The hike from Neiafu harbor to Mt. Talau is gradual – that is –
until you get to the badly-cambered, ladder-like cement steps
just before the end.
Neiafu harbor and Neiafutahi (Old Harbor).
View off the back side of Mt. Talau, the causeway over Vaipua inlet.
Fortunately, Patty of Armagh’s often as willing as I am, and her husband Steve isn’t, to put one foot in front of another for exercise and scenery. Steve has not entirely forgiven me for getting us all to hike 17 km from one side of Fatu Hiva to the other (click here for that) – another truly epic hike.
|Neiafu harbor view as seen from Mt. Talau, Tonga, Vava’u islands.|
Naturally, in Tonga’s Neiafu, the top place is Mt. Talau’s plateau, 430 meters up. I’d tried a few days earlier solo, but decided to turn back when the walk became too wet. What’s the point of a vista when you can’t see anything? I am not that much of a solo exercise buff. Then the weather looked a little more promising, and Patty was up for some exercise, too. Steve and Wayne, meanwhile, enjoyed some solo boat time, while Patty and I trekked.
BIG spider we saw on our way down!
Glad we didn’t encounter this on the trail.
After far too much time stuck aboard, due to passages, crappy weather or polluted water, neither Patty nor I are in tip-top shape these days, something both of us vow to change over cyclone season in New Zealand. We commiserated with each other over both being out of breath taking the ladder-like stairs to Mt. Talau’s top. “It sucks, being out of shape,” I complained, frustrated with myself.
We took the time on the way back to stop and smell
the flowers… though these pretties had no scent.
This time, the rain didn’t start until we were about halfway back to town. Our jackets kept us moderately dry, as did the overhang of a porch where we tucked in during the wettest moments. We heard the strains of a band, and followed it to the Blue Water Festival event, a fundraising native dance performance given by local schoolchildren (click here for images and story of Tonga’s Tiny dancers).