Tonga 9 – Niue

May 30, 2019

Wow! We arrived in Niue at 5 am and woke up to an island unlike any other we have visited. It is an “uplifted atoll” which I think means that it was sinking and then got pushed back up. I need to brush up on my geology before commenting further.

Apart from its geologic uniqueness, it is also the first place we have visited on the World ARC where you have to lift your dinghy out of the water, where there is a mini golf course, and where people speak English (albeit with a weird accent).

We have thoroughly enjoyed our short time on the island so far and look forward to additional adventures and hospitality tomorrow. The people couldn’t be more welcoming or friendly. We didn’t know to rent a car in advance and discovered that all the cars were taken. I had reconciled myself to not being able to move around the island when someone approached me at the ARC welcome event and said they had found a car that was rented by the ARC but wasn’t being used. So we will babysit it u til the ARC representative arrives!

I went snorkeling around the boat. We are in about 100 feet of water and I can see the bottom quite clearly – the visibility is amazing. I snorkeled to the base of the limestone cliffs and saw a sea snake and a sea turtle, along with the usual wide variety of fish life and some massive mushroom-like fans. Someone told me that I shouldn’t get between a sea snake and the surface because that makes them uneasy so I was careful to swim to the side of it, especially because it was the black and white striped kind that they said was highly poisonous!

We are going to attend a school assembly on Friday, go on some snorkeling adventures tomorrow, and participate in a tour by a local legend on Saturday morning. Marin was interested in this tour where Misa, a fixture on the island, will teach us survival techniques and identify plants that can be used for herbal medicines. Everyone raised their eyebrows and says, “Yes! Misa!!” when we mention the tour so it sounds like a winner! One woman said, “Even if he says nothing and you just stand in his presence, it will be worthwhile.” 

So that should be interesting! We are supposed to leave within 72 hours but we may stretch that a bit and leave on Sunday morning so we can get 3 full days of tourism in on this unique place. The other boats in our group may not arrive until tomorrow night so we aren’t holding anyone up.

I will keep you updated on what Niue is like. So far, it’s quite impressive!

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