Nuku'alofa by Hire Car

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Thu 5 Dec 2013 22:57
Nuku’alofa and Tongatapu in a Hire Car
CP Nukualofa Car 012
We spuddled across the bay in Baby Beez to find our old friend still attached to the fuel dock. This sturdy, sea going lady is going to set off for Auckland, New Zealand in the next few days, we wish her Safe Winds and Following Seas.
DSC_0239  DSC_0240
It poured with rain so we ducked under the fish market awning to wait for the hire car to arrive. I was happy watching the tree loading. Soon a very smiley young man appeared, Bear handed over seventy pa’anga (twenty four pounds in old money). At no point did Bear admit to having a driving license, receive any paperwork and off we went. Our happy chap drove into town so we could drop him off and for Bear to log us out with Immigration, that too was done without anyone clapping eyes on me. Next it was to Customs and the Harbour Master, all done without anyone seeing Beez Neez or me.
CP Nukualofa Car 017
The heavens opened again so we decided to drive to the furthest point on our itinerary. En route we drove by the very smart Vaiola Hospital, that boasts it is a No Smoking Building on a big poster.
CP Nukualofa Car 018  CP Nukualofa Car 021  CP Nukualofa Car 019
We drove past a set of very proud looking gate keepers and a pair of cannons in the garden of what we guess is a very wealthy Chinese importers house. On the opposite side of the road, in isolation, was an even more impressive gatehouse, complete with armed guard.
A very long sweeping drive led up to a handsome property, we think is one of the Royal Residences.
CP Nukualofa Car 032  CP Nukualofa Car 031
We went by several graveyards, laid out in a less haphazard way than what we have been used to seeing. At one Bear particularly liked a tree, don’t ask I didn’t. Completely lost, no sign posts, we decided to just keep going and see where we ended up.
CP Nukualofa Car 022  CP Nukualofa Car 023
In one village we found a pair of churches exactly opposite one another, the only nice buildings. Bet it’s funny to hear the bells competing for the faithful on a Sunday morning. Trust you to come out with that little pearl...........
CP Nukualofa Car 026
The happy colours of the University of Tonga, advertising signs boasted MBA courses.
CP Nukualofa Car 033  CP Nukualofa Car 034
Chance took us to Captain Cook’s Landing Site and we followed the coast road until we saw an interesting looking track.
CP Nukualofa Car 063
The track had an obstacle who was happy on our side of the road, much coaxing to get her to step aside.
DSC_0255  DSC_0252
Bear got a filthy look but we did find a chap just beyond on new non-friend. A good looking lad stopped in his rather smart silver Kube to find see if we were OK, smiled and carried on on his mobile phone. On we went.
CP Nukualofa Car 149
Several water towers, powered by solar panels have been donated by the Japanese, Chinese and Australian Governments.
CP Nukualofa Car 036
Enough of the very bumpy track, we turned back on to the main road and found a lovely new build.
CP Nukualofa Car 126  CP Nukualofa Car 080  CP Nukualofa Car 067
We passed a few parsey houses.................
CP Nukualofa Car 068
....................but the majority looked carefully owned, with plenty of clutter. This at the posh end of the market.
CP Nukualofa Car 065  CP Nukualofa Car 073  CP Nukualofa Car 075
Many little chapels along the way. We found ourselves back in Nuku’alofa...................
CP Nukualofa Car 092
Had to stop in the rain for this picture.
CP Nukualofa Car 093  CP Nukualofa Car 095  CP Nukualofa Car 094
We had to cock our legs over some really chatty barb wire to get close to this really nice War Memorial – six wounded and one dead soldier.
CP Nukualofa Car 096
Not sure why this pleasant park was fenced off.......
CP Nukualofa Car 086  CP Nukualofa Car 097
Through town we went by a couple of interestingly shaped churches.
CP Nukualofa Car 101  CP Nukualofa Car 066
Bear got me out for Abel Tasman’s Landing Site, turned out to be a sea wall with a chatty plaque, onward......
CP Nukualofa Car 085
We actually saw a sign, almost hidden by a digger. Wow what a first.
CP Nukualofa Car 108  CP Nukualofa Car 106  CP Nukualofa Car 107
I bimbled around a church whilst Bear bought our chicken curry lunch.
CP Nukualofa Car 072  CP Nukualofa Car 087
All shops look the same and we drove by many small markets.
CP Nukualofa Car 084
The busy Rugby Club was next to the tennis courts as we drove back into town. Bear rang the hire car people to arrange pick up at eight, after we hung the laptop out of the window to get weather files. Time to go home after a full, interesting but long day.
                     GREAT TO SEE ‘THE BIG ISLAND’