21 Sepitema tokonaki
On this day 27 years ago Kotoni and I tied the knot. Every year we celebrate this event by doing something special together. This year we were treated to a beautiful rising moon peeking over the Eastern skyline creating an amazing light show of illuminated clouds. It was a truly magic end to a day of reflection. We’d been up predawn to catch an early flight to Vava’u, the island group to the very north of the 170+ Tongan island cluster. Flying in we could see it was very different to Tongatapu with rising green foliage covered cliffs and lots of verdant hills. Tongatapu is an ultra flat coral island where as Vava’u is the result of ancient volcanic activity.
After a 30 minute drive through the main town and along rural roads we stopped by the side of the ocean to be transported by a tiny boat to The Reef – our home for the next six glorious evenings.
Our fale is massive and perched on a hill overlooking water. The wind was gusty but we did spend time sitting outside on our verandah milking the views until it became way to strong.
Dinner cooked by our five star ex Hilton Bavarian chef/owner Josef was simply superb. Fresh ravioli filled with crab for entree teamed with home-baked bread. The main course of a sea perch deboned doing a bellyflop looked and tasted fakalata (wonderful). The sides complemented our ika (fish) perfectly: shredded kumela pancakes and a green pawpaw salad. Unfortunately I can’t report on desserts as we just couldn’t find a spare space in our satisfied tummies to squeeze in another morsel… perhaps tomorrow night!
Very poignant and beautiful anniversary words from my mum on a card that featured two young people back in 1986 returning to a Hopkins Creek family banana farm… after an eventful trip to Byron Bay where Sonia proposed and Kotoni said “Yes!”
“May you always be warmed by each other’s smile,
Always take time to walk and talk awhile,
Always know deep down you’re each others best friend.
And enjoy the kind of love that grows and knows no end…”