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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Tokelau Bits

TOKELAU | Wednesday, 9 November 2016 | Views [387]

With three full days to explore Tokelau, my best bet is to be up early each day and get out there. There wouldn’t be much going on today since there was a funeral. The school, transport office, shop, and everywhere else for that matter are closed on funeral days. I can never go without my usual coffee. Ross made some porridge to go with tinned pears and yogurt. I walked with Ross and Katie to the home of the local who passed away but there was really nothing to do; we were sitting outside on a steaming hot day. There are only about a dozen (operable) vehicles on Tokelau, and the Tokelau licence plate is no licence plate. Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand yet has very little in common with New Zealand. You’d think it’d be an external territory of Samoa or possibly part of Kiribati. Tokelau used to be a British colony until Britain tried to get rid of all of its Pacific colonies In the 19th century.

As I feasted on some coconut rice with James and his sisters, they told me things have changed dramatically since 20 years ago, with the most noticeable being all the rubbish lying around. If I was working here or had more time, I’d organize a big rubbish cleanup with the locals.

My second geocache on Atafu is going to be called “No Exercise? Exercise!” It shall be my first multi-cache and the first waypoint shall be getting coordinates from a sign educating Tokelauans to exercise and then you have to actually walk a fair distance to the cache. I shall not say where it’s located in case my fellow cachers are reading my blog. As I walked to place the cache I ensured to bring plenty of water since it's always hot. Along the coast are some stupendous views. Here is perhaps my best photo from Tokelau.

At low tide it's possible to walk all the way around Atafu but it takes the better part of eight hours. A Kiwi named Iapi (pronounced like "yuppie") works for the Tokelau Statistics Office in Apia, and during one visit he walked around Atafu and was chased by a shark.

Fanu, the pulenuku, gave me a shell necklace and a fan as a gift. That was very nice of him, and even more so for allowing me to stay here until the boat returns. Afterward I wanted some magical photos of a Tokelauan sunset. It's definitely one of the more exotic sunsets I’ve seen.

This evening I was offered a glass of locally brewed coconut wine, locally called tuba; it's like a cross between beer and wine. Nightlife is nonexistent on Tokelau. In fact, there is no real bottle shop and the atoll can be out of Vailima beer for weeks on end. Fortunately for locals, sap from the coconut palm doesn’t take long to ferment. Tokelau may have a lack of things to do but not all places come with things to do. It’s the kind of place to relax, talk to people, rest, and work on your inner thoughts. My mind still isn’t all there due to losing Racheal as a friend, but I’m getting there. The stifling heat isn’t conducive to exercise and walking a half a kilometre can be challenging for me, let alone some of these locals who are three times my size. When I arrived on Tuesday I sort of asked myself what I was doing here but some destinations require some softening up to.

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