We've been here a week now and although
there really isn't much going on we're still enjoying ourselves and keeping
busy. The first few days were spent cleaning, tidying, scrubbing and washing the
boat. Although we did have one day when we truely relaxed and lounged around the
pool in the hotel. We ventured up there to have lunch and took our swimming
stuff for a dip in the infinity pool after and it was perfect. The pool
overlooks the bay so it was just beautiful and was one of those moments where
you really appreciate what your doing.
As the week has progressed more and more
boats have arrived. It's been nice catching up with everyone after the big trip
as we haven't seen each other for almost a month. It's not so peaceful
anymore though, there's always someone chit chatting on the radio! It's good to
have everyone here safe and sound! And the two boats "Moonshiner" and "Scott
Free" who had to turn back to the Galapagos are now on their way here too so
that's good news.
We went for a wander on Saturday and
discovered the Cathedral which is beautiful. Church is a huge part of life
here and they really take pride in the appearance of the buildings. This
one was full of absolutely amazing wood carvings.
On our way back to the dinghy we stopped off
for some lunch and ended up joining "Aqualuna" so the lunch ended up being a bit
longer than we'd planned. When we finally managed to leave we bumped
into Adrian and Dean from "Mercury Rising" and Simon and Jeremy from
"Raylah" who were just finishing their 4x4 tour around the island and they
suggested having a drink and we couldn't possibly let them all drink alone.
So off we went back to the same restaurant we'd just left. Before we knew it it
was night time and we were hungry again so we ended up eating there again. These
restaurants must love it when the rally arrives every 2 years! Amy actually
spent 12 hours in the restaurant as we lost her half way through the night when
she didn't return back from the toilet. She got side tracked and joined the
crew from a 75ft Swan that is anchored in the bay. This of course was hot gossip
the next day, the rally is like a soap opera and everyone knows your business.
It's quite funny really!
Despite the tiger shark warnings Paul and
Brian scuba dived at the entrance to the bay with another man called Brain who
we met on shore the other day. He's also travelling around the world but on a
motor boat. Thankfully they didn't see any sharks, in fact they didn't see all
that much but they enjoyed themselves anyway.
On Sunday morning a welcome ceremony was put
on by the tourism board which included traditional Marquesan dancing. It is
a similar style to the haka but it's only carried out in the Marquesas. We were
also presented with more 'lays' and treated to masses of really fresh fruit.
Just walking down the street you can pick Mango's and Pamplemoose, which is
similar to a grapefruit, from the trees. Considering it hasn't rained for 6
months the island is covered in luch vegetation.
After this we walked the length of the bay,
stopping at a food stall for some lunch, watching horses taking a dip in the
sea, mooching through a tiki site and finally we ended up at the pool
again. Paul and Amy instantly fell asleep! They're letting the Harper's down and
giving us a bad name!
A Marquesan pig roast or "Hima'a" was
planned for the evening just below the hotel so it seemed logical to wait here,
of course the pina coladas had nothing to do with it! Anyway, back to the pig
roast. First a fire is built in the bottom of a pit and then large boulders
are placed on the embers. The pig wrapped in banana leaves is then placed over
these hot stones, the pit is covered with soil and the pig is just left to cook
for around 8 hours.
The pit covered
up......removing the banana leaves......the pigs in the oven.....removing the
The meal wasn't too great but the after
dinner entertainment was superb. It was the same dancers from earlier in the day
except there were a lot more of them and the dances were longer and better. They
even got the men up to join in and after some persuasion Paul was up there with
them. It was very funny to watch them all and unfortunately our video camera was
full up so we didn't manage to get any footage.
When we eventually left we stepped onto the
street and realised our dinghie's were the other side of the bay, an hours walk
away. We starting walking but it was pitch black, the road surface was uneven
and the kids were tired so Mark, Amy and Annie stuck their thumbs out to the
first passing truck and unbelieveably they stopped for us. Mark jumped into the
truck while the rest of us climbed into the back. It was quite tight with 10 us
in there but that just added to the fun! The party was then continued until the
early hours back on Jackamy.