the chooks cannot dig them up) and Jan is helping the guys on the land plant taro.... read more
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Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu May 26th 2016

Malo e leilei from Tonga! We arrived last week and have been settling in. Much cooler than Darwin - particularly at night. Our first week was induction - lots of information and practical bits and pieces involving driving around Nukualofa in a mini bus! The place is really small but until I walked it I had no idea! Tonga is (at first glance) friendly, developing slowly and very much a church going nation. Sundays nothing - really nothing - happens. No shops or cafes are open as people go to church and stay home. However, there is one notable exception: the bakery! You don't have to know where it is as you just follow the cars and pedestrians! So Sunday is about church and cream buns. I am volunteering in swimming development. The Tonga Swimming and ... read more
Tonga
Tongan Warriors

Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu April 27th 2016

Tonga 4-16-16 Tonga $1n us=2.18 Tonga dollar(TOP) Snorkeling, Tonga island 4 2016 Thu do dao nay la Nuku’Olafa. Ten goi la Kingdom Of Tonga. La mot nuoc doc lap. Mac dau bi le thuoc ANh nam 1901 nhung Tonga van giu trieu dai kingdom cua minh va cuoi cung duoc doc lap nam 1970. Tonga gom 176 dao va 52 dao co nguoi o, voi dien tich la 750km2 bang 1/50 Vietnam. Voi dan so la 100,000 nguoi bang 1/100 Vietnam. Ho song thua thuot hon Vietnam. Trung binh moi nguoi kiem duoc 7000/nam bang 7 lan Vietnam. Tonga nghia la south, phia nam cua quan dao Polynesia. Noi tieng Polynesian tuong tu nhu Hawaian va Samoan. 2 dao gan nhat la Fiji va Niue. Dan chung da so theo Thien chua Toi den Tonga luc ... read more
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Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu May 28th 2015

It rained today in Tonga but didn’t dampen our spirits. Fortunately for the first part of our kayaking trip it was dry but going back there was a light spritzing. It was so great to be off the ship after four days. We were unable to dock in Rotorua, New Zealand due to high winds and the next day when we arrived in Auckland it was raining, windy and cold so we opted to stay on the ship. We hadn’t kayaked since last summer and the water was rough so we struggled but made it. Tomorrow we will know how out of shape we are. Last night after the Captain’s cocktail party and dinner we danced (fast, not waltz) for the first time on this cruise and so the hips are a little out of joint ... read more
Tonga's Best
This one is mine!
Sweet People

Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu April 24th 2015

I had to get up at 3.45am the next morning to catch the 5am boat back to Nuku'Alofa! I slept for most of the journey and when I got back I stopped at a cafe for some tea and toast before heading back to NOAs guest house. After checking back into my room I went to see the blowholes which were really cool. After I was going to go to see a famous monument but it turned out the buses stopped running at 3 so I didn't have time! So I went and got a pizza at a local cafe instead. When I got back an Indonesian girl had checked in, Sita. We got chatting and decided to go for a drink in a bar nearby. We ended up meeting the owner of the bar and ... read more
Bye bye Tonga!
Pudding time!
Reunited with my fave travel buddy!

Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu April 21st 2015

HELLO, hello bloggies, sorry for the delay, nothing I could do, cut off from the outside world !! Well almost !! So going back to when we arrived at Tonga, we flew from AUCKLAND to the island, (can't remember the date now). The islanders on the plane seem to bring an awful lot of hand lugguage, lots of 'mats' These are what the women wear, no kidding, they wear these woven mats around their waist's and because funerals are a very big thing out there, they seem to bring over lots of cloths, purple colour and these are hung up outside the houses. So the first night we went to the buffet, traditional dancing evening, (Stu wearing the flowers) we had been up for 38 hours as we had to wait at the airport all night ... read more
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Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu April 21st 2015

Hi everyone, Ricky the driver came to pick us up one day to take us to town, so we went to the market and had a coffee in a cafe, there are a couple of cafe's there mainly where the tourists go. The Tongan capital is called 'Nuku'alofa', we walked to where the tombs were, these are where the Kings and Queens are buried. We walked to the Wharf which didn't have a lot down there, we noticed that Security is everywhere, the Banks, the shops, lots of visible police. No one bothered us, infact everyone was really helpful. They don't get a lot of tourists compared to the Cook Islands, the main time anyone ever goes to Tonga is during June - October when the Whales come as this is the only place in the ... read more
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Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu April 21st 2015

Hi everyone, just putting up more photos of Tonga, it really was very relaxing and a great way of finishing 'our world wind road trip' which was fantastic and we're still talking to each other !! Believe me, in a car together 24/7 is always not a bed of roses !! But we both said it was a great adventure and would we do it again, most definitely!! hope it's the beginning of things to come. Roll on retirement, we fancy a road trip round Scotland, Wales and Ireland and further afield, Canada, America, the list is endless !! Met so many nice people and saw stunning beautiful places, we both fell in love with New Zealand, it really is just a wonderful country and would love to go back there again. We don't usually say ... read more
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