On Wednesday Dave set up one of the fabulous beachcrusiers with the toddler seat and we set of to explore the islands.
This is a great map showing the Ha’apai group of islands which are located in the middle of The Kingdom of Tonga. Tongatapu is to the south and the island chain of Vava’u is to the north. As you can see there are only two resorts there, Matafonua Lodge where we stayed is located at position #2.
Between the two main islands you can see the narrow causeway which is Faleloa’s link to civilisation – the small town of Pangai in the south.
So on Wednesday we rode from point 2, to the end of the island, south of Pangai, just over an hour each way. The ride was super fun, mainly flat and so beautiful! You had to be really careful of roaming pigs and feral dogs but aside from that, no worries. The road is the only sealed road on the island and is one lane in most places, so we had to pull off and shelter in the jungle fringe a couple of times as the crazy local drivers hauled ass passed us. Ethan loved bike-riding, he got to see heaps and really enjoyed yelling hello to all of the locals, we were the ONLY palangis! Can you believe that? Going on holiday and riding for two hours and seeing no other tourists! So rad. Along the way you can literally reach you hand up and grab a banana off the trees as you cruise past.
So we got to Pangai and stopped in at Mariner’s Cafe for a Fiji Bitter (very good BTW). Mariner’s is the only cafe in Pangai and run by some eastern european palangi chick. The food was ok, but we were hoping to eat Tongan food. As we were to find out there isn’t really any Tongan run eateries catering to the very few tourists that come through Ha’apai. We then crusied south a bit further, checked the very elaborate graves,Tongan’s are buried in mounds above ground as you can’t dig through the coral obviously! (Thanks Jo for this info).
After a few hours of exploring we got way too hot and bothered, (it was 28 degrees) and rode home for some beach time before dinner.
|Loading up at the cafe.||This is the only road to the resort!|
|Very simple, burial mound.||Note: Large roaming pigs!|
|< img style="border-width:0;" height="137" alt="Tonga 164" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/jackfamily05/SA-rXcY25gI/AAAAAAAACbw/I4acFMlc608/Tonga%20164_thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" width="204" border="0" />|
|The amazing causeway!|
|Crossing the airport runway!||Yup, no planes – all clear!|
|Dave couldn’t believe his eyes!|