Since her return to the boat, Trish and I have just been
cruising around the 3 islands that make up the southern half of the Marquesas,
Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa and Tahuata. There are some incredible shapes created by the
volcanic birth of these islands with great spires, vegetated rock walls and
steep valleys to be seen on all islands.
Trish loves making faces out of the rock shapes and
these she christened Mr Potato Head.
We have met up with a number of other boats, some that have
followed us across from Panama, some from Hawaii and others that have
sailed down from San Diego. The number of boats were dramatically increased by
the arrival of the World Arc in Hiva Oa and the small bay in Atuona was
incredibly crowded with over 20 ARC boats and another 10 assorted cruisers.
Fortunately with their preset timescales they will jump
over us and head west to be in Papeete before the end of April and back in St
Lucia by March next year!
We have now sailed up to the northern group of islands
with our first stop in Hakahau Bay on Ua Pou. The skyline here is very dramatic
with huge rock obelisks lining the ridge just above the harbour.
Rock Spires above Hakahau Bay, Ua Pou
We have met other boats that have cruised here many years
ago and all say how much the islands have changed with the arrival of satellite
TV, internet, 4 wheel drive pickups on islands with one road, heavily
subsidised aluminium fishing boats, big subsidies from the French government,
Despite our own impressions they say that the people are
not as friendly as they once were, that prices have sky rocketed for local art
and crafts, etc, etc.
Unfortunately we cruisers would like to visit untouched
countries and islands, with the locals still dressed as before with the old
ways unchanged for a 1,000 years. But it is too late to find these places. Even
in the San Blas where the Kuna have tried to maintain the old ways, young and
old have mobile phones and can speak to relatives on other islands when once
the only way was to sail/paddle miles to see friends and family. And why should
they not have access to things that they see as essential to modern life? Just
to satisfy the curiosity of tourists and cruisers like us?
Mmm a difficult question and far too complex to burden
the blog with!
The Old and New Ways
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