THE BIRTH OF COSMOREVAS.TK
This site has a very strong connection with Oceania.
It happened to me so many times to quickly rotate the globe and then stop it with a finger.
For some strange reason (perhaps simply by statistics, since the blue planet is covered for about 70% by water) often the finger ends up in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean.
Looking better, it can happen to “touch the ground” of a small island/atollo of which you do not even know the existence.
That’s how I discovered the island of Tokelau.
Going to study something more about it, you quickly discover that you can create your own site for free, using just the .tk domain and possibly helping the country’s GDP by purchasing a domain for a fee.
This is why the Pacific islands have become a destination to visit.
I tried to get here in any way, but this time it was impossible.
But I still have many islands to visit and there will be an opportunity in the future.
PLAN THE TRAVEL
The most difficult part of organizing a trip to this part of the world, especially for those with little time and lots of curiosity, is to choose where to go.
There are in fact hundreds of islands that make up the 25 or so nations that can be visited in this area, occupying almost a third of the earth’s surface.
I wrote the list of all the nations first and I inquired about the reasons that could convince me to go.
I therefore assigned preferences and started to reduce the list, up to almost a third.
At this point I started looking for all possible aerial combinations.
This research was perhaps easier as I had to eliminate any stopover in Australia and the United States (the reasons I will explain later).
The company suited to my needs quickly turned out to be the Cathay Pacific with going to Nadi and returning from Auckland, with transit in Hong Kong.
HAWAII: obligatorily excluded
Although the great cities of the United States do not arouse any fascination or attraction in me, the discourse changes if I think of Hawaii and Honolulu.
I would have really liked to go on this trip, both to see that lifestyle and to be able to swim with sharks without cages.
Unfortunately, doing the US visa procedure, they have rejected my request.
This caused me to completely change the plans.
I had to cancel Hawaii off the list and had to avoid any air route that included a stopover in the United States.
AUSTRALIA: obligatorily excluded
Australia certainly deserves an entirely dedicated trip. Le distanze sono enormi e tante le cose da vedere.
I could still take advantage of Sydney airport but I preferred to avoid.
I have read that, after the rejection of the US visa, the practices for the Australian visa would have been longer and more uncertain.
It is possible to transit at the airport without a visa for up to 8 hours but, although my flight only required 5, I preferred not to run the risk of airline delays.
L’Australia resta una meta futura.
NEW ZEALAND: partially chosen
Although New Zealand is a considerably smaller territory than Australia, I believe that the two major islands deserve a few days to be worthily discovered.
Despite this, I have traveled 2 times from Auckland airport.
The first stopover, 8 night hours to go to the Cook Islands from Tonga, introduced me to the New Zealand winter: 5 degrees and very heavy rain.
I then spent a few hours at the airport where, on the upper floor, there are several seats without arms to sleep comfortably, numerous electrical outlets and famous commercial chains that sell sandwiches, chips and drinks throughout the night.
Buses to the city center leave from outside the ground floor.
I was going to use it and then get on the tourist bus and quickly visit Auckland but the tiredness, the not perfect physical condition and the cold convinced me to spend 12 hours at the airport between the return from the Cook Islands and the flight to Hong Kong.
See you later, New Zealand
Having skipped the destination Hawaii, Fiji has become the first certainty of my travel.
I wanted to swim with sharks and one of the best places in the world turns out to be right in the south central part of the main island of Fiji.
In Pacific Harbor, in the Beqa Lagoon, diving is done at 30 meters without cage with bull, tiger, lemon, white fin, black tip and others sharks.
And I talk about dozens of sharks a few centimeters from the divers.
Furthermore some islands of the Yasawa archipelago are often inhabited by giant manta rays with which one can swim freely.
A few days in the Fijian sea would also have allowed me to relax a little.
Many people are used to associating climate change with a few more degrees in August, more consistent rainfall and less regular seasons.
In certain areas of the earth, however, climate change severely undermines the very life of the inhabitants.
I am referring for example to Antarctica, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, where I saw ice retreated hundreds of meters from a few years earlier.
I think of Svalbard and the Arctic territories, where it was almost a mirage to find a polar bear, driven towards Russia by the lack of frozen territory to hunt.
Tuvalu is considered the first nation to disappear due to rising seas.
This is why I decided to go, before, in a few years, it will be impossible.
TOKELAU: excluded for now
Planning my trip to the Pacific Islands, I looked for any solution to get to the island that is allowing me to realize the dream of this site, but I have not found any possible solution.
It takes at least 5 days and for me, this time, they were unfortunately too many.
But I still have many islands to visit and there will be an opportunity in the future.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: excluded for now
Reading the attractions of the Solomon Islands, I discovered that the main attractions are numerous WWII wrecks of warships.
I’m not a fan of this type of diving and so I quickly excluded this destination.
At least for now.
NEW CALEDONIA: obligatorily excluded
French territory but with a large part of the population fighting for independence, it is connected almost exclusively with Australia.
Having problems getting an Australian visa, I therefore had to consider New Caledonia as a future destination.
Tonga are one of the very few places in the world where you can swim with whales.
During the period from about July to October, the humpback whales leave Antarctica and migrate to the warm and tranquil waters of Tonga to reproduce, give birth to their cubs, wean them and then calmly come back to Antarctica.
Thoughts about it are obviously opposed and contrasting but I think this kind of experience allows many Tongans to live thanks to foreign travelers and tourists who come here practically only for this.
They therefore have every interest in carrying out every decision that allows humpback whales to attend these seas, perhaps avoiding changing economic activity in favor of whale hunters.
I went to Tonga to swim with the humpback whales.
One boat at a time, the one that sees them first, can approach the whales with the engines idling and stop at a distance of about 100 meters.
So you could go into the water. And that’s the big difference between choosing a small boat and a bigger one.
If you choose the boat of 20 or more people, you certainly save money, but you risk not seeing them if you don’t enter into the water first.
Here there are many factors to consider.
You could stay near to them, but if whales, especially puppy, gets too close, then you have to get away.
This is above all to avoid getting used to and trusting in the presence of man. Unfortunately, it’s always better that animals never trust man!
I swam with them for almost one hour, about 3 meters away.
Wonderful experience, even if I haven’t seen them jump.
Really, when I was in the water, I saw a whale, probably the male, coming up from the abyss … but I had to think more about moving than to stand still and admire his jump!
COOK ISLANDS: done
Looking at the globe, in the Pacific Ocean we note a twisted line that divides the world into two other parts.
It is the date change line.
To understand it, it is sufficient to think about time zones.
Considering the Greenwich Meridian, it is known in fact that moving towards the East you have to move the hands of the clock forward, while you have to bring them back if you are traveling to the West.
This is because one does not arrive at the date change line, where ideally two people who traveled in the opposite direction would meet.
Going through the few miles that separate two nations at the turn of the line of the date change you find yourself with a difference in time zone close to 24 hours.
You can therefore ideally travel through time, living twice on the same day or not living at all on a calendar day.
This is the main reason for my choice to travel to the Cook Islands.
Finding out that on one of the islands of this nation it was possible to go to the edge of the crater of an active volcano and see magma explosions paying attention to the glowing stones that fly, did not make me doubt.
Vanuatu had to be one of the goals of my trip.
FRENCH POLYNESIA: excluded for now
Years ago, during a boat trip in Ogliastra (Sardinia), an experienced and elderly Australian traveler who had traveled practically all over the world, she told me that only the waters of Bora Bora could stand comparison with Cala Mariolu, Cala Goloritzè and others pearls from the east coast of Sardinia.
I’d like to confirm her sentence and I tried all the ways to reach French Polynesia on my journey.
Unfortunately I have not found the right air connections, considering that the most convenient flights pass from Los Angeles, for me currently off limits.
But even in this case, it’s just a goodbye to a future journey.
KIRIBATI: excluded for now
Various reasons made me consider Kiribati as a destination for the journey: a beautiful flag and one of the few in the area that has no connection with the Union Jack, the choice of the population to speak the local language despite being taught overwhelmingly only the English, the geographical indications that do not include the use of left and right but only “sea direction” and “lagoon direction”, the fact that, being at the turn of the date line, until 1997 the republic lived practically at the same time but on two different dates.
Unfortunately it was impossible to reach Kiribati: I did not find any air connection from any of the Pacific islands.
NAURU: excluded for now
The smallest independent republic in the world and the only state in the world without a capital city, since 2001 it has hosted the highly criticized “reception” camp where immigrants are sent to Australia without permission.
This reason has made me exclude for the moment entry into this nation.
NIUE: excluded for now
A small island associated with New Zealand can only be reached by flights departing on Tuesdays and Fridays from Auckland.
However, it is not easy to find free seats on both flights and therefore you are often forced to stay on the island for at least a week.
I therefore quickly rejected the hypothesis of staying all these days among forest, caves, cliffs and little else.
MARSHALL ISLANDS: excluded for now
Between 1946 and 1958 the United States used these islands to perform at least 66 nuclear tests, including that of March 1, 1954 in the Bikini atoll. The explosion, about a thousand times higher than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is considered by the populations affected by the atomic fungus, a US test to study the effects of radiation on people.
Indeed, the US Navy’s anti-radiation ship was ordered not to charge the population that would be affected by the test.
PITCAIRN: excluded for now
These islands are inextricably linked to the consequences of the events of April 28, 1789, passed into history as the Bounty mutiny.
After abandoning Commander Bligh and 18 crewmembers loyal on a small lance adrift, the second officer Christian and his men reached Tahiti and then made their way to the Pitcairn Islands where they unnecessarily burned the Bounty so as not to be found by the British navy.
It is currently reachable only by sea, in two days sailing from Tahiti and eight days from New Zealand.
Although the main island is inhabited, it does not have a port.
The ships are forced to anchor offshore and will be reached by robust rowing boats of the residents.
It often happens that the sea is so rough that any landing on the islands is impossible.
SAMOA: excluded for now
In 1899, the Tripartite Convention divided the Samoa archipelago between the German Empire (the western Samoa then became German Samoa) and the United States (eastern Samoa took the name – and continue to maintain – of American Samoa).
With the outbreak of World War I, German Samoa moved to New Zealand, from which they gained independence in 1962.
The new state, the first insular to gain independence in the Pacific, took the name of Samoa.
The inhabitants of American Samoa, fearing to see their identity diminished, still continue to call them Western Samoa.
Despite the independence, the ties with Australia and New Zealand are so strong that in 2011 Samoa chose to “pass” to the west of the date line, adapting to the calendars of the main partners.
This involved skipping December 30th.
WALLIS AND FUTUNA: for now excluded
French territory, I preferred to exclude it to be able to dedicate myself to independent nations.