Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Fenua Loa- beautiful photo's. July holiday 2016

They say in Fakaofo that you can’t really say you’ve been to Fakaofo unless you’ve been to Fenua Loa – the islet/motu at the southern tip of the atoll. Fenua Loa is a most special and sacred of place in Fakaofo, which you can only venture to with the express permission of the Pulenuku or the Taupulega. It is part marine reserve, part sacred place, part special occasion communal foraging ground and 100% tropical paradise on earth!
Understandably we were very keen when Pale and Lise offered to take our family nearing the end of our time in Tokelau. We were blessed with an amazingly fine day after a couple of weeks of rough weather and Pale generously excused himself from a very busy time in his responsibilities on the Taupulega.
7:15am, bit windy as we excitedly headed out for the day
They picked us up around 7:15 in the morning so that we could get down on the high tide (you can’t get through the coral channels in that part of the lagoon unless it’s high tide. It’s truly amazing how people in Tokelau are capable of navigating their way back and forth through the maze of little channels and openings that lead the way down to Fenua Loa. It seems like they have a truly impressive mental 3D map of the route that not only knows the way to go, but somehow can also sense what point the tide is at and which routes will be passable. Anyway, Pale masterfully got us all the way down to the bottom part of the lagoon where we clambered ashore at Fenua Loa.
Lise loving Nga and keeping her warm. What a lovely Grandmother:)
Fenua Loa in sight....
Rainy on the front.....
From here, Pale led us through dense tropical bush along a barely visible pathway until we reached the lagoon that is found in the centre of Fenua Loa. It is a truly phenomenal sight. 
Just having come out of the bush, walking up through the ocean inlet leading to the internal Lagoon...High tide...
Fenua Loa!!
The water is an amazing pale topaz blue and is fed from the outer ocean at high tide. We stopped for some morning tea on a sandy beach and swam in the lagoon. Underfoot is a soft sandy mud which we had fun making mud packs out of and smearing over our bodies (Lise told us that it was known to be good for your skin). 
Tropical Spa....
We had a wonderful time swimming and splashing about, enjoying the idyllic and remote spot. 
Leaving Fenua Loa at low tide, Lagoon now completely separate from the ocean so beautiful....
Heading back out to the ocean lagoon
From here we retraced our steps back out to the main lagoon where Pale took us to a nearby motu.
Here we enjoyed another traditional Tokelau barbeque in which Pale cooked us many clams and coconut crabs along with fish. It was an amazing feast of seafood. The most extreme part was trying the ‘tail’ of the coconut crabs – consisting of yellow fat reserves that ooze and can be sucked out of the cooked crab. It was incredibly rich so we could only cope with the smallest taste – but Lise was very happy to finish up what we couldn’t get through! She loved it.
The tail.....
Delicacy- Go Chrissie
The coral is amazing in these parts of the lagoon with much more life and colour than the coral nearer where we lived.
Coral beds

 Clams of all colours abound! Pale showed us the technique for killing and digging out a clam – if you get it wrong the clam shell shuts fast and you lose your knife!
Lots of laughs
The kids had a wonderful time swimming and playing on a partially constructed raft that we found and pulled down to the water. It was an unbelievably idyllic day where you had to keep pinching yourself thinking “Am I really here with my family”. Such beauty and joy as can hardly be contained. Such a precious time with Pale and Lise and Evotia who love us so well and delighted in showing us the treasures of Fakaofo.

Our family will never forget this day – a true once in a lifetime experience.

 Pale and Lise we’re forever grateful for your generosity in sharing this magical place with us.

More pictures below :) 

Lovely Pale and Lise enjoying watching us swim and play. 

Amazing colours.

Fun and smelly....Think Rotorua.....A volcanic crater remember

At our picnic place in the main lagoon- stunning!


very yummy

Pale and the boys get the fire ready

The colours and beauty are like nothing I've ever seen before.

So peaceful

Looking out over the reef to the wild ocean

Coconut Crabs!!


Ready to eat

Everyone enjoying!

Clam- the white eye where you have to put your knife

Pale an expert

Clam closes, but too late
Free from the Coral and ready to be opened...

Raft fun with Evotia and Miena

Clams, such stunning colours.



The water was so clear....Photo taken looking down into water, my hand well under.

Baby Coconut Crab...didn't eat this little guy:)

So much fun, was hard to leave.

Home time-Rainy crashed out.