I haven’t posted in ages and I’m berating myself for this, although we did sneak off to Foiata island which is in Tonga for a week. A truly wonderful place – remote and tropical, somewhere to kick back and relax, soak up those rays (with suntan lotion slathered on of course), snorkel, swim with the whales and enjoy 3 meals a day of super tasty tucker. And yes I came home weighing more.


I’m a sucker for the internet (think blogging). So I was like a bear with a sore head when I realised that internet access was only available when the computer was tethered to the phone and then it was intermittent. But the proverbial ‘icing on the cake’, was that it was only possible to charge appliances from 6 – 11pm. No problem really, except that we had only one cable for each appliance, so as you can imagine, squabbling ensued. I won’t talk about the hair dryer …


Doing it hard 


Island dogs

But we got by. I read a book, contemplated life, ate too much and snorkelled (not at the same time mind you), which I really enjoy. I’m a bit of a wuss though, I’m not keen on sea snakes, reef sharks or anything that appears without warning, and I have been known to literally ‘walk on water’ to avoid them.



Island view

Tonga as it happens, is renown for humpback whales which journey from the Antartica to enjoy the warm environ, mate and give birth before heading back to the chill, ready to do it all over again. Isn’t nature wonderful?


Humpback breaching

Whale watching boats can be seen dotted amongst the islands and out to sea, with keen folk joining a guide to swim with these magnificent mammals – but only in groups of 4. So imagine me being particularly brave and tossing myself off the back of the boat into the ocean with the bottom no where to be seen.  The world is so different looking through a mask whilst trying to steady the breathing and maintain some semblance of calm (LOL). Then I saw it … a hump back whale swimming directly below me. I held my breath.


He refused to come out …

Hubby who is a natural in the water was in and out like a yoyo (yes I am envious). He was the taker of photos and videos and while a novice with the new GoPro I have been promised images … hmmm


My sort of boat



So, we had a lovely break, met some wonderful people, enjoyed laughs and many stories from people who travel great distances to swim with these spectacular gentle giants of the sea.


Shell vase



Puppy magic

Thank you so much to Tapa, Otto, Uli, Jess, Mata and the girls ..



Even in paradise, there are mishaps

Watch out for my next post .. my garden is growing!




72 thoughts

  1. Oooo….how beautiful, a tropical paradise! It looks like you found a wonderful beach side hide-away, hidden from the crowds. And what a treat to see the humpback whales too. I’m wondering if the island dogs have people families, or do they roam free? Thank you for sharing this beautiful part of the world with us today. 🙂

    • We did find the most amazing hide-away. What a spoil it was. It felt so strange travelling back to the mainland .. Oh yes, those dogs have a family and are much loved by the guests. Glad you enjoyed your visit 😀

  2. Hi Julie and Andrew
    Julie great photos as usual it looks just the sort of hideaway you both needed. Good to hear you are back in the water again(no sharks!). It reminds me of Samoa hen I went with Andrew remote and idilic far from the maddening crowds. Once again great shots LOL

    • It was just what we needed Mr Bonner! Yes loved being in the water – had my eye out for large fish though 😉 I did see a sea snake but I was in the canoe .. thankfully. Yes much like Samoa .. wonderful people and no maddening crowds. Perfect! 😀 Hugs

  3. Oh my, too majestic for words…what beautiful images! I cannot imagine that feeling when you saw the great humpback below you. I saw a few off of Cape Cod once and wanted to topple overboard but a biologist was glaring at me as if reading my mind…I decided not to rock the boat with any antics. It was difficult. They were absolutely phenomenal and kept waving to me, as if beckoning…

    Beautiful photos and dazzling words. I now avidly wish to visit this wonderful paradise someday. Beautiful post and looking forward to a new one featuring your growing garden.

    P.S. The dogs were too cute!

    All the best, with jubilant cheers,


    • Oh and jubilant cheers back at you too AJ. It was such a special place … and seeing those whales was so very special. They are magnificient. I laughed when I read about your escapades on the boat .. They do beckon. And I was lucky to swim with them even if for only a very short time. (I can’t hold my breath for too long 🙂 ) Thank you so much for your wonderful comment .. always great to know that you have dropped by.

  4. Julie , it took me a moment to put Frog Pond with you…. Then it clicked. Great shots. I have forwarded to my daughter Jo. Keep Clicking ! Richard

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Lovely photos. It looks like a magical place to be, unless you’re on that sinking boat. That last photo really redefines the colour blue for me.

    It’s good to get disconnected every now and then. An old fashioned dial-up internet connection sounds so primitive now. 🙂 You didn’t have a double adaptor for the electricity?

    • Hey Mr Draco .. it sure was a magical place. We were on that very same boat with the whales the day before. And yes the colour of the lagoon was amazing .. Ha I have decided that from now on I shall take a power pack with me and cables for each of our applicances! LOL ..

  6. Amazing whale photo! Actually, they are all terrific – I’m envious (in the best possible way). The “walking on water” comment made me laugh out loud – I can relate. Looks like the perfect get-away to me, in spite of the sketchy Internet. Or maybe because of it?? Ummmmm …Nah! 😉

  7. What a wonderful time Julie and beautiful photos. We had a “.to” domain from Tonga for many years because “ARC” is such a common acronym for businesses. We had to finally give it up because some of our federal government clients thought the .to was a security risk.

  8. Oh Julie, what a fab trip! I’m a little envious because I love to swim with sharks and snorkel…wow, what a place, have to google it right away! Well deserved, it’s nice to get away and see something else, not being reminded of all the things that need doing in the garden. Glad you enjoyed it – thanks for sharing these beautiful images 🙂

  9. What a beautiful photos series again…seems to me like paradise! I’d love to stay there watching the evening sun sparkled on the water….
    Your pictures make me dream.

  10. What a wonderful break in all that beautiful blue for you and hubby. Such fantastic photos! A lovely set of memories to treasure. It all looks lovely but I really really loved the boat <3 and being with the whales sounds like a wonderful experience (in place of the internet fix!!!!! not bad whooo!). Truly gorgeous post Julie!xxxx

  11. Ohhhhhhhh, Julie!!! LUCKY you! How I drank in all that blue and that sand wishing really wishing I could do something like that. And the pictures are glorious!!! Imagine a hump back whale UNDER you? WOW!!! *sighs* I must put this place on my bucket list. Looks like Paradise and oh how I could use some. And internet? Not by a long shot not on my vacation!!! As for gaining weight … so what? *she says with jeans barely buttoned* LOL (((HUGS))) Amy <3

      • Hi lovely, sometimes life gets in the way of what you want to do i.e. blogging. I miss being more regular with my blog posts too. It is nice to know my ‘banter’ is missed. Won’t be long before ‘the life’ that is getting in the way, will be finished and I will be more present in blogsphere. Hope you are well Lovely. x

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