A pluricultural celebration
Our filming month in New Zealand ended on a beautiful sunny afternoon, surrounded by representatives of all ethnicities, all the cultures that make up the Kiwi nation: English, Maori, Polynesian, Chinese, Thai, Malay, German, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, glad to be photographed in their typical costumes... One could even have one's photo taken (virtually) next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; This festival was a heart-warming meeting just weeks after the sad events in Christchurch.
Do I veer pessimistic, or does the climate of the planet in general deteriorate, or is it just a little bit of bad luck... After a month spent in New Zealand under a lot of gray and rainy skies, I was hoping to offer Francette three weeks of turquoise in Tonga ... forget it! A stubborn invasion of polar air has given us essentially clogged skies, persistent rains, strong winds and rolling anchorages. Two days of sunshine anyway, in the beautiful bay of Port Maurelle, with its spectacular trees, and on breathtaking Uoleva Uolevabeach, already mentioned five years ago: today the founder of "Serenity Beaches", Patti, nears her 78th birthday, with, always, o lot of stamina.
Lots of breakdowns
Francette left for a half-way around the world journey by plane, with a stopover in Singapore (also in the rain), and I badly chose my moment to head for Nuku'alofa; from the painful anchorage offt he island of Nomuka, where I stopped to let the bulk of a disturbance pass, I have seen only stormy shores; in addition I ran into a series of breakdowns of all kinds, all the more ridiculous when you realize after days of efforts that it was just a fuse that had burnt, and that you even had a spare one!
Here I am at Nuku'alofa, which, you will agree, does not happen every day; and, the sun finally coming back, I take a liking to the city's anchorage, a little too urban, of course, but where one has the impression of finding oneself in the Polynesia of thirty years ago and more; a vast market, inexpensive, lovely little restaurants along the waterfront and smiling Tongans wrapped in the traditional braided sarong. I'm thinking of staying here for two weeks for some repairs, and then ... I'm planning to surprise myself: according to the weather, I could aim for New Zealand, a classic destination; a return to the Austral Islands of French Polynesia; or Fiji, closer, or Vanuatu, which I have so far shamefully neglected; even New Caledonia ... or Australia, where I still have many wonders to discover ... It will probably Banana Split, with its possible technicalities, it will be the weather, who will decide my next stop; and you know what, when I get there, true to my habits, I'll say that's where I wanted to go!