Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday 6th September


21 08.317 S
175 10.867 W

We are here and very glad to be so! All of us slept fairly well and woke up needing a pancake fix for breakfast which I made. Gerry went to run the generator and was dismayed to notice a dreadful sound coming out from it; a little investigation shows that the frame has cracked YET AGAIN! I’ve no doubt that a rude email will be winging it’s way to the maker, meanwhile we have to contend with no generator, it’s a good job that the freezer is almost empty. At 09.00hrs the taxi that Gerry had arranged to collect us and take us to town arrived and we gathered up our documents, bank cards and wallets and headed off to the bank, after a bit of hassle my card did work and we got money then I had a go with Gerry’s card and got his to work too – the machines here are old and you have to go through several screens to achieve anything but it did eventually work with no problems. Our next stop was the car hire places and after a tour of them all we finally settled on one and hired a car for 5 days, that way we can get around, see the place and take Abigail out to the airport for her flight home on Monday. Our next stop was a café for lunch – very westernized place but the food was great. Now that we had our own wheels we visited the port authority, the hydraulic repair place (they advised we were better to get it done in Fiji) and the airport (so we knew where we were going). On our trip to the airport we took in several places of interest – Cook’s tree at the place where he landed, the Princess’s residence, the crown Prince’s residence, the royal tombs, the royal palace (not that you can see much of it from the road), hundreds of Churches of all denominations (the Tongans are very religious) and loads of grave sites.
I have to comment on the grave sites as I have never seen anything quite like them, the bodies are interred in a tomb above ground, the mound is then festooned with all sorts of things from silk and plastic flowers to bed quilts on frames, garden lights, statues and headstones – they are a sight to behold. We also located the shops, laundry, market places and the museum. We found out that there was a cultural show on at the museum in the evening so we booked to see it. We returned to the boat for an afternoon nap and at around 18.00hrs got ready to go back ashore to eat and then see the cultural show. Our dinner was at a nearby restaurant called The Billfish and we had an excellent meal there before rushing off to the museum. We arrived just in time for the show (it was a dinner show and we had opted to miss the dinner); all of us were happy that we had made the effort to go as the show was superb, it was very different from the Polynesian shows that we had seen previously and although both were music / dance exhibitions they were nothing alike. We took more pictures and video clips and even a couple of pictures with Abigail and some of the dancers in costume.
At 21.00hrs we headed back to the boat where we ran the engine to charge the battery and run the fridge prior to going to bed.



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