What is it you may ask? Swallow’s cave is well a cave. There are two famous caves in Vava’u, Swallow’s and Mariner’s cave. Every time I take a boat to or from town, I pass Swallow’s cave. I finally had the opportunity to see what is inside a few weeks ago. I was on an eva-pe with the Pentecost boat when they asked me if I have ever been inside. “Nope.”
At high tide, smaller boats are able to go in and explore the ‘ana or cave. You can shout as loud as you can and hear the echoes bouncing around walls. Inside is very green and full of graffiti. Apparently, it is a cool thing to mark the wall with spray paint of your name. Way to kill the mystery and mood eh? Different types of birds and bats live inside. My school and I actually plan on retrieving some natural fertilizer from this place (aka bird poop) in the near future for our garden.
PHOTOS: Hitting the “church bell” with a piece of wood, some graffiti “art,” and my neighbor Louie standing on a little platform in the cave.
Near the center of the cave lies a rock that sticks out a bit. They told me it is known as the church bell, because when you hit it with something it sounds like bells. Well, we tried it and indeed it sounded like any Sunday morning in Tonga. We took some photos with everyone before heading out of cave. It wasn’t bad honestly. Inside felt like a canoe ride from Disneyland. I asked the Tongan if they swim inside the cave and they said mostly the palangi people do it. Apparently, they don’t find it to exciting to swim inside this cave.
I have yet to visit Mariner’s Cave. It is actually on my island of Nuapapu, but all the way on the other side. The locals have told me there is a bush route, but it has not been cleared for years. I bet it’s probably almost impossible to get to without a guide (just like the route to the “secret” beach). With this cave, you are supposed to dive underwater for a few meters to enter the cave. Inside, there is a phenomenal mist that is caused by the waves. I bet it is beautiful as they say. I hope to check it out in May when my family comes and visit. As for now, I can check off Swallow’s Cave off of my “things to do before I leave Tonga” list.
PHOTO: Swallow’s cave from the inside looking out. Cool eh?