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Day 2

A day of two halves

overcast 24 °C

(Major internet issues)

The day dawned bright and – damn, I can’t lie – grey & dull, as it happens. It was coolish but still humid last night & the temperature during the day today was definitely bearable. The day did end with a stunning sunset, so definitely a positive turn in the weather coming up. Feeling pretty warm now, so expect a night beating off the mozzies that are trapped inside. Yes, I do have repellent but that doesn’t stop them whining around my head!

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Just lazed around all morning, out of my skull with boredom after a walk along the beach. They do a tropical breakfast here, with fresh fruit (pawpaw, sweet Island bananas, watermelon, coconut) & white bread to toast. It’s quite a refreshing way to start the day & you can get extras like eggs & bacon. Lunch was a plain salad with garlic toast so will be going elsewhere for lunch in future. Dinner (mahimahi – fish) was better, & way better than last night’s dry tuna.

By 2:30 I’d had enough of doing nothing & went snorkelling at our beach despite the grey day, which was a great idea as it happens. That said, why is it so hard to be graceful & attractive when you’re trying to put on flippers in the sea? Left my dignity at home, apparently!!
The sun was trying to peek through so there were some brighter spells which made the colours of the fish really stand out. There were rainbow-coloured parrotfish, tiny iridescent indigo ones, black, white & yellow angelfish, and I saw a black & white banded sea snake that was about 12 inches long & about as thick as a chopstick. According to Britney, a Canadian holidaying here who works for NIWA in Wellington & is a marine biologist, they are passive sea snakes, thankfully – though she did admit that she avoids them just in case! I went in a couple of times & could have stayed in for hours – there were quite a few fish out later in the day. Feeding time, I guess.

Will be going on a “city” orientation tour tomorrow to find out a bit about Nuku’alofa & which bus to take to get back to Heilala. Looking forward to seeing a bit more of Tongan life & meeting some non-Kiwis! I’ll take an island tour one day this week too. There are a few interesting spots to see so I’m looking forward to that one, then can decide if there’s anything I want to see again. It doesn’t look like I’ll get to swim with humpback whales, which is really disappointing, but the better operators are really expensive (equivalent NZ$350ish), with the lower prices still upwards of around $250. Hard to justify, even for a major bucketlist item.

We have big bats – flying foxes – that fly/glide over in the late afternoon. There’s a colony not too far away & I’ll get to see it on the island tour. It’s quite surreal (for a Kiwi at least, since we don’t have any in NZ) when you see what you think is a seagull-sized bird silhouetted against the sky, then you realise the wings are kinda different!

As already mentioned, there was an amazing sunset tonight, with fluffier clouds & clearer skies which bodes well for the weather tomorrow. We are on Ha’atafu Beach, which faces west so no doubt I’ll take a few billion sunset pics while I’m here!

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Posted by judesbucketlist 12:21 Archived in Tonga Tagged sunset pacific tonga tropical_island tongatapu

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Glad to see you are enjoying your trip so far. Sunsets look amazing.

by Alaina

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