Niue, Niue, ohhhh baby, I said we gotta go….

by Margie on August 19, 2009

Bound and determined to see the Northeastern side of Niue before departing for Tonga, Drew and I braved foul, rainy weather and set out Monday on a couple of bikes looking for some adventure. A half hour bike ride later, we found just that in the Talava Arches, the Matapa Chasm, and the Limu Pools. Prior excursions in Niue had stenciled imagery of clear water pools, caves, and jagged coral in my mind and these three places did not disappoint in living up to those visions as well. The Talava Arches was a maze of caves that all led to what can only be described as a massive eye to the south pacific. What remained of the cliff side was the result of hundreds upon hundreds of years of incoming and outgoing tides and waves that crashed against the shores, creating giant holes in the limestone. The ocean-the artist, the land-its canvas, its work-magnificent. From my view, perched up high and safe in the cave, Drew appeared to be nothing more than a tiny speck as I tried to capture with a camera the grandness of the arch. I was instantly reminded of years ago when my Aunt Cookie, my Uncle Gary, and my cousin, Holly all took me along on their vacation out west and we visited arches quite similar to this one. Only difference in the two was here on the other side lie the south pacific, out west on the other side was about a 2000+ foot drop. I didn’t have to be QUITE as careful here…

From there it was a short walk to the Matapa Chasm, which, according to guidebooks, was the favorite swimming spot of prior Niue kings. One quick glance and I instantly knew why as what lay before me was the clearest of blue, natural pools nestled amongst the limestone walls. In less than a minute I’d stripped off my hiking clothes and was diving into the water as I found it completely irresistible. I couldn’t risk looking back on this one day and wishing so much that I had jumped in. Refreshing would be an understatement and for about fifteen minutes I FELT like a queen as the water washed away the evidence of the bike ride before. I hated to get out of the water but we’d seen pictures of our final destination for the day and if it was at all possible, the Limu Pools were even more of a sight to see…

So off we went and this time it was Drew’s turn to dive in the cool waters and refresh himself. The damaging effects of Cyclone Heta were evident amongst the coral here although slowly but surely the sea life is beginning to return. Try as I might to describe it’s beauty, try as I might to capture it with a camera, sometimes I just don’t know if there are words possible or a photograph worthy. We returned the bikes that afternoon and although my butt was sore, as rental bikes never are very comfy, I felt I could leave Niue with a better sense of what the island had to offer and all I can say is wow…what an experience. We sadly said farewell, donning our best Finding Nemo whale voices, to our newfound harbor friends and set sail for Tonga yesterday afternoon. I honestly can say that being amongst those gentle giants ranks up there as one of the top highlights thus far in my life. It was absolutely incredible.

Granted the trip continues to go well, we’ll arrive in Tonga tomorrow morning, having lost a full day so it will be Friday for us and still Thursday back home. Lots of friends will be in Vava’u and we are anxiously awaiting a reunion with all of them and the joint birthday party on Honeymoon Saturday night!

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