Nuie: 23 May – 27 May
We spent 4 days in Nuie, the world’s smallest independent nation with 1500 people on the island. The journey to Nuie was packed with adventure as always seems to be the case and we had a busy time in Nuie itself.
We picked up a mooring buoy on arrival at 4am since it is too deep to anchor. It is not possible even to land a dinghy on the island so we used the crane on the dingy dock to haul out the dinghy every time we went ashore. Not as bad as you might think since the island encourages yachties to come to the island so it is well set up. And the winch is electric which helps!
On the first morning we found the Uga Café which became our place of choice to have coffee or lunch since it had a marvellous view over the bay and served the best coffee we had had since leaving Europe. We would spend many a happy hour there over the next 4 days.
That afternoon we played in a crazy golf tournament which must be the most scenic crazy golf course in the world, snaking down and around the cliffs with a great view of the anchorage. Pictures attached. All the boats took part and catherine was on the winning team – alas not playing with me! That night we had drinks with the New Zealand High Commissioner at his residence on the island (very nice) and then a BBQ. A busy first day after arriving there at 4am.
Catherine and I hired a scooter to see some of the island and went on some of the walks through the rain forest leading to beautiful caves and secluded beaches. It was very picturesque with views of the Pacific Ocean at the end of each of the trails. We stopped for lunch at the only bar outside of the main town only to find that they did not serve any food anymore. I had a go at the Par 1 golf course – the owner had built a small green into the rocks some 140m away which you could just see over the rocks and trees. In nine years no-one had managed to land a ball on the green and I did not change that statistic! So back to the Uga Café for lunch.
In the evening we were entertained by the locals with music, singing and a buffet of local dishes which would have fed half of London. The food was wonderful with a variety of dishes all cooked locally and in the traditional manner – baked in pits covered with palm leaves. The band was all locals who came together to play for us and just looked as though they were having a ball – it was very infectious and such a good evening.
The next day was Sunday when everything was closed apart from the Washaway Café where the crews from all the boats went for lunch and then we all went for an impromptu curry in the evening. One of the best curries we had had for a very long time and the whole group was in high spirits which made for an entertaining evening.
The highest point on the island is only 69 metres but still has a rain forest although it is not that high. It is funded largely by New Zealand and everyone spoke English with a New Zealand accent and most of the tourists are from there. Everyone was very friendly (as has been the case for all the Polynesian islands) and have a very relaxed way of life. We are now members of the Nuie yacht club which exists despite the fact there are no people on the island with a yacht!
Our last day we hired a car and Catherine, Chris and I toured the island. In the morning I picked up my Nuie drivers licence from the Police Station which officially you need to hire a car. Not that I was asked for it and as none of the cars have insurance the cost of hiring the car was very cheap as long as you did not damage them!
|Hauling out the dinghy|
The day did not start well as it started to rain as we picked up the car and our first attempt at walking along one of the well-marked scenic trail ended up with us turning back to get our coats from the boat. That involved putting the dinghy back in the water, me going back to the yacht to get the coats (no point us all getting wet on route – well that is what Chris and Catherine said anyway – and then hauling the dinghy back out.
|Chris and Catherine|
We walked along three of the marked trails, often in pouring rain but all three well worth the effort. The views were spectacular and with the rain only adding to the effect..
|Don't do it Chris!|