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wojtekd Funafuti - A travel report by Wojciech
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Funafuti,  Tuvalu - flag Tuvalu
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wojtekd's travel reports

Somewhere in the Pacific – Tuvalu

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Page: 1 2

Funafuti travelogue picture
Tuvalu, former Ellice Islands is one of the lesser known and rarely visited Pacific countries. The state of Tuvalu consists of eight low coral atolls spreading in a diameter of 600 kilometres. In fact, there is also a ninth, little island of Niulakita but it was not taken into account when they invented the name of the state which literally means „cluster of eight”. Republic of Tuvalu has only one little and old cargo ship „Nivanga II”, calling on non-regular basis home atolls and Suva in Fiji and carrying all the necessary supplies to whole country. They have also small patrol boat taking care of biggest natural resource of the nation – 200-miles fishing zone around islands. The only air access to Tuvalu is from Suva-Fiji. I landed on the Funafuti atoll, the state capital. It has the only airstrip suitable for turbo-prop planes.

Favourite spots:
Funafuti travelogue picture
A number of distant motus (small, uninhabited islands) forms the Conservation Area nature reserve. You can visit there for a full day using a rented motorboat to admire underwater gardens. Snorkeling you will see colourful fish, coral & seaweed. The government tourist agency (fca@tuvalu.tv) offers escorted motorboat tours to the motus: halfday in the boat for four passengers costs 80 AUD. Equipment rental costs extra: 5 AUD for a mask, snorkel and flippers or 30 AUD for a diving set.

What's really great:
Funafuti travelogue picture
Funafuti airport code is FUN. It is hard to invent a more suitable abbreviation. Already the first evening already I was invited to their maneapa – community hall to join the party celebrating the happy return of a group of local ladies from their tour to New Zealand... There was a lot of local food, but no alcohol. They sang beautifully. I also watched folk dances - quite static with a great deal of gesticulation.

Sights:
Funafuti travelogue picture
On one of the motus – Amatuku they have established a navy school for seamen, preparing young men for work on foreign commercial ships. Every year they launch around 60 graduates world-wide. With permission from the school commander, you will be able to visit the motu Amatuku, where student’s quarters and classrooms are sprayed out under picturesque palm trees. There is also an old mission building built of coral rock – one of the oldest buildings of the all archipelago. More pictures from Tuvalu and other Pacific Islands you can see on my Polish page: http://www.kontynenty.tpi.pl/5rtw1.htm

Accommodations:
Funafuti travelogue picture
·Hotel Vaiaku Lagi – at the airport – double room with bath and a/c – 90 AUD
·Filamona GH – also at the airport – double with a/c – 61 AUD, without a/c – 44 AUD
·you will find similar prices at the more distant Su Guest House and Island Breeze GH
· Even farther – on the northern tip of Fongafale Island is located the Hideaway GH managed by German couple. They charge 35 AUD for single room and 45 AUD for double.

Restaurants:
Funafuti travelogue picture
The only one is located at Hotel Vaiaku Lagi - buffet lunch for 10 AUD. Unless you are in the middle of the main village on Funafuti, meals are only available at accommodation venues. Those on slightly more humble budgets could get by on Funafuti with cheap food and simple accomodation for about 50 AUD.
If you want to visit other then Funafuti Tuvaluan atolls be prepared for frustrating and expensive travel. There are no other airstrips aside from the "international" airport on Funafuti, so sea travel is your only option. There is only one government-run passenger-cargo boat, the Nivaga II, that plies the coral reefs between the islands on irregular, unreliable schedule. This ship also makes the occasional run to Suva in Fiji. Locals making from time to time inter-island trips on the small, private motorboats will be your best chance.


Published on Sunday October 6th, 2002


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Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 09:41 AM rating by miguelmarchi

Another destination that few people can find in the atlas.

Thu, Apr 08 2004 - 07:14 PM rating by mystie21

I love your articles, and your pics are absolutely great! WOW

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