It was Legendary!!

There is an old Tongan Legend about a King who found out his wife was cheating on him. The legend says an enemy of the King seduced the woman, than tattooed her to show the King what he had done. When the King saw the tattoo, he took his wife to the island of 'Euakafa where she was beaten and buried.

Today, as you walk along the beach on this beautiful tropical island, you can still see where the grave stone was cut out of the rocks and you can hike to the top of the island and see the remains of the grave.

It may sound like a creepy place to visit, but the island is beautiful. And today, the reef located just off shore is a real living legend. It's the best snorkeling spot I've found in Vava'u.

Sunday I joined many of my fellow Peace Corps volunteers and several Japanese Volunteers on a trek to the island of 'Euakafa. As we approached and dropped anchor, there was little indication of the beauty below. As I dove into the water, I found myself immersed in hundreds of small blue fish swimming all around me, making a beautiful contrast against the multi-colored coral spread out all around me.

The current around the reef and the island is quite strong. I swam into some pretty shallow water and immediately realized my mistake as a wave slammed down on top of me, causing me to crash into some of the coral. I cut my knee but it was a minor cut. The more severe damage came to the coral that I accidentally broke. It takes years for this coral to grow and while it was only a small fracture, I knew I would not be leaving these waters the way I had entered them. Next time, I will not get into water that shallow.

I was swimming with my friend Justin. We both had cameras and had fun taking photos of each other underwater.

From the reef, Justin and I swam to the shore meeting up with others from our group who had come ashore in a dinghy. We walked along the sandy shore to the other side of the island from where he had been diving to the place where the ancient Tongans had somehow sliced a gravestone from the rock at the water's edge. From there, we proceeded barefoot to climb 62 meters (203 feet) above sea level to see the remains of the grave and a spectacular view of the ocean below.

Hiking back down, I was glad I was in bare feet as I needed the traction in the mud to keep from slipping.

A return visit to Mariner's and Swallows Cave

On the boat trip back we stopped at Mariner's Cave. This was my second trip to this cave that you can only enter by diving underwater and swimming to get inside. Unlike the first time I went, I had no qualms about going inside and easily made it.
The only way you tell there is a cave here from outside is by the small yellow "X" that someone has painted just above the cave entrance. (It's near the middle of the photo.)

We also stopped at Swallows Cave, but only to look as it was getting late and we needed to get back to Neiafu before it got dark.
I previously visited Swallows Cave last November.

How I Met your Mother

f you have ever watched the CBS Television show "How I met your Mother" you may have recognized the title of this post. I never watched the show in the US, even though it aired on the TV station where I worked. One of the volunteers has the show and it has quickly made the rounds of the Peace Corps volunteers here in Vava'u. The "It was Legendary" quote is used often by Barney, the main character. There is one episode where Barney flashes back to his plans to join the Peace Corps. In another episode, he tries to impress a girl by telling her he is shipping out to the join the Peace Corps the next day. It's a funny show and without the commercials, it only takes about 20 minutes to watch each episode.

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