PHOTO: Sunset at Toka!
What happens when you build a resort on a beautful island and later find out that the land you started building your resort is also being leased to another person at the same time, which results to the government seizing the construction of your resort that you had heavily invested on? The answer would be Toka! It truly is a faka'oka--sad story, yet very true. Long story short, two investors got caught up in a leasing scandal that resulted to whole lot of money being wasted by investing in Tonga.
PHOTO: The boat ride to Toka and preparing dinner with help from a fellow PCV.
Toka is located on the complete opposite end of Nuapapu island from the Matamaka village. An unforntunate invester started to build an upscale resort over there, but has yet to finish. What is left? Numerous abandoned, semi-completed guest houses. Regardless, some friends came over to visit me and we had a brilliant time camping at the would be resort. I can only describe the resort as a scene from Jurassic Park the movie after the buildings were abandoned for a couple of years with nature quickly reclaiming the land. All the very nicely built buildings were overtaken with vegetation.
PHOTO: The coral gardens at Toka.
After getting settled in with a make shift table for all of our weekend provisions, we started a camp fire with space for a barbecue. It was also a full moon! As a result, flashlights were not necessary as we had our dance party out on the beach until all the batteries ran out in all of the speakers that we had brought. I even brought glow sticks!--thanks to my sister :D. Furthermore, we made delicious food throughout the weekend (bacon, eggs, hot dogs etc.)and had the opportunity to swim at the coral gardens off of Toka. It was no big surprise why they wanted to build a resort out there, because the corals were breathtaking! See for your self. ***As a disclaimer, one can't simply camp out at Toka resort. It's imperative you have written or verbal permission from the local town officer of Nuapapu. It is up to his discreation to allow people visit that side of the island and essentially his responsibility to look after the disputed area of the resort.
PHOTO: Breakfast at the beach.
What is the main lesson with this blog entry? Probably to get all your paper work and research straight before investing in ANY country and to have a back up for the back up speakers, so that you can rock out all night long. You just never know how you can get screwed over so easily these days. Regardless, the entire land dispute resulted for some of us having another awesome weekend in Tonga.
PHOTO: GLOW STICKS!