Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ua Pou - Lush and lovely

From Tahuata we sailed 60 miles or so to tiny, diamond-shaped  Ua Pou, with spectacular towers of volcanic rock wreathed in clouds.

To get there we passed "Haut-fond Dumont DUrville" - a shallow part of the ocean discovered by a famous French explorer who named a few things in NZ also...

The lush gardens and beautiful villages of this island led us one evening to the barraques, where young women and men were dancing and drumming on an outdoor basketball court; Katya was entranced by their tattoos. The club rooms nearby were decorated with coconut and breadfruit leaves and a little restaurant was open for the month of July. The next day there was volleyball and kai for a family gathering at the beach. 

Rupe and I walked up through a beautifully kept valley road lined with brilliant flowers and leaves, then found some fresh stream water for a quick wash. 

We saw manta rays at the wharf at night - feeding on the baby fish attracted to the lights. Graceful, captivating and HUGE:

The island's geology is truly spectacular. The spires are the remains of lava that came up through the  middle of existing volcanoes, and because of its different composition, hardened and remained as the other rock weathered. 

The hair-raising airport on Ua Pou. Downhill, downwind takeoff. No room for  error.

Dust designs, Ua Pou. 

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