Sun 18 Mar 2012 05:47
Hiva Oa - Mystic beauty
Baie de Hanaiapa
With heavy hearts (we always seem to leave with them) we leave our favourite island in the Marquesas to date.We had a bounty of experience and the islanders are so supper friendly and generous.
Overnight from Ua Huka to Hiva Oa about 70nm SE did not end up entirely as planned. We could not make it round the Eastern end of the island due to the wind, so made a stop in the Northern anchorage of Hanaiapa
We're not too keen on the larger Islands so we plan to spend a very short time in Hiva Oa. First port of call a smallish village of Hanaiapa on the north side of the island. Very pretty but we're not finding the folk particularly welcoming, who would after exuberant welcome you find in Ua Huka. In fact hitching a lift becomes something of a feet once we get around to Atuona on the South of the island. But the children get to feed the goats and we all get to meet an old gentleman called William who has created a sign at the bottom of his garden reading 'Yacht Cluhb William' (this is not a Liz spelling mistake this time) Lovely William has been welcoming folk to his humble abode since the sixties. A process thats well versed, lemonade, the giving of fruit the writing in a journal and the request for a small something if it would be so possible. He's a lovely old fellow, not wiley, who obviously has very little so why not .
William's Yact Club
Feeding goats Fishing on the back step
Hiva Oa, Atuona
We leave after a couple of days and go around the Eastern end of the island to the main town. Next to Traitors bay almost in down town Atuona the capital. Zinnia loves the story of this place she loves History and particularly anything macabe so marquesan history suits her very well. so here is Zinnia's version of the story behind 'Traitors Bay'.......
Visiting the Aranui
Colins parents are due to arrive on a trade boat called the ' Aranui'. So since we've been in the Marquesas and each time the children have clapped eyes on the vast white vessel they've been very excited. Whilst we where in Hiva Oa reprovisioning the children finally got the chance to take a tour, a bit of a highlight for them, Zinnia in particular impressed by the luxury of it all.
An educational school visit to the trade/ cruise ship the m/v Aranui to check out the cabin that Granny and Papa wi;ll have and to make sure the bridge is all safe.
We will be returning to Hiva Oa with Colins parent in a months, so no need to do too much exploring.
For some bizzare reason we decided to stay just one more day so we could see the arrival of the French Dipolmat who is in charge of the outer reaching provinces of the french empire and all the pomp that goes with it. The was an assembly of all the island majors, We hardly recognise our fruit baring 'Major' friend from Oa Huka. But best of all was the comparison of the Marquesan warriors and the French high ranking rather limp wristed Military. But all the wonders of Marquesas where out on show the school girls in there colourful dresses sang and the firemen and army stood saluting and honering the 2 Marquesans who died in the 2nd world war, said to have died of the cold! Much to cosmos delight he got to have a try-on of one of the fire fighters hat, resulting with him resemble someone from his beloved 'Star Wars'.Marquesian warriors . . .
. . . and camp French soldiers welcomed the French Minister de Outremer who was visiting the islands for the first time - just before the election.
Local firemen You can imagine how much Cosmo loved this helmet
Graves of Jaques Brel (French singer) and Paul Gauguin
Hunting for seeds has filled bowls and bowls on the boat for making necklaces and bracelets.
Atuona is big enough to have various shop, vegetables, a bank, bakery, and a hardware store, all good news as we were running fairly shoret on supplies.
Much to our surprise we have actually quite liked Atuona. The anchorage was super safe and quiet, and on the ride into town, by hitching, we always seemed to meet someone interesting. we only stayed here two days as we were in a rush to get to Tahuata. We'll be back though.