Vaka’etu, Vava’u

Vaka’etu, Vava’u – one family’s paradise.

Vaka’etu is a small island in Vava’u, one of the three groups of islands that form the Kingdom of Tonga. Vava’u is the northern most of the three groups and is comprised of 70 islands, only 17 of which are inhabited. In Polynesia it is told that the islands were created by the god Maui, who caught the bottom of the sea with his magic hook, fished up, and left on the sea surface what became the islands of Vavaʻu.

Tongans are incredibly friendly people, and it doesn’t take long to feel at home there. The only way to experience Vava’u, is by boat, and that’s how the majority people do it. Vava’u is a very popular cruising destination, both for those crossing the Pacific as part of an extended cruise, or as a getaway for a few months for those based in Australia and New Zealand.

whalescapeVava’u is also one of the best places in the world to experience whale watching, and many land-based tourists take a tour to see the passing humpbacks, dolphins and many other types of whales that inhabit these waters. For the more adventurous, it’s possible to swim with these mighty animals, and with water temperatures 25 degrees and above, it’s very inviting.

 

Vaka'etuI’ve been lucky enough to visit Vava’u a couple of times, and have always met lovely, memorable people. One of my favourites is Matti, who lives under this enormous tree on Vaka’etu with her husband, David, and some of her twelve children, one of which you can see on the beach dressed in pink.  Matti has that quiet strength that comes from enduring hardship with a heart full of love. She lives simply, and smiles constantly. She embodies the spirit of Tonga.The family are the only inhabitants of the island, and are very welcoming. Matti and David will sometimes invite the owners and crew of the cruising yachts anchored off their small beach, for a traditional Tongan feast of suckling pig with tons of veggies, and fruit. When asked about the cost, she just smiles and says, ‘If you enjoy it, you can leave us a tip.’
We enjoyed a lovely night with them and ten or so other cruisers last year, and if the ‘tips’ were anything to go by, everyone else really enjoyed it as well.

Today’s music clip is some traditional Tongan music.


 

Thanks for calling by, and if you want to see what others are doing for ‘V is for -‘ today, check out some of the other great blogs on the A to Z Challenge

Join me again on Monday for a look at ‘W’. Until then, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

 



 

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