10:27S 138:40W Bay of Virgins

Conor & Marion Wall
Mon 6 Jun 2011 04:38
Land Ahoy, Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands
Bay of Virgins, Fatu Hiva and ‘Toucan’.
We arrived in the Bay of Virgins on Friday 3rd June, the day after Marion’s birthday and we drank the bottle of Champagne that was given to us by Malcolm and Angela to open when we crossed the Atlantic. But then, in St Lucia, there was so much rum flowing that we just did not get the opportunity to drink it. Now was the perfect moment, a big crossing behind us and a birthday to celebrate.
The wine came after the Champaign with Peter & Sandra who arrived shortly after us. Galapagos to Marquesas.
The scenery around the bay is magnificent with the really tall mountains shooting straight up all around us with amazing rock formations and rocky peaks. The sunset on the bay is stunning with the colours changing by the second as clouds roll in and out. I could not do it justice describing it, you will just have to go to Google Earth and have a look for yourself. Hopefully someone will have put a photo or two there.
This road ended here, the road to nowhere. A dirt track continued but all washed away and unusable.
View from near the top of one of the peaks.
Or you could wait until we get internet again and hopefully I will be able to download some of our photos.
Friday we rested and Saturday we climbed to the top of one of the peaks that gave a stunning view of the valley and the bay where the boat is anchored. There is a small village here with a tiny shop that sells very little, a few tins of this and a few tins of that, no fresh produce and little else. The villagers all live in similar dwellings and most have large gardens in which they grow their own produce, hence no need for the shop to sell any. The locals do not have a need for money, it would seem, and prefer to trade, we traded some items from the boat for bananas and grapefruit both parties very happy. The items that they ask for are things like fishing hooks, rope, shackles, fenders etc. but also clothing and pencils. Some prefer to ask for rum and cigarettes but we do not go there with those two items. So first trade got rid of some fenders that I never use and some small things for the young girl of the family that we did the trade with.
Copra, the white bit of the coconut, drying before being sent to have the oil extracted.
The daughter had just made confirmation, hence the outfit. Me with the fruit for fenders exchange.
The villagers are very friendly and today Sunday we went to Mass in the small church. The whole village was there and all dressed up in colourful clothing with most of the women wearing freshly picked flowers in their hair. The choir was amazing, if you closed your eyes you would have thought you were in Heaven. One hour of music and the service in the local language that we could not understand but the message was I’m sure the same as you hear the world over.
The waterfall from a distance.
There is a waterfall here that we hope to walk to tomorrow. It takes about an hour of hard walking but we are told that it is stunning. One hundred meters sheer drop into a pool of cool water that you can swim in.