Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nuku Hiva - a week to prepare and explore; waterfall walk

Next stop,  the biggest village in the Marquesas, Taiohae on Nuku Hiva island, with a beautiful, sheltered harbour. Plan A was to stay two days then sail to the Tuamotus. But the weather at those low-lying atolls looked as if it would be pretty unpleasant after our arrival so we decided to sit it out here. 
We bought provisions, fixed the outboard engine, bought fuel and filled the gas bottles. etc etc. Plenty of time to socialise with other cruising yachties including the Freja family, and Mike and Kylie on their way back to Australia from the America's cup in Bermuda on their Beneteau Oceanis "Slice of Life"

We made a side trip to Hakaui, the first anchorage that we had completely to ourselves. An extended family lives in the bay; they maintain the archaeological remains of the village where royalty lived in pre-European times. Towering volcanic spires loom over the bay. There is no road access; the family travel to Taiohae by boat, on horseback or on foot. The house where Taniha and Tama live is full of their hunting trophies (pigs, goats) and craft work. 

We walked up the valley to view the third highest waterfall in the world. It’s a 14km hike there and back on a rough slimy track. We crossed several streams, one with a gigantic grandmother eel in it. The family charge each person FPF1000 (about NZ$12) so I made a quick paddleboard trip back through the surf to find the cash. Katya chose not to pay but stayed in the valley with the family and picked amazing quantities of fruit. Nico came with us and swam at the base of the waterfall. 

The next day Katya decided that she loved the Marquesas and would like to stay longer - so she left Rumpus and will spend some time here. 

I will make a separate post about the Bastille day parade. Here are photos of the waterfall walk. 

We were told that when we see this sign we proceed (!) across the stream and around the pinnacle to the cascade pool...

Kristin and Nico after a slippery clamber

Ancient guardian of the old village where royalty once lived. 

Rupe, Paul, one of the local family, and Kristin. The Toyota surf was brought in by barge to carry heavy loads the few hundred metres up the valley paths. It's fair to say it has seen better days, but Rupe thinks it would  be pretty good for D'Urville Island......(?)

Taniha's hand. The back of his hand is a 'night sky' symbol. His index finger has insects/mosquitos, the middle finger is the tropic bird design, and the other two fingers have representations of gods. 

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