It’s hard to say goodbye …
We are having our farewell party a week before we leave Hobart. Ian and Cindy most generously offered us to host it at their house, and also cater for the guests with the most amazing food and drinks. We spend some lovely hours with all our friends.
Where apart from Hobart can you do that?
With a heavy heart we leave Emilia, Hobart and all the lovely people that we met during the last months. We are quite early and on our way to the airport we decide to have a last walk on Seven Mile Beach. Where apart from Hobart can you do that?
Our first flight gets us to Sydney where we leave most of our luggage in a locker which makes travelling a lot easier.
We are especially intrigued by the fresh baguettes
The next day we’re off to Noumea, capital of the former french colony New Caledonia. We stay at a beach resort, savor the warm climate and swim in the waters of the pacific. The french cuisine is a nice change and we explore the surrounding areas with our rental car. We are especially intrigued by the fresh baguettes of finest quality. Only the expensive price (on everything but bread) clouds our overall impression.
A visit to the Aquarium there is a must for us, we do it wherever the opportunity presents itself. The one in Noumea is definitely worth seeing, and though it is not the biggest it is very interesting.
At the tiny airport there is a welcoming committee waiting
On the day of our departure we head to the airport which is about an hour’s drive from our hotel, where we are greeted with the news that our flight will have a four hour delay. The departure time is changed two more times and in the end we learn that the flight will first go to Wallis and Futuna, a small group of islands between Fiji and Samoa, before we continue to Fiji. However, our side trip to Wallis makes us curious, the eminently friendly people and the lack of Tourism earns it a spot on our future Bucketlist.
The reason for the detour was the delayed arrival of the delegation of Wallis and Futuna who partook in the Pacific Games in Port Moresby. Therefor our plane is brimming with athletes, some wearing medals to show off their achievements. At the tiny airport there is a welcoming committee waiting for them. After a one hour layover we commence to Fiji.
Ian already warned us about the unreliable airlines in the Pacific
In the end we arrive in Nadi 12 hours late in the middle of the night. Ian already warned us about the unreliable airlines in the Pacific and advised us not to book a transfer flight without at least a couple of hours between connecting flights.
After a „quick nap“ we leave Nadi the same day with another delay, heading to Tonga where we spend the night in a small hotel right next to the airport. The next morning we board a small aircraft to Vava’u, an island group that is part of the Kingdom of Tonga, which is a one hours flight away from the main island Tongatapu. We spend our two days in the main town Neiafu exploring and provisioning for a week before we finally take over our charter yacht and leave the harbor.
The days pass by in a flash and after one week we go back to Nuku’alofa
In the following days we enjoy ourselves while venturing from one anchorage to another. We meet heaps of amazing people, mostly sailors who either came all the way from the Panama canal or from New Zealand and Australia. The days pass by in a flash and after one week we go back to Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga. The airplanes get smaller each time, it is the seventh flight already since we left Hobart.
The people on Fafá are as friendly and lovely as one can wish for
Back in Tongatapu we are picked up from the airport by a taxi and get on a speedboat to the island of Fafá which is home to a small resort with only 13 bungalows. You can walk all the way around the island in 15 minutes and our bungalow is under palm trees, right on the sandy beach before the crystal-clear turquoise sea. We spend ten days here in absolute peace, leaving the resort only once for a day trip to the main island. The people on Fafá are as friendly and lovely as one can wish for, the food is very good and the bungalows offer everything you need for a relaxed holiday.
we worry about our left behind belongings and are put off from hour to hour
The flight from Tonga to Fiji offers an unpleasant surprise. Before the boarding we are informed that some of the luggage will be left in Tonga and to address to the lost luggage counter if anything is missing. As we are walking toward the aircraft we spot the trolley that was left behind and of course all of our bags are on it. On arrival in Nadi we rush to the baggage counter and we are assured that our luggage will be on the next flight there. Unfortunately it arrives at 3pm the next day when we will have left Nadi with our rental car to go to Suva, the capital of Fiji.
Once there, we stay at the best hotel in town, the Grand Pacific Hotel or GPH as the locals call it. Here we worry about our left behind belongings and are put off from hour to hour. Finally everything is delivered by taxi on the second day we’re there, we savor another night in the GPH and let them spoil us with culinary delights.
Tomorrow we are off to Nadi, the following day to Sydney, the day after that to Singapur …
Continuing our island tour northbound, we drive through many small towns and tiny villages and see hardly any cars and no tourists at all. The streets are surrounded by grazing cows, horses and goats. In Rakiraki we stay in the Volivoli beach resort for three nights where we are currently sitting on our front porch, looking across the ocean and relaxing. Tomorrow we are off to Nadi, the following day to Sydney, the day after that to Singapur and five days later to Tokyo for another five days. The last flight shall bring us from Tokyo back to Munich where our adventure started 355 days earlier.
Translation: Cosima Wieser