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Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Tue 19 Sep 2017 15:22
 Tuesday 18
9th September. Nuku Hiva

Filled in the usual numerous forms at the police station, the officer working  through his check list dutifully. I wonder what becomes of all the forms we have left strewn along our path gathering dust no doubt in filing cabinets eventually to be burnt at the next office re-organisation.

The tourist office was manned by a pretty girl working her vacation from college in Tahiti.  She arranged a car hire for us today and gave us some interesting background about life in Nuku Hiva. Her parents moved here 10 years ago- mum is a teacher and Dad looks after the house.  The local language is Marquese (similar but distinct from Tahitian)  and is now taught in school after French so the younger generation speak both but their parents mostly only French while grandparents may have spoken only Marquese when young. She suggested a walk out to the end of the bay but as we had already  attempted that with mixed success we decided to take the boat round the next bay but one to the west for a walk to a waterfall. It is a trip you can do with a guide but  I presumed we would be able to self guide albeit with no detailed map other than a digital photo of the wall map in the tourist office.  

The tour speed boat passed us on route so we were able to follow it into the bay and see which side of the bay it had moored but not where they had walked.  The bay itself was two pronged- the safe mooring to the right with a single holiday cottage and a small hamlet of houses to the left in an even more stunning setting with giant conical green rock stacks behind the palm trees.  Needless to say we took a false path to begin with ending up deep in the woods with the path disapearing into undergrowth. Back to the bay for a swim and sandwich and then realising that a much better path followed  round the shore to the hamlet.  Here we had to wade across a lovely cool river and found ourseves in a beautiful  garden surrounding a shaded bungalow under the palms. A heavily tattooed gentleman and his young (untattooed) son welcomed us and sold us star fruit sorbets from their solar powered freezer with glasses of fresh lemon juice.  The waterfall was reported to be another 2 hours walk beyond the hamlet which would have brought us back in the dark so further progress postponed for another day. We learned that the hamlet had 10 houses of which 5 are permanently occupied. Our host plied us with pamplemoos, bananas and breadfruit, and asked if we had any .22 bullets or failing that cordage. We promised to return another day with time to reach the waterfall and with cordage but no bullets.  This was another house where the husband stayed home-his wife was due back with the boat after a days work in town.

When we returned to the dinghy some resourseful children from the holiday cottage had set up a stall selling much the same produce with which we were already laden but we bought a bag of passion fruit to complete our fruitful days haul.

A slower trip back to our anchorage in Taihoua bay against the wind enjoying the amazing geological formations of the cliffs. Back  in time for the compulsory sundowner beverage followed by supper aboard.