While I walked in the National Park yesterday, hiking was the major reason I came to ‘Eua (ay-oh-a). So today I asked to do a guided hike. Which one? I was asked…The hardest one, of course!
So, after breakfast, the owner of the resort set me up with the guide that was to lead me on a harder trek across the Island. And along with me were two other walkers… An English chap and his pre-teen son.
We were dropped off further into the National Park than I was yesterday and headed through bush and forest similar to yesterday. About a km in, our first stop was the Lookout at the end of yesterday’s hike with the same great views over the ocean and beach below.
The second stop was the Rats Cave. I chose not to go down the hole today. I got covered in dirt enough yesterday… We continued along the path and instead heading back along the one that had brought me to these sights yesterday, we took a different path. Our guide told us of some leaves not to touch that causes rashes similar to nettles. The path led us to the edge of the cliff and our way down. Now this is what I was looking for, a semi difficult climb down a steep earthy hill covered in trees.
At the bottom we emerged though some trees on the beach covered in shells and rocks. There was even some sand, just a little mind you.
We stopped for lunch under the cliffs.
After lunch, our guide – who had been wearing thongs this entire time – climbed a coconut palm tree and dropped a bunch of green coconuts down for us. He then spent some time skinning then by smashing them against some rocks. We drank and feasted on the coconuts until we’d had our fill.
We set off along the beach, climbing the rocks until we found an entrance up the cliff face. Climbing through a small gap in some large rocks, we made our way up the via sometimes slippery earthy slopes and some rock scaling.
We came to a short plateau and ended up walking in circles as our guide managed to get lost. We did find out way to the right path eventually, up some very steep banks and more rock scaling.
We reached the top and continued through the bush. My guide and I were rearing to go while the English chap and his son were exhausted. After a couple of kilometres through the bush we reached the road and were picked up another kilometre along.
A good day’s hiking. Tomorrow I fly back to Tongatapu for the night, then fly north to the Ha’apai islands for the next stage of my holiday adventure in the Kingdom of Tonga!
The Trail Wanderer.