position S09 21.500 W140 06.300
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sun 24 Sep 2017 16:32
Sunday 23rd September. Ua Pou|
It was a Dorado (the one that got away)- there is a picture in the cruising guide. The best eating fish you can catch. Curses.
We didn't find much of a cascade on our walk yesterday but we followed a steep cart track for an hour or so to a sign across the track which announced 'Manfredville'. Two noisy dogs weren't very welcoming but a lady beckoned us in and said to go up to the house and see Manfred. Manfred is a tall white haired german who lives on the mountain with his local wife and makes chocolate. He has lived there for 20 or so years having fled east germany just before the wall came down. He trained then worked as a helicopter pilot installing pylons before meeting his wife and deciding to build his eco house on land belonging to his wifes family. He looks very fit and got me to feel his rock hard stomach but looks older than his 65 years-probably on account of nearly dieing of a burst appendix not long ago. He has made a pelton wheel generator driven by water from the river and they have all mod cons in their small tidy kitchen. Bread was baking in the large gas driven range. There are dozens of chickens and lots of new born chicks in the garden, half a dozen cats plus the two dogs. Horses are kept as well but not at the house.
He showed us photos of the house building, family (he is estranged from his 1st wife and children in Germany), and various famous people and dignatories that have visited Manfredville. We also sat through a long film that had been made by some german climbers who stayed with them for a couple of weeks while they climbed the pinnacles.
It was a fascinating incite into off grid living but there was a sense of loneliness and sadness as well as of proud achievement. They clearly like having visitors but don't make the most of the commercial possibilities. We asked to buy some chocolate but otherwise we were given lots of fruit and we would have happily paid for a cup of tea or some fruit juice but none was on offer, unlike the more savvy operation in the bay the day before.
Manfred was expecting to receive a pension from Germany as he worked there before moving to Oa Pou and he was cross that they have put the pensionable age back from 63. He was very anti europe and in favour of tightly controlled borders. He is very hospitable but if you don't obey the rules then you must leave. His next project is to set up a camp site which would be amazing but the insects are a definate obstacle to staying in the forest. We took the email address and promised to promote the camping via our facebook and spread the word that Manfred likes visitors among the yachting fraternity.
We had made a reservation for supper at the cafe/snack in the village and turned up expecting maybe fish and rice with a coconut sauce if lucky. The proprietor is french however and a bit of a gourmet chef- we had an amazing meal of fish 3 ways- smoked in his own smoker, parcels wrapped in cabbage leaves and in a gratin with home grown veg. Best meal we've had anywhere for ages. Pierro also married a local girl (a cousin of Manfreds wife) and unlike Manfred is content to show the spoils of good living via the generous girth of his tum. He had great respect for Manfred but decried his lack of commercial acumen. However even Pierro who knows how to take the pcf 's off the tourists gave us a generous bag full of pamplemousse and a loaf of home made bread.
Returning to the dinghy stuffed full to the brim with our gourmet supper we were treated to a display on the pier of subaqua acrobatics by a group of monster manta rays. They were loop the looping just next to the pier showing alternately black then white in the lights of the pier. It didn't appear to be a fishing tactic as there were lots of small fish unperturbed by the rays. I had earlier been snorkling along the rocks and saw a great variety of fish- I was tempted to fetch the mask and join the rays in the dark but thought I should leave them to their flying display undisturbed.
We head for the main admistrative centre this morning about 5 miles round to the east for an exit zarpe from the Gendarmerie.