Join our adventure in The Kingdom of Tonga

Archive for March 26, 2008

The man with one arm…Diana’s.

Well there is not much that is new since our last post, but we did have a good Easter holiday. Lara and Trenton came up from Nuku’alofa to visit us this past long weekend. We had a really great time and we tried to show them as much as can be seen here in the short amount of time that they had. We ended up catching a ride to the south end of Lifuka and walking across to the next island south, Uoleva, at low tide. There are 2 “resorts” on Uoleva, (and I use that term loosely) named Captain Cook’s and Diana’s. We had stayed at Captain Cook’s a couple of different times since we have been here. Yet it is a bit expensive and we decided to try Diana’s this time. Unfortunately Diana’s has gone considerably down hill since the last Lonely Planet update because it was a wreck.

It was a considerable walk from the north end of Uoleva to Diana’s in which we planned on camping, but we had one Jica (Japanese) volunteer with us who want to stay in a fale (a house). Once we got there Phil and I walked over to an older Tongan couple sitting in the shade. The man had one arm and was very friendly. The woman had on a see-through shirt that was the talk of camp for the evening. They were both very friendly and showed us around the very disorganized and ravaged camp. He assured us time and time again that it would be up to par by next month and there are all sorts of Europeans coming to stay, which I think was either very optimistic or an out-right fib. At any rate, we had a great time talking in the full moon light and kerosene lamps. The next morning we gathered a type of shellfish on the beach, “pipi’s” as the New Zealander’s call them, Tongans call them “feingota”. We kept them alive in water bottles and brought them home in which we made a great pipi white wine pasta, a rare treat!!

When Karen and Lara went to Mariner’s to get the white wine for the sauce they told us that the man with one arm had just gotten out of jail for murder and that Diana’s was defunct. They had no right to the land and that the place was likely to be taken from them if they can’t secure proper rights to it. This was quite the eye opener. We had payed $10 paanga each to people squatting, one of which was a murderer. He seemed like a very nice murderer, but none-the-less …creepy. Well anyone reading the latest Lonely Planet, mark out Diana’s for now on your agenda and think about staying at Captain Cook’s, or even better bring a tent or hammock and camp somewhere.

On Monday, we left fairly early in the morning and Lara, Trenton, Karen, myself, and Phil rode to the north end of Foa. Foa is the next island north of here. The north end of it is particularly beautiful. As we were riding we met 2 guys from Ohio (they are everywhere, aren’t they Geoff) and a guy from Australia riding up to Matafonua where you can rent Kayaks. We just went up and hung out on the beach for a bit and then came back so Lara and Trenton could catch their flight….which didn’t happen.

Another aside for travelers, Lara and Trenton had their flights sold on Monday, even though they arrived at the airport an hour and ten minutes early. It was nice to have them an extra night, but it was frustrating for them I know. So arrive plenty early, like 2 hours I’d say. Although…. I heard that some World Bank people were supposed to come to Ha’apai in January and arrived at the airport 2 hours early, but the flight left 3 hours early so they obviously missed it. To their obvious irritation, they decided to not come at all. Things work different here and I’m not sure that westerners will ever get use to it. You just have to be aware.

Look for more pictures soon on the latest pic’s page.