We had rented a cabin and were about to spend a week on an uninhabited island, Uoleva Island, in the Haap’ai Group of Tonga. It was an island we would have all to ourselves with absolutely breathtaking white powder beaches and crystal clear turquoise water (perfect for skinny dipping). There were no roads, no cars, no shops on the island. … Continue reading →
The Women of Tonga The women in the Kingdom of Tonga are beautiful and large. Many are over six feet all and well over two hundred pounds. In fact, the bigger you are in Tonga, the more respect you have. That’s a hard concept for people in North America – a place where slim and skinny are… Continue reading →
I have always been afraid of spiders – I’m not sure why, but they just seem creepy. There are no dangerous wild animals in Tonga, and not many bugs, but they do have harmless spiders. Ouleva Island, Tonga We were on an uninhabited island, Ouleva, in the Haap’ai Group, an absolutely breathtaking island with white… Continue reading →
Tonga: Going to Ouleva Island We were flying from the Vava’u Group in Tonga to the Haap’ai Group, where we had arrangements to take a boat to an uninhabited island, Ouleva. At the airport, as we walked out to our small 8-seater plane, I noticed the pilot was actually leaning out over the nose cone of the plane cleaning the… Continue reading →
Tonga is probably our favourite place in the world; a gorgeous chain of South Pacific islands with crystal clear turquoise water, white sand beaches, and sweet people. It’s the kind of place that is in your travel dreams. Tonga: Vava’u Group of Islands The second island we stayed on was in the Vava’u Group of islands, at Talihau Beach,… Continue reading →
Our taxi driver from town was hilarious. “How do you know when a Tongan has had enough to eat?” he says, grinning. Since the larger you are in Tonga, the more prestige you have, we were curious to hear the answer. “When he only has enough room for… one more plateful!!!” He laughs heartily.… Continue reading →
Ever since taking an anthropology class at university, and reading about the Kingdom of Tonga, I had longed to go there. Kingdom of Tonga Anthropology of the Kingdom of Tonga Reading that the bigger you are in Tonga, the more prestige you have, shocked me. There was also something about cultural sexual norms hundreds of years ago that… Continue reading →
First of all, there is something I need to explain. What you are about to discover is that in this country…. … the bigger and the broader you are, the more prestige you have! Quite a reversal from the cultural expectations in North America! Every time I tell someone about the big men and women on this South Pacific… Continue reading →
Explore the Elements is a Photo Contest from Thomas Cook that has invited writers and photographers to showcase the images they’ve captured on their travels. The challenge is to submit photos that capture the essence of each of the elements: Earth, Water, Fire and Air. I have accepted that challenge. Although it is not a voting contest, please let me know if you… Continue reading →
We’ve travelled to over 30 countries, and each one had something special, unforgettable and memorable. But upon careful review, do we have any travel regrets? Have we travelled to any places that we wish we had not gone to? There are a few that stand out above others as the best with no regrets whatsoever, like Tonga,… Continue reading →
Our dear friends survived a major cyclone in Tonga this spring. Their beautiful private island, Uoleva, and their amazing cabins on an absolutely perfect South Pacific beach were destroyed. Their entire resort was smashed and they were were lucky to withstand the cyclone alive. First, here are some photos of what Serenity Beaches looked like when we visited: Arriving… Continue reading →
Lost luggage is a fact of life for most travellers. It has rarely happened to me but it did once, at the worst possible time. Travel misfortunes are just to be expected. Ireland We had just arrived in Ireland, and I was given assurance that they would find my bags any day, and that they would be delivered to… Continue reading →
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