We’d booked a flight from Eua to Tongatapu while we were staying at Heilala so we packed all our gear up and got a lift to the airport. We were supposed to be checked in by 0815 but when we arrived no one was there to process us, which we found a little distressing. We waited until 0900 and finally a couple of people turned up to check us in. We had luggage that was over the limits so we had to pay $55 TOP to get it put on standby (this meant that our luggage would only make it on if everyone else’s bags complied with the weight restrictions!) So we anxiously waited for the plane to land and for them to load on the luggage. Our bags went on, came off, went back on and thankfully stayed on. Phew!
The little 8 seater plane has one passenger sitting in the cockpit with the pilot and everyone else crammed in the back. It was neat fun and the shortest scheduled flight in the world; 7 minutes of total flying time. It was a beautiful clear day and we could see whales breaching in the ocean beneath us. I’ve never whale watched from the air before- it was quite something. Callum was sitting with the pilot up front, which was quite hilarious because no amount of ‘plane crash’ movies would help him if we were to go down!
Once we landed in Tongatapu and had collected our bags we caught a pre-arranged shuttle to the wharf to catch our ferry to Fafa Island. We were greeted with open arms on board the speed boat and had a smooth ride over to the island. It was a stark contrast to where we had come from. We went from one extreme to the other: living it pretty rough on Eua to the stunning, pristine Fafa Island. It felt like paradise and we were so thankful we had made it with all our luggage. The host showed us around and took us to our fale (which she said was the best on the island, and I agree with her after staying it it). Our bags were delivered to the fale and some cold, fresh drinking coconuts were handed to us, on the house. It was the most pleasant welcome I have had anywhere so far. Amazing, amazing service.
Once we had settled in, we made it priority to get our gear dry- as our bag that once was 21kg weighed in at over 30kg- not good when we had international flights to catch in a couple of days. The weather was gorgeous and hot so we hung all our clothes on the hammock and finally, after 6 wet nights at Eua, our beach towels were dry!
Our days were filled with snorkelling, lazing in the hammock and reading books. We loved watching the stunning sunset and lighting our lantern which guided us along the path to the restaurant for dinner. We were doted on at the restaurant and there was free wifi in the library which was really handy.
Callum somehow managed to get an insect stuck in his ear, which was very stressful! He woke me up at midnight saying he needed something to flush out the bug, as he could hear it scratching and it was quite painful. So I put some clothes on and went for a wander in the dark to look for someone, but all the staff members were in bed and we didn’t know how to contact them. So, we resorted to pouring some water into his ear and in the morning, got some olive oil from the kitchen and after a few hours Callum was pretty sure the insect had made its way out or died.
Our final morning was spent packing and catching a boat back to Tongatapu. We spent our last night at Heilala and caught our international flight home the next day.
Until next time Tonga! xx