Nuku'alofa by Hire Car
Nuku’alofa and Tongatapu in a Hire Car
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...........
The happy colours of the University of Tonga, advertising signs boasted MBA courses.
Chance took us to Captain Cook’s Landing Site and we followed the coast road until we saw an interesting looking track.
The track had an obstacle who was happy on our side of the road, much coaxing to get her to step aside.
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.
Several water towers, powered by solar panels have been donated by the Japanese, Chinese and Australian Governments.
Enough of the very bumpy track, we turned back on to the main road and found a lovely new build.
We passed a few parsey houses.................
....................but the majority looked carefully owned, with plenty of clutter. This at the posh end of the market.
Many little chapels along the way. We found ourselves back in Nuku’alofa...................
Had to stop in the rain for this picture.
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.
Not sure why this pleasant park was fenced off.......
Through town we went by a couple of interestingly shaped churches.
Bear got me out for Abel Tasman’s Landing Site, turned out to be a sea wall with a chatty plaque, onward......
We actually saw a sign, almost hidden by a digger. Wow what a first.
I bimbled around a church whilst Bear bought our chicken curry lunch.
All shops look the same and we drove by many small markets.
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.
ALL IN ALL QUITE A MIXTURE
GREAT TO SEE ‘THE BIG ISLAND’