What a month it has been here in Tonga….we arrived on 7th April and it was just go go go….We ended up spending about two and a half weeks on Tongatapu trying to get through government processes and paperwork….It was very stressful and hard…however we succeeded! We not only retrieved our containers from the customs bonded areas but we also manage to organise a ship to take our stuff directly to our island, Uoleva. In retrospect i do not know what we were thinking in ferry’ing all our gear from Lifuka to Uoleva…it would have honestly taken about 8 months in total to do so…So the one good thing that came from having issues with customs was the fact that it ended up saving us alot of time and money!
Glen and I and about 12 Tongan fellows unloaded our 20ft and our 40ft high cubed containers onto the wharf so they could be reloaded into the boats smaller containers…apparently no containers can come to Ha’apai so everything has to be devanned in Nukulofa and then repacked. What a day! So much wood….so hot…so much sweat…and maybe a tear or two 🙂 But we did it!!!!
I returned to the lodge to await the cats arrival…and glen flew to Lifuka to await the arrival of the ship!
What a sight it was to see a large ship anchored off Uoleva!!! Glen and 25 men hauled all that wood and other stuff from the barges to the shore….not only did they haul it but they stacked it too. Our little clearing certainly filled up with stuff fast! Glen also had time to put up our massive canvas tent to await the arrival of the kitty kats! I must say collecting the cats was also an adventure…i was told that if the paperwork wasnt there then i would have all sorts of trouble…however when i got there the vet didnt even see the paperwork and just handed the cats over to me! I paid a few people and took the cats back to the lodge where they proceeded to meow all evening. The flight to lifuka on the small 12 seater was also an adventure for the cats and then the boat ride to Uoleva where they were getting splashed from the waves in the small rubber boat. They made it and they are happy.
Since we have been on Uoleva we have been tested daily….a storm of 40knts (nothing as big as the hurricane) blew in from the NW and our tent barely survived! We actually didnt realise but through the night it was collecting the water. We awoke at 6am to find a massive pool of water on the roof…There was so much there that we couldnt budge it. We had to use buckets to get the water off…no wonder it was heavy IT WAS 200L!!!! we put it into our water drum and proceeded to use that for drinking water 🙂 Blessing in disguise?? So the tent flooded three times the first week and i kept drying it out and emptying everything out…blah blah…all good…what was a little rain compared to Cyclone Ian? Nothing..it made me feel so humble to realise what the people of Ha’apai have gone through. They are such a strong and beautiful people and I am privledged to be living with them.
We have had some minor hiccups with the solar fridges and freezers…we thought we did the right thing on buying these but not so sure now. It seems they have shorted out…not happy JAN! hahahaha okay minor obstacle…
So what else have we been doing?? Well we have been kitesurfing in our beautiful Uoleva lagoon…it has not stopped blowing since we got here!!! Fantastic!
We have also been sightseeing to another island – fantastic snorkelling day!!!
Plans for this week are finishing off the man cave – yes every place has one…this will keep all the zillions of tools safe and keep Glen happy. What is a man without a man cave? hahahha. We are going to get started on building the house next week…I cannot wait to start building!! So exciting!
We will write again in a few weeks time to give you an update on our top kitesurfing destination in the South Pacific – Fanifo Lofa – Kitesurf Tonga.