Somewhere in the Pacific

Wed 26 Mar 2014 00:23
Sometime in March 2014


The Marquesas.

Been exploring the Marquesas islands for about a week now. All gets terribly vague and the days all roll into one. 
These islands are far from what we expected, Hiva Oa has mountains similar to parts of  Southern Africa.  A Drakensberg amphitheatre backdrop to our anchorage with a Devils Peak on one side. 
The little town was surprisingly clean and tidy but then of course we are no longer in crazy mad Central America, but sensible and mature France. Great advantages….wonderful bread, cheeses and wine, if you wish to pay.
Gaugin lived here and painted the people dancing. I can quite see why he and the sailors of the Bounty fell in love with the islands.  
It's so strange to see these lovely ample people with flowers in their hair but completely French, even the writing is the same and the black board in the local cafe has boef bourgignon and tarte au citron, quality too and fierce gendarmes whizzing about bossing all the ignorant boaties.  One lot got fined for hitching a lift. Clearly there's little for Monsieur Le Gendarme to do and 40 visiting yachts is big business. 


Its wonderful to be able to communicate which makes all the difference. I was frustrated with my Spanish and had I known it would be the main language for half the circumnavigation, I would have done evening classes. 

Imo and I got tattooed…woo hoo, not that it's Imo's first but it certainly was mine ….and my last after all the pain I endured. 


No sleazy little joint round the back of Southampton either, we were up at this gorgeous house belonging to the famous Alex. He entertains all the visitors every evening with a huge spread on his veranda overlooking the bay. His house is so inaccessible he collects you from the dock in his jeep and you get this hair raising drive up the hill which involves reversing 3 point turns to get round the bends.
One evening we were 10 squashed in for the ride back , all the older gentlemen clutching their bums in the back and moaning about slipped discs. No gendarmes for miles ! 


Its wonderfully clean everywhere, no plastic on the shore or rubbish, such a change from all the Spanish speaking countries where littering is an art form. 
They propagate all the beautiful indigenous plants around their homes and along the roads making the community so cared for and colourful.  They all wear flowers in their hair even some of the men. The air is thick with the smell of frangipane.
Its hot hot hot and humid so I am disappearing down the plug hole.
Signing off from a very sweaty Hebe…….

Janie Lax
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