On the way to the restaurant for our final
meal on Nuka Hiva we stopped off at the house of Briese, a highly recommended
tattoo artist, as Paul and Amy wanted to have a browse through his
books and see if anything tickled their fancy. They have been talking about this
non stop since we left the Galapagos. French Polynesia is the home of the tattoo
and each one has it's own meaning so it's a bit different to getting one done in
a back street in Birmingham. This is tradition and will only mean something to
the Marquesans as each group of islands has it's own specific design.
Adrian from Mercury Rising was sat out on
the porch when we arrived waiting his turn as Pete from Bali Blue was having one
done at that moment. This just spurred Paul and Amy on even more and
appointments were soon booked for first thing in the morning! But now they had
the difficult task of choosing something and they looked through the books for
hours and left the house for the restaurant still non the wiser. I don't think
either of them slept that well that night as they knew that this was their only
chance to get a traditional tattoo on Nuka Hiva in the Marquesas, how many
people can say they have done that!?!
Now remember we were supposed to be leaving
The language barrier proved to be a bit of a
problem as our French stretches to "Oui" and "Merci" and I don't think Briese
spoke a word of English. Anyway, Paul kindly insisted that Amy have the first
appointment and after Briese came up with a design by using hand signals
for communication Amy was happy with it and away she went. People had made her
so scared about how painful it would be that she was terrified which actually
worked in her favour as it wasn't as bad as she expected so she soon relaxed,
plus it only took half an hour.
Amy's is a tiki on her ankle. You
may have read in the previous blogs before about the tiki's but I'll explain
again just in case. Tiki's guard the entrance to the sites where human
sacrifices took place when the Marquesans needed to summon the God's. It's very
discreet and you hardly notice it which is what she wanted.
Next it was Paul's turn! He
finally decided on a position on his body - his arm. Again Briese came up with a
design and Paul liked it so off they went. Amy was sat outside waiting and had
to listen to the sound of the needle for around an hour and a half but poor Paul
had to experience the needle for that amount of time.
Like Amy Paul wanted it to be
traditional and something you could only get on Nuka Hiva so his is band made up
of tiki's, Marquesan crosses and turtles.
We know the parents and
grandparents aren't going to be too impressed but they just had to do it. It's a
souvenir of their trip and something that just had to be done. Don't look back
and have regrets!
Now, I said before remember we
were supposed to be leaving today, it was 12.30 by the time Paul and Amy were
finished. I had been shopping for provisions and Mark and Chrissy had been
racing around like headless chickens trying to get our ships papers back from
the fuel dock in time for us to leave. We'd still got jobs to do and people to
see so Blue Magic went off alone over to Ua Pou, which is just 25 miles
away, to spend the night there and we'd join them first thing in the
After having to spend an
afternoon with Paul and Amy going on about their tattoos, about how "cool" they
were and continuously hi-fiving purely to tease me I started to wonder
whether I should have had one. Of course as soon as I mentioned it that was it,
there was no going back. So Briese had another visit from the Harper's on the
way to the restaurant.
Again, I have had a tiki symbol
but mine is on my hip and will be covered by my bikini. So now we all have a
permanent souvenir from the Marquesas!
We went for another final
meal ashore with Jeremy and Simon from "Raylah", Adrian from "Mercury
Rising" and Alden from "Briet" which was lovely. But I think we're ready to
leave now as we've exhausted the two restaurants that are in the bay. We've run
out of things to do and places to go!