Travels

Funafuti Marine Conservation Area

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The Eel and sole were great friends in times past. They lived in a house under the sea and shared many things together. One day they decided to prove which of the two was the strongest and took a very large stone on the way back home. However, they began to argue, and after a struggle, the sole was crushed by the stone causing him wounds, although he could chase the eel by hitting him and causing him to vomit until he was getting thinner and thinner, which managed to escape.

The eel then pronounced some magic words, a kind of spell that transformed the sole into a flat figure that today represents the flat islands of Tuvalu, and transforming itself into a thin and rounded body like that of coconuts, hence the trees of the islands.

!! Talofaaaa !! !! Good morning from Tuvalu !! We read this curious history of the formation of the islands while we have put more postcards and have breakfast in a new day in this curious country. But The story does not end there. It turns out that the eel was not satisfied with what he had achieved and remembered the stone so large they had found and seeing that it had three colors (black, white and blue) he decided to throw it into the air.

But the stone did not fall, but floated in the air, and the eel again said other magic words. The stone began to descend slowly and landed on the earth, with great surprise, that something of the blue part had broken forming the sky. The eel threw it back into the air and the stone fell on the black side giving rise to the night, and then on the white, breaking the darkness. Finally, with the blue part that remained, he spoke the magic words again, and the sea appeared. There were only a few shatters left, 8 specifically, one for each of the main islands of Tuvalu


 

It is still a legend, but it is aware of the isolation that the country has had even within Polynesia itself. Yes, It is considered one of the safest places on the planet, far from struggles and wars and conflicts of any kind. In fact we are more distant from everything than that day we appeared in the city farthest from any point with sea of ​​the planet, Urumqi.

Ah! Our "sailor" has already appeared. Towel, swimsuits and eyes wide open ... we go to a very particular place in Tuvalu.


 

He Renting a boat here in Funafuti has not been cheap at all. It has cost us 200 AUD, but there are not many more options and not every day you are in a country so remote and with such marine wealth. We say goodbye to our "contact" (so to speak) that today an angel has come to see ...


Our destiny is lThe crystal clear and coral waters of Fualoa, especially Tepuka, on a journey of about 12 km. We monitor that they carry two gas tanks so as not to get thrown away.

He Funafuti Conservation Area It covers 33 km2 of water and land on the western side of the atoll and includes reefs, lagoons, canals, ocean and island habitats. There are six uninhabited islets with dense forests, coconut trees. Come on, a place that if it were not for the danger of disappearance and the isolation of the country, would already have hundreds of resorts.

This is home to hundreds of species of fish, corals, algae and invertebrates. WE HAVE SEEN A FLYING FISH FOR THE FIRST TIME! (which kept flying for a long time over the waters).

We don't have too many photos, since we have the aquatic chamber dead, but this area of ​​seabirds and hundreds of resources in the last 20 years has deteriorated too much, due to fishing nets and increased pollution.

This is when we have to talk about Tuvalu's main problem. !! Tuvalu SUNSHINE !! We had not seen it so clearly in Maldives. We are going through places where sand deposits that were islands HAVE DISAPPEARED because of the rising waters. Corals die from the temperature. It is a terrible catastrophe that has no point of comparison to what is seen on TV.


 

As we would see in the trip to Maldives 2011, the Maldives is the lowest country in the world with only 1.5 m on average above sea level. Tuvalu is the second with just 5 meters on average. Behind is Marshall Islands with 10 meters. That is why the beautiful Tuvalu, a state formed by four coral reefs and five atolls that cover a total area of ​​25 km2 is doomed to disappear. The advantage, to say the least, regarding Maldives, is that less than 12,000 people live in the whole country, which makes it the second least populated country in the world after the Vatican, and its evacuation could be simpler (photo taken from google images)


This also affects those who come looking to enjoy its crystalline lagoon, the wonderful Pacific Ocean, its virgin coral and aquatic life. We must recognize that this area is a true wonder


 

We spend the morning here watching the Funufati Conservation Area, wishing that there is a solution for all this, that the poles stop thawing and that the water stops rising so fast. They are only wishes, because in reality, having countries like China and its great industry, completely disregarding climate problems, we will be able to do little.

What we do not forgive is a good pizza (!! siiiiiiii, finally pasta !!) on the terrace of our room at the Vaiaku Lagi Hotel


The afternoon we took the opportunity to read and rest in order to face the second third of the trip we started tomorrow. To read about the language of Tuvalu, a polynesic language of the Ellicean group, the furthest from all other Polynesian languages ​​such as Hawaiian, Mari, Tahitian, Samoan or Tongan, and closely related to languages ​​spoken in Micronesia or North and Central Melanesia.

We have barely learned a few words, such as Talofa (hello), Tofa (goodbye), Fakafetai (thanks), Lo (yes) or Ikai (no). Anyway ... for next time, haha

ORGANIZING ON THE MARCH:

Today we do not organize anything and take advantage only to know and rest. Tomorrow we return to Suva to go to Tonga. Will the Tuvalu flight leave tomorrow?

We have also learned that The national sport is the Te Ano (ball) where two teams line up facing each other, and with a heavy ball a member of a team sends to the other field and he must return it with his hands. If a team drops the ball, it is a point to the contrary. The best thing is that when you reach 10, the loser has to perform a dance and song routine leading the winners.

!! The sirens sound! !! The sirens sound! What happens? Are we sinking now? They sound up to 3 times and suddenly we heard a plane land. But they didn't say that only two weekly flights came here. As we are next to the airport (to see, so that we are going to fool ourselves, we are next to everything) we approach to see what happens. The red flags shine on both sides of the track. It seems that this way they signal the population to clear the track. Everyone runs to the terminal, nobody wants to miss it, like yesterday when we arrived.

 
 

Four large SUVs, one with the Tuvalu flag, wait next to the building. It must be someone important, because the plane is not from Air Pacific, the only one that flies to these islands.


Indeed, we are in an important moment. The Australian Prime Minister has arrived with the Tuvalu Prime Minister and they are accompanied by many people. Some are picked up in the SUVs and go to ... !! to our hotel !! (well, it's not that there were too many options)


 

But of course, what we liked the most is the ingenuity of a tuvalés that has invented its own "Duty Free" system and he has approached the airport to see if he "catches" something. If, with ingenuity he goes around the world, hahahaha ... a 10 for him.


 

One thing that never ceases to amaze us is that here !! THERE ARE NO MOSQUITOS JUST !! ... we sensed that it would be plagued, but we have barely used the relec to Tanna in Vanuatu, and something in Uepi at night, but little else.

Something with what we can no longer is with food. We settled for some spaghetti with tomato, we didn't ask for more. Because by ordering, we would order that potato tortilla with a freshly sliced ​​ham, or the eel and the sole of the legend ... ainsss ... Anyway, that since we left from Uepi (where we ate wonderful and varied), There is no one who eats here! All are "potingues" and Chinese mixtures (food we hate to death) and so we have been several days. Today, as the "high class" of the West has come, they have also made a kind of show at the hotel with dances from the island.


 

Tomorrow we will be until lunch here and say goodbye, perhaps forever, the island "boomerang", its beautiful atolls, the friendliness of its people (we must recognize that they are a charm) and one of the areas of turquoise blue waters, corals and marine life more impressive and virgin of the planet. We touch wood so that our plane leaves and the sirens sound again. Until then…

Isaac and Paula, from Funafuti (Tuvalu)

EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 200 AUD (approx. 173.91 EUR)

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