Friday, October 19, 2012

Ha'apai Group: Lifuka and Uoleva

After leaving the Vava'u Group of islands (Tonga) yesterday, we checked into the Ha'apai Group at Lifuka Island at 10:00 (S19°47.983' W174°21.239'). The gentleman was very friendly and allowed us to check in and check out of the Ha'apai Group at the same time. This meant that we could visit different islands and then not have to return to Lifuka to check out several days later. SV Buena Vista was allowed the same courtesy.

Next stop was the Mariner's Cafe for lunch where everyone was craving burgers but I tried Ota Ika, raw fish mixed with coconut cream, lime juice, and spices. It was very tasty - similar to ceviche but with coconut cream.

Jordan, Debbie, and Don at cafe

The village seemed to be very laid back and rather poor, with several decrepit buildings and homes. But the people were friendly and these giggling young ladies, wearing traditional Tongan mats, were thrilled to have their photo taken. One young lady also took a photo of the group of us with her own camera.

Lots of colour

It was hot out so we tried 2 small grocery stores for ice cream but all they had were large 2-litre pails. We finally bought a small container of banana ice cream at a liquor store! We were also able to pick up a bit of fresh produce at the small market.

Several youngsters were at the pier when we returned to our dinghy. After we climbed down the steep ladder, 1 youngster jumped into the ocean and was then quickly followed by the rest of the pack!

Should we jump? YES!

All stocked up, we left Lifuka for the next island only 4 miles away and set anchor at 16:50 at Uoleva (S19°51.070' W174°24.987'). We walked along the long, sandy beach but only collected a couple of shells.

Jordan in contemplation

We passed by a camping structure that was equipped with solar panels, water catcher, a cooking area, and sleeping quarters. We briefly talked to the young Australian couple living in it who said their dad owned a boat anchored out front. From the growth on the hull we could see the boat had been there for some time. The boat was an Endurance, same hull as ours.

Just like Gilligan's Island!

Further along the beach, there was a small resort (the word resort is a stretch) with very basic cabins where you could just veg out and get away from it all.

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