Nuie July 27, 2006
I’m sitting on deck listening to Dave Matthews and letting the afternoon sun caress me.
Maiken are tied to a mooring bouy outside Alofi on Niue, and Fredrik s laying on foredeck listening to “Sommar” on Swedish radio via free wireless internet. This remote little island, best known for it’s inexpensive internet addresses, is fairy large and completely flat, quite unlike the mountainous islands and atolls in French Polynesia. The name Niue means “look, there’s a coconut” in Niuean. It’s a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand. Besides the local lingo everyone speaks English here. With a population of about 1800 it’s one of the smallest countries in the world, population getting smaller every year. People leave this tropical paradise for New Zealand. In January 2004 a tropical cyclone with winds up to 300 km per hour struck the island demolishing 80 percent of the buildings. Luckily the cyclone struck at daytime and there were only one casualty. In the following months 300 inhabitants, mostly elderly, left the island. It would seem to be good opportunity to buy oneself a tropical estate at a reasonable price. There are some problems though. The locals bury there relatives on their own piece of land, so one or two tomb stones on the lawn is not unusual.
When we were sailing towards Alofi yesterday a motorboat with a couple of smiling pretty girls came up too us. “Är dere svensker?” - Are you Swedes? A very nice welcome! But a rhetorical question I should think since we flew our very BIG Swedish flag. As the patriots we are. Or could it be the sight of two salty, athletic sailors that caught their attention!? Anyway, the pretty Norwegian girls were going whale watching. And we had to guide Maiken to port. Today we hired bicycles and went passed the local golf course, nine short holes. Tempting though. Only 15 dollars green fee. And clubs can be arranged through Nuie rentals, only there was nobody there. Lunch hour?
Maybe we’ll have better luck tomorrow? Speeding our way on two wheels we ended up on THE hotel on Nuie; Matavai. Very scenic location! Big waves breaking at the shore, thirty meters below the hotel. Whilst checking out their lunch menu, we encountered a couple of familiar whale watchers in the restaurant. Having spent lunch with them I now realize that we never got properly introduced. But one of them is a dentist and the other teaches yoga and gives massage. Both lives in Oslo, and they’ll probably show at the “Wash away bar” one of these nights. It’s a long way though, eight kilometers, and there’s no lights on our rental bikes. But as they say; when the cause is right, there’s no limit to the effort you will go through!
Be sure to wear a helmet whenever on two wheels!