|NUKA HIVA LAND TOUR|
A group of 8 of us got together to explore the inland sites of Nuku Hiva by Landrover. There is one road around the island, mostly steep, twisty, muddy, terminally rutted, and with plenty of rock falls, washouts and construction-in-progress. Parts of it near three towns are paved, but the rest is amazing. And you can just forget guardrails! The islands are all volcanic and mountainous, so some of the switchbacks were overly thrilling for the seaside passengers. The scenery is spectacular, however, and the vegetation exotic. There are wild pigs and goats everywhere, breathtaking views and interesting vantage points of interest.
Jocelyn, our guide has lived in the Marquesas for many years and drove us around the island explaining history, plants, fruits and Marquesan traditions.
The group consisted of (l to r) Doug, Gord & Ginny, KT and Chris (Billabong), Melissa & Ed (Mag Mel), Angela (Solstice).
There were so many breathtaking views. We travelled high into the mountains where pine trees grow. It looked like we could have been back in BC!
Overlooking Baie de Taiohae where the boats were anchored.
Anaho Bay was one of the sites used to film Survivor.
We stopped in a little village and ate our picnic lunch on the beach.
We stopped at a copra shed where coconuts are dried for the major export of the Marquesas.
|A highlight of the tour was an ancient archeological site, a series of stone ceremonial platforms used by the local chiefs until the late 1880s. The Marquesas had a population of 80-100,000 people when Europeans first arrived, so the valleys on all the islands teemed with people. Their society was highly stratified and warlike, and cannibalism and human sacrifice were very real. The site at Kamuihei was mysterious and moving, nearly overgrown with tropical vegetation, and numerous stone tikis for atmosphere.|
Gord studies the ancient tikis
Petroglyphs of turtles, human figures and fish tiki faces
Sacred banyan tree (l to r) Gord, Ginny, Angela
The largest temple is built around a banyan tree hundreds of years old, so it must have been sacred to the tribe at the time. Skulls were found imbedded in the tree when the site was re-discovered and cleared late last century.
Pictured are a few of the strange plants we learned about.
Chris sits on one of the ceremonial stone platforms.
Doug displays his new tattoo and the seeds that were used to make the inks for the traditional Marquesan tattoos
Marv & Donna on Endless arrived after their long passage from San Francisco, and we spent 5 days together. It's too bad we have to say goodbye so soon but we will meet up with them somewhere in the South Pacific before too long.
Finally...forestay arrived 6 pm Sat. night. Lots of help from fellow cruisers including Ocean Girl, Tackless II, Danses De Le Mer, and Endless, hoisting it up on Sunday and getting things back to normal. We are now a sailboat again!
We finally got underway after a slight delay when Ralph from Ocean Girl was called upon to help another boat with his engine problems. We decided to wait for them but in the end, they decided to go to Daniel's Bay first. I had desperately wanted to visit Daniel's Bay, the location of "Survivor" (I saw every episode) and meet Daniel, who has been infamous to cruisers for many years. It is also the site of the 3rd largest waterfall in the world. But as a result of being trapped in Taiohae for so long waiting for our forestay, there wasn't much time left on our Visa - we had to scoot, destination Tuamotos.