'EUA pure

page 5 of 10

Getting around 'Eua is an effort, but it is always worth it!



Well, instead of lazy beach holiday, life becomes an activity course. I learnt that lesson so far. We must stay flexible in old age to face the challenges of life! Nevertheless, the rest of the Sunday I want to spend at the beach. I follow the signs at the end of the gravel road. They do not give me a clue about distances and seem to be a one-off feature at the beginning of the track. That can become a little tricky, when you don't know if you are on the right track or if you have to plan your day. Anyway I have a rough idea that the beach should be about 5km away and it is a good idea to do some exercise after the rich meal at lunchtime.



After a few hundred meters down the track I come across a wild Orange tree and a Passionfruit vine with fruit on them, that is a pleasant surprise. For a few kilometers the road carries on through plantations and it is possible to catch a ride if you couldn't make it any further...I really enjoy the new environment and in fact it is quite exciting to stroll through the lush vegetation. I finally arrive at the beach which is very picturesque and lonely. It is high tide when I arrive so I can enjoy the crystal clear water. There are lots of fish and corals around. It is possible to walk across to the reef where the waves are crashing against the corals. The water is getting trapped in underwater cavities and hundreds of small blowholes are created along the coast. The whole island is surrounded by this reef and there are a number of underwater caves that are big enough to dive in, if you enjoy scuba diving. Beyond the reef the water drops very sharply. I had talked to a local diver who mentioned that the water is already 50m deep when you only just get 10m out.



This is a Taro plantation along the way. Everything is planted in small scale, I have not seen any massive plantations with monoculture. That's really good, keep it up folks!



Massive however are some plants. Here you see a gnome in the Taro forest.

I have also asked the Taro cards whether this is the right track home...



Another big brother and far older than the Taro plants is this old Banyan tree that has an enormous network of air roots. It is nearly impossible to see where the tree begins or ends. I feel like a small gnome in between the roots. I spent quite a bit of time inside the belly of this tree, simply listening and being. The noise of the wind, the sound of the birds from inside a tree... a wonderful experience. As I sit there for a little while, a rat comes to drink water from a hole in the root right beside me, it doesn't seem to be irritated by my presence at all. It is hardly possible to get an impression of this tree in a single photograph, so I try a short video that you can download here.



Another walk leads me up to a lookout just above the cliff. On the way it starts to pour down with rain (no rain forest without rain!) I am wondering whether I will find the lookout at all and then, will I see anything? I am pleasantly surprised when I discover that the lookout is a cave. Wow, who would have dreamt this, perfectly dry and sheltered. I sneak into the cave through to the light on the other side.



To get down to the real thing I have to take a brave jump into the chamber that is about 2m below the end of the first cave. I hesitate for a moment, because I am on my own and not sure whether I can make it back up again. Also the landing spot is really close to the edge of the cliff.



I finally dare to jump into the "nothingness"... First I can not see much, however every time the clouds decide to vanish I am treated with a magnificent view. The view down into this untouched valley deeply touches my heart. It is obvious that nobody had ever lived down there. In the distance the thundering ocean, parrots circling below me using the updraft near the steep cliff. The thick rain forest beneath me somehow looks very interesting. I heard that there is a track leading down to the sea, but there is no way I can do that today. I stay a while in the cave and let my clothes dry in the warm draft that blows through the cave. The climb up back to the path was OK and I decide to walk back home.





On the way home I pass several wild oranges and another giant citrus variety, which is about 10x the size of a normal orange. They taste a bit like a grapefruit. I later found out that they are called Pomelo.



The rain changes the already quite muddy path, making it even more slippery. The sandals, my only shoes, become absolutely useless. I take the rest of the way bare foot.



Time for a snack! About half way home I meet Tatafu. He is a farmer, who is digging planting holes for his Yams, (a kind of giant root) in the pouring rain. I may pick a lovely ripe Papaya from one of his trees and have it for lunch. That is absolutely delicious.


The rest of the way is pretty "straight forward"...



When I arrive home I have a rest...

If you still haven't got enough, you are welcome to follow me to...

This site is powered by recycled electrons