We landed last night at the airport in Nuku’alofa. It had just been raining and the Tarmac was covered in puddles. Above the terminal, the second floor appeared like a cage, filled with relatives and young kids scaling the metal wiring. Walking into the terminal we passed three Tongan men playing music and singing for us. This was Christmas on Tongatapu, the main island of Tonga, relatives rushed to say hello and we were greeted by my friend’s step sister.
On the plane I was recognised by Tim. A Tongan Bouncer who had worked at a hotel in my teenage local area. When I mentioned my friend, he recognised why he had remembered my face after so many years, recalling that I used to come with a group of girls – story of my life. Unfortunately, when we got to the immigration line his wife accidentally dropped her duty free and there began a leak of alcohol across the floor. Another immigration related topic is the page of my passport where the stamp of the eighteenth country of the world I’ve seen was placed. Not on the page 1, rather the very first ‘security’ page after (opposite) my name! Super funny, gives me more room I guess.
My friend’s sister and her husband picked us up, driving us around Nuku’alofa in search of food. Of course at 10:30pm on Christmas night there was not a substantial amount open – indeed nothing. However, the journey was cool, because we ended up seeing the whole city. Although it was night, we did see quite a bit and a lot of people just walking around.
I don’t know how to specifically describe Nuku’alofa. It’s well, a Pacific capital, similar to what I had imagined. Everything seems old, mostly made of wood and people appear happy. There are lots of markets – heaps of fruit YUM!
At breakfast we were given some food and we sat at the table. The evening prior, after the impossibility of dinner, we were given fresh watermelon, pineapple and coconuts at this same table. After breakfast it was time to head to Queen Salote Wharf. I wish I had been able to get a book on Queen Salote before coming here. I would like to know the story of why she appears to be the most famous former monarch here, the only Kingdom in the Pacific left standing.
Our journey to where we lie (or ly, I really can’t remember how to spell) now, it took half an hour on a small motorised yacht. When we arrived a Swiss woman showed us to our Fale, which is amazing. A large open room, part of nature almost. Hammock, deck chairs on the beach and under a coconut tree canopy. The bathroom was of most interest, covered in greenery and in the open air…this place is awesome!