Few have been the hours of sleep before planting (23 TOP) in the domestic terminal of Tongatapu airport, where some icon of a recent destination we smile again (and accompanies us in a mini-breakfast -13 TOP-). The Convair of Chatams Pacific is the closest thing to a missile in which we have flown, with just 2 seats per row, but clean and comfortable. Only 7 people go to Vava'u at this time of the morning.
Tonga has 3 main island groups: Tongatapu (where we were in its capital yesterday and we will return), Ha'apai and Vava'u. When a few months ago we talked with Jorge Sanchez About the adventure through the islands of the South Pacific, he encouraged us to reach Vava'u, in our doubt which group of islands to choose. Togatapu and Ha'apai are mostly low-rise coral islands, while Vava'u are volcanic and mountainous. It was also time to try to "disappear" a few days in a place of secrets and mystery, on a desert island if it could be. Today was the day
The barely 50 minutes of flight, let us intuit the wonderful place we approach. It is a very different place to the labyrinth of canals and islands of lush vegetation of Marovo Lagoon, in Solomon Islands, but its multitude of rocky islands leave a place of great beauty to our feet.
Yes Marovo Lagoon He managed to reach us at the heart, with that lagoon of multiple shades of shallow waters full of coral reefs, the jewel of Melanesia, and Rock Island in Palau, a collection of rocks with an inner lake that remained anonymous until !! 1982 !!, they speak like a wonder of Micronesia ... without a doubt, the pearl that completes these 3 "must have" of the South Seas in Polynesia has a name ...
… VAVA'U ARCHIPELAGO, one of the best places on the planet with a special magic, sighting and being able to swim with Yubarta whales that come to give birth to their young in these warm waters before returning to Antarctica where we saw them before
Paula, fasten your seat belts, we're going to land ... !! allaaaaaa vamoooooooooooos !!
The "international" airport runway (the concept is not clear to us) of Lepepau'u serves as a starting point of this new experience on our trip, with the first rays of morning sun.
We cross the small island of Vava'u I was doing Neiafu in just 15 minutes, along a road that leaves plantations and lush vegetation on the sides, as well as good colonial houses that we saw yesterday. We continue in the Kingdom of Tonga, a true feudal reign in the XXI century, where society is strictly hierarchical, with nobles above and below the flat people. The ministers are still appointed by the nobility, but the Tongans seem happy and proud of the situation
We are in a jellyfish shaped island, which is an elevated coral platform with cliffs in the north, a low and irregular coastline in the south, which opens that complex network of canals, bays and islands, forming one of the most protected natural harbors in the entire Pacific.
In a while, Allan will appear, a New Zealander who is sure to contribute a lot to our lives in the coming days. Meanwhile, we begin our research work in a kind of market area. Do youSomeone will remember the name of Francisco de Mourelle?
An impromptu fish market With several posts it doesn't help us much, we barely understand their English and they understand us. We follow our path after observing the good catch of the day
A little further on is the Utukalongalu Market, a fruit and vegetable market mixed with handicraft products that make Paula crazy, and where we fall into its networks without too many complications (90 TOP)
The Tongan makes his life without thinking too much about tomorrow. He seems like a happy person, with no more complications than his daily life, his diet and his religion
Everything creates curiosity, even what you can find in a rustic gas station. What can be sold here? Well, of course, a Rugby ball, watermelons, boots and instant coffee ... the same as in Europe
There it appears. We could describe it in many ways, but I think with a word to spare. Allan has the typical aspect of a hermit apart on a desert island. Long white beard, old age but in good physical shape, thin complexion ... Allan is a New Zealander who fell into the nets of this natural site 20 years ago, and 16 years ago he took an island to live with his family. Later he built 4 small ones and until today he gives accommodation to all those who want to appear here.
We will spend 3 days with Allan and his family, to return to the main island and from there try to reach Samoa.
Operation Samoa depends on whether we can leave Vava'u that day and that some of the emails we have sent there requesting accommodation and transportation to tour the islands. What comes up.
We got on your boat, a small double-decker boat, prepared for a particular sighting.
Now if we find our answers. Allan knows the history of Spanish Francisco de Mourelle, although unfortunately few people know it here already. This is a Spanish navigator who deviated from the traditional route from Manila to Acapulco arrived in these islands in 1781 in need of supplies and repairs. On his first island he would not find refuge and would call it Bitterness, however in Vava'u he would find what he was looking for and call it the islands of Mayorga (and Ha'apai Galvez Islands). Later, and thanks to him, Bustamente and Malaspina would also stop on these islands.
Today nobody remembers this story, and even this beautiful bay is known as Port of Refuge. In any case it is a pride to continue listening to the name of our Spanish navigators wherever we go and to know that they were the first Europeans to make the same route that we now do for the "Jellyfish" archipelago of Vava'u
And indeed, we are in an archipelago in the shape of a giant jellyfish, with its hanging tentacles and 61 islands surrounded by turquoise water courses creating one of the most popular protected reefs on the planet.
But as we have started talking about magical places, we have to talk about another fundamental ingredient in this dish. Vava'u is the favorite destination of a truly spectacular animal, and hence the name of the ship we are riding on ...
... in these waters and at this time of year, from July to November, dozens of Yubarta whales of the ones we saw feeding on the trip to Antarctica 2009, they come to give birth to their young among this network of rocky islands, warm water channels and places of refuge
We will talk about them these days, but after 40 minutes, we have reached what will be our accommodation the next 3 days, MOUNU ISLAND (not Paulita, it's not Kandholhu, although it looks a lot)
Mounu Island, a privileged place within this already privileged place, will be our home today, tomorrow and the past, a landscape of bright colors, white coral sand beaches, coconut palm plantations ...
… And the best of all, a truly heavenly place, far from the resorts and resorts of other places on the planet. An Eco-Resort created for the retirement of Allan and Lyn, his faithful wife, and his daughter Kris, who already awaits us with breakfast. They, in addition to 3 young Tongan, are responsible for running this island of just 6.5 hectares of coral atoll and 4 small cabins.
I think there is a person who is really delighted to be here, and who will serve as a "kit-kat" to continue our adventures ...
We will talk more about the island and its magic tomorrow, since Today we have dedicated the day to rest, read, enjoy, walk around its perimeter, discover its secrets and! EAT SPECTACULARLY! (how well they cook, yum, yum)
In the main house Allan gets up, thinks he has seen a mother whale with her young. In the distance they blow heavily and leave a kind of water vapor geyser in its path. We feel them very closely. Night falls, and our little cabin awaits us… On a remote deserted island of the wonderful archipelago of Vava'u Islands
Isaac and Paula, from Mounu Island in Vava'u (Tonga)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 36 TOP (approx 16.36 EUR) and GIFTS: 90 TOP (approx 40.91 EUR)