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Part 1: Vanuatu
Part 2: Tonga
Part 3: Fiji
Tonga

Leg 2 of the honeymoon - 8 days in Tonga split between Tongatapu island and Vava'u island.

Population: 0.1m (UK = 60m)
Area:
176 Islands covering 747sq km (UK = 245,000sq km)
Famous for:
Rugby (Jonah Lomu) and humpback whales
Temperature in July:
"Warm" 24-26'C day and night. 60% humidity. Windy.
Local food: Normal western food, but weetabix and toast for us!
Cost of a can of fizzy pop in a cafe: £1.00
Flight cost: £1200 to get here plus £70 inter-island flights

 

Day 12 -15: Tongatapu island

Tongatapu is the main island in Tonga, from where we would fly out to the island which was the focus of the whole trip - Vava'u - where we could snorkel with humpback whales. We were forced to stay here 2 nights because of the infrequent flights.

 

We were due to fly out with Certain Death Airlines* on a plane was built in 1952 but the flight was cancelled due to high winds on Vava'u Island.

*Last month the airline had been grounded by the authorities due to landing gear failure! How exciting!

 

 

However, as we sulked overlooking the sea, wondering if we would ever make it to snorkle with whales, the most amazing display of breaching whales happened before our very eyes! As usual when things go wrong they turn out for the best.

 

 

movie of humpback whales breaching

 

Day 15-20: Vava'u island

After a stressful wait while the airline decided if there was better than 50:50 chance of landing alive we defied the odds and arrived in one piece, one day late.

 

 

 

We had 3 days of humpback whale spotting booked and after 2 hours of looking we found a pair frollicking together. We only got to spend maybe 5 minutes with them in total. Only just enough to actually comprehend the amazingness of what you are seeing

 

At one point they swam towards us causing a hasty retreat in case it decided to surface under us. See video.

 

We spent another 16 hours looking for them but the only thing we managed was to see a disappearing tail.

underwater whale movie

The cats in Tonga are almost as stressed out as the Vanuatu ones...

 

 

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