Wow, what a great place Niue is. We left with sad hearts after a
fabulous 10 days. We rarely ate on the boat in all that time and
certainly made the most of all the island had to offer. In total we
did 5 dives, all of which were spectacular and all in over 100m
visibility. Simply incredible!
We were lent some bikes from a lovely Dutch couple, Dirk and Linda,
and went off cycling round the west side of the island. The bikes
were very posh and very lightweight, but unfortunately had the
hardest seats known to mankind. All the angles seemed wrong and after
half an hour we were hurting badly. Mine seemed more like a knife
edge than a seat, and ably performed the task of lifting and
separating! We did get to see some spectacular caves though and
hopefully the pictures do it some justice.
We hired a car with a Norwegian couple, Finn and Torve, to explore
the east and north side of the island. This is where some of the
biggest caves are. We loved getting out amongst the people and
exploring. The east side of the island is very open to the elements
and the seas breaking on the cliffs were pretty awe-inspiring. We had
a really fun day with lots of laughs, especially when one local
referred to Fin as the 'old man'! He was unimpressed to say the
least, and then proceeded to quicken his pace as if to prove the guy
wrong about his age!
We dove a couple of times just from a dinghy with an English couple
Beth and Bone, of Splinter's Apprentice. One was a deep chimney
dropping down from 15ft to around 60ft. The hole we dropped into was
about 10ft wide and then widened out as we descended, to form a cave
at the bottom. We also dove with the only local dive company there.
This was a a 2 tank dive. The first dive was the Twin Caves which
were two amazing caves, interconnected by a narrow gully. The second
dive was into the Bubble cave, where one swam quite a way back from
the entrance before coming to small slot above your head. We surfaced
inside another bubble shaped cave in pitch darkness, and then removed
our Regs to breathe the air in the cave. It was an incredible dive. I
am not really into the idea of cave diving, but this was beginners
cave diving and at no time did we feel frightened by it. I feel that
Niue has some amazing and completely undiscovered diving - truly she
is a hidden gem which I am sure will one day be exploited much more.
On Sundays the only destination is Willy's beach bar. He provides
transport from the dock down to his 'surf shack'. That morning he had
prepared fresh foccacia buns and burger buns. The bar is
'helpyourself' and pay at the end style. He cooks fresh fish or
burgers and serves the former in the foccacia buns with mayonnaise,
Pesto and lettuce. The latter are served in the fresh burger buns
with a fried egg and beetroot. YUM! We spent 2 very happy Sunday
evenings down at Willy's place, enjoying the scenery, the food and
the good times with fellow cruisers.
Friday night saw us at the local and only small resort on the island
- The Matavai Resort. It has just 50 beds but on a Friday offers fush
and chups, cooked to order. 12 kiwi dollars got us deep fried Wahoo
and a plate of chips with a small side salad. All served with
mayonnaise, ketchup and vinegar. With a couple of beers to help wash
it all down, yet another great evening was had by all!
Thursday night was the much trumpeted sausage sizzle hosted by the
Yacht Club. Unfortunately the organiser of this event had backed out
at the last minute, but the sizzle still sizzled, just not on such a
grand scale. Locals leapt to help run the event, and we enjoyed
sausages or fresh wahoo served in a couple of slices of bread with
fried onions - and all for the grand price of 2 kiwi dollars!
So was there anything bad about our time in Niue? Well only one bit
of bad news! Our dinghy got a 2 inch rip in her after being bumped by
the dinghy trolley manned by some fellow cruisers. They were gutted
and very embarrassed about it. We were very angry about it at first,
being only an 8 month old dinghy. We patched it up and it seems to be
holding. We then negotiated what we think was fair compensation,
although I dont think they felt the same. Oh well!
We did not really want to leave at the end, but the weather window
was too good to miss and we still had all over Tonga to explore!
Until the next time.
J and Ems xx