With my 10-year-old Photocopy of a Tongan Lonely Planet, my plan was to catch a ferry to Uoleva island to stay at Daiana Resort. It was described as this:
“The island is basically unihabited and has some of the finest, most peaceful white-sand beaches imaginable. There’s little to do other than swim, snorkel and fish. Daiana Resort - set in a coconut plantation, are four very traditonal fale (traditional thatched Tongan huts) whose cool interiors are line with tap and pandanus mats. No running water or electricy. It’s simple and hospitable and Kalafi (the owner) can suggest some good snorkeling spots.”
So when I got into the big town of Pangai in Ha’apai, I called up Kalafi. When I asked about staying at the Resort the response I got was this: “Oh, there’s no one on the island.” In fact, Kalafi was nowhere near the island and I was actually speaking to her daughter. She said the resort was closed for the season.
March is the slow-season in Tongan, most tourists come later in the summer when humpback whales visit the surrounding waters. So apparently the Resort had been deserted for the season and no one was on the island. This was a big disappointment and I would have to scramble to come up with a new plan.