Archive for July 25th, 2010

Who Niue?

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

There’s a wee small island in the middle of the South Pacific with a strong sense of national identity and an even stronger attachment to the economy of New Zealand. It’s the friendliest place we’ve visited on this trip in spite of the scary coastline.

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The government is considered a model for stable island nation rule and it may have something to do with the fact that key officials are well respected (with reserved parking spaces.)

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Car rental was very affordable on Niue, but before we could rent a car we had to have a Niuean driver’s license, a very sensible precaution on the part of the local constabulary given the revolving door of  seafarers who don’t drive much, and even then on the wrong side of the rode.

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We took a spin through the tidy town and picked up local vibe of this dapper, friendly island.

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Conscious of our skinny budget, we resolved to walk right past this place. 

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Our resolve held for about 100 feet down the road – but then we reached the spot directly downwind of the kitchen.  We were reeled in like fish.   Mmmmmm – lamb curry!

Boatfolk all gravitate to the local yacht club, another example of what works really well on Niue. The yacht club manages the excellent mooring field and onshore facilities for visiting boats. 

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Amazingly, it’s operated by only 3 volunteers, led by Commodore Keith and his lovely wife Sue. 

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As an added bonus, the yacht club is right next door to Mamata’s ice cream shop.

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Dinghy access on this rugged coast is well also managed with the famous Niue dinghy crane.

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S was impressed that environmental awareness is alive and well on the island.  There is a high level of local concern over persistent organic pollutants.  There were also signs admonishing people to not litter, conserve energy, and quit smoking.

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K was impressed by the delightful NZ Lion Red and these yummy burgers with eggs and beets on them.

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After the delights of the village we headed into the bush in search of adventure. We quickly noticed that the island is covered in gravesites ranging from the very well kept to the almost forgotten.

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This is probably a result of an ancient culture living on a small island with limited real estate, but we think it also might have something to do with these monster spiders.

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Although, fair play to them, bees seem to be the preferred victims.

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19°03.20’S 169°55.38’W   24-Jul-10 02:45 UTC