position S019 03.250 W169 55.450

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sun 10 Jun 2018 09:37
SATURDAY 8th June.  Nuie.

The village show was across the other side of the island and we made an early start, Diana worried that the best of the crafts and produce would have been snaffled before  we arrived.

In fact even though we made a wrong turn to  extend the journey, we needn't have worried. The show was set up very like an english rural show at home with a tent for produce, and tent for art and crafts and then lots of stalls selling mainly food set up around a large  green arena.   The crafts and produce were  labelled with a number, the owners name and age and everything was for sale but couldn't be collected untill after the judging. Diana bought a rush basket and made complicated arrangements to have it delivered to the wharf in case we didn't manage to return to the show in time.  A boys cross country run was finishing in the arena as we arrived. One woodworkers stall had  a nice selection of model canoes, spears and jewelry, and the owner was interested to hear about our sailing as he planned to build a reproduction polynesion sailing vessel to sail to Tonga and trace his ancestors who reached Niue in similar fashion over 1000 years ago.  So far he just has the logs for the hulls. He also imports big motorbikes from New Zealand and had a powerful looking Suzuki for sale on his stall for $2900. As Niue roads don't accomodate much more than 50km/hr as you slalom through the pot holes I am surprised that anyone would buy the bikes but as we discovered with the lawn tractors yesterday, Niuens do like their toys and appear to have the means to indulge.

Once we had made a full circuit and checked out  every stall we slipped away and headed a few miles north to explore a lengthy sea track leading through forest to a tufa strewn coastline.  Quite different to yesterdays coral fringe, this was Galapagos style country with a narrow concrete path perched on the spiky volcanic rocks. The path terminated at a wooden ladder leading down to a  white sandy beach with palm trees nestled in the tufa. Clambering through rock strewn tunnels to the ocean opened onto a pool where the waves punched dramatically through and over an arch discouraging any thoughts of a swim.

One of the worst mistakes you can make after a 1hr walk is to discover on reaching the car that you have dropped the car keys- probably on the beach where I changed my shorts for swimming trunks. I managed to reduce the round trip to 40 mins 2nd time round surprising our french neighbours from the catermeran who had passed us in the forest and were exploring the beach.

Returning to the show Diana picked up her basket and we enjoyed a plate of local food from a stall-chicken, pork, ham banana bread & toga?- a yam like starchy root veg that tastes of very little and is served plain boiled. It might be O.K with some more imaginative cooking.  While  eating we were entertained by the local spice girls- a group of ladies in matching red and black dresses, sporting straw hats and baskets which they displayed as they sang and danced.

The sea track from the show village leads to a very narrow chasm that has fresh water at its base. After a forest walk you climb down a 100 or so steps to the almost pitch black pool, and can swim in lovely cool fresh water for about 50m to the opposite end, the whole length only about 1m wide. The walls above you reflecting the shafts of sunlight off the weird rock shapes.
Just below the chasm trail the road continues to the coast where we sat for a while just watching the waves smash over the coral fringe.
On the way back to Alofi we explored a couple more tracks leading down to little beaches.  The high tide meant that snorkling was quite interesting as the waves were surviving the reef diminished but still with some force swirling onto the beach.

We returned the car and now back on OR pleasantly exhausted with wonderful memories of Niue. Tomorrow we aim to start for Tonga.

The Togo sea track end.