Nuku Hiva in detail - Part 1. Oh and Fantastic News! 12:23:88S 143:32:46W
We are on schedule to arrive in Manihi Atoll in Tuamotu’s
on Friday afternoon, local time (UTC -10). It is a beautiful starlit night,
with a gentle 12knt breeze which whips up to 25knts from time to time as the
line squalls come through. We are motor sailing with the engine ticking over at
1000rpm, and the
Today’s magnificent Ab Fab news is that KZ Marine in
Auckland, the manufacturers of the Leisure Furl equipment, have pulled out all
of the stops and they will be shipping a brand new custom made hydraulic Boom,
Vang and all associated fittings on a chartered 747 aircraft to Papeete in
Tahiti on 21st April. The very day we are due to arrive in
So, having given the brief history lesson on the Marquesas in the last blog, herewith some more of what we got up to and saw during our time there. The island tour of Nuku Hiva that we did on the first day was just brilliant. Not just the tour itself. But especially the support from the other Ralliers, who were with us on the day. Thank you guy’s you were great!
We were blessed by the fact that we shared a 4 X 4 with good friends and Richard our guide for the day. If you ever get a chance to visit Nuku Hiva, book an island tour through Rose Corser (everybody knows her) and insist that you get Richard as your guide. He speaks fluent English, is articulate, intelligent, witty and VERY knowledgeable about everything to do with the Marquesas. He made the day trip for us. He will even organise fresh local fruits for you (more of which later), for a bottle of wine!
The trip started from
View of Taiohae Bay looking South
We stopped off on several occasions to take in the views around the island, and to visit local craft shops. These were in fact the artisans homes, with a small area set aside to display the wonderfully hand crafted goods. These were not your usual tourist toot. There were hand carved wood and leather items, beautiful carvings and jewellery made from carved and polished bones (not human I hope) and mother of pearl. We did buy a beautiful leather, pearl and mother of pearl necklace for Jennie at one of these stop over’s, and the price was quite reasonable. I only have to sell one of the holiday cottages to pay for it.
As mentioned, these craft shops are the artists homes. So in one of them the children were keen to show us their new pet pig. I believe this one was less than 3 weeks old, but not 100% sure. Whilst Jennie was stroking it Reinhardt from “Blue Raven” said he preferred them with an apple in the mouth, mounted on a stick. That went down well with the girls,,,,,,,,,funny at the time though.
Next we trolled around to Hatiheau. The mayor of this beautiful hamlet is Yvonne. She runs a small thatched restaurant opposite the beach, that does the most wonderful sea food lunches. The fresh grilled Lobster looked superb….I had the Pawns which were also great….but the Lobster…..hmmm. The views from just outside of the restaurant as you can see below, are simply breathtaking.
View from outside Chez Yvonne
The tour returned to
Taiohae is well served for shops, with two “super markets”, a liquor store and craft shops,. There is also one good quality hotel with a fine restaurant with stunning views over the bay and bungalow rooms and mostly French staff. On the quay side there is “Yacht Services”, run by Moaitae, a local “can do” chap. He has internet access (very slow), a laundry and some charts and pilot books and can arrange taxis etc. Useful “Man Friday” but don’t expect too much. Especially on weekends…………Also on the quayside, early in the morning the local fishermen sell there catch. But don’t touch the reef fish as they can be poisonous (Ciguatera). Finally there is the Saturday market. It opens at 0400 and closes promptly at 0600. So shopping here is a sort of sleep walking experience with everything conducted in monosyllabic (pigeon) French, in the dark. Lots of fresh veg and well worth the effort. (No really….)
Now one of the more curious aspects of Marquesasian family life is to do with the way the third (or it might be the fourth) son is raised in the family. The fact is that they are boys, but they are raised as girls. The “chap” on the left below is in fact one of these. They are very camp, and rarely homosexuals, In fact quite often they are married and have children of their own. Romeo, who is the one on the left as mentioned previously, was the head waiter in the Hinano restaurant in Taiohae. This was the favourite hang out for the Ralliers in the evenings….oh and sometimes at lunch. Romeo took quite a shine to Jennie and used to give her a big beaming smile every time he (she) saw her. Which was fine, because this co-worker gave me a big smile too………………
Well that’s it for now. This is another big file so I just hope Mailasail don’t “bomb” this one.