Our final excursion in Marquesas took us to Daniel’s Bay here on Nuku Hiva.
Once again we were surrounded by dramatic landscape, endless greenery and warm, humid air.
We loaded the bare necessities into our back packs, and drove the dinghy up the river flowing down from the waterfall.
It felt like we were in the Amazon and I half expected to see an anaconda moving through the water.
Coconut palms lined the banks, and one lazily leaned over the water. We decided to pull the dinghy up onto the bank there since the river was becoming too shallow.
We specifically chose high tide to begin our adventure, knowing the river would be higher a little farther in.
We walked up the beach a bit to get to where we needed to begin, and Kjira made friends with a cute little crab.
She was hesitant to pick it up, so I picked it up and handed it to her. She held him for a minute then gently placed him in a safe place away from foot traffic.
A local man with a big smile pointed the direction we needed to go to find the trail.
The valley was covered in 1000’s of fruit trees. I think it would be safe to say that probably 90% of the trees were fruit trees, including coconut, guava, pampelmousse, lemon, lime, orange, passion fruit, breadfruit, banana and mango.
The locals take such great care of their valley, cultivating the land and keeping it clean.
We passed a small hut where many bunches of bananas hung,
and beautiful flowers covered in raindrops.
We hiked in for 2 hours, up and down slippery muddy trails, some places more rocky than others,
past scenes that took our breath away,
under low lying branches,
through so many beautiful bright green ferns,
and muddy rivers.
At the half way mark we had the best view of the Vaipo Falls that we’d have the entire hike.
Once we reached the end of the beautiful box canyon the sound of rushing water filled the air, echoing against the tall rocky walls.
The creatures climbed around on the rocks and through a cave, and we all relaxed together eating pampelmousse, then headed back the way we’d come.
When we reached the entrance to the bay where the locals have their homes, we joined several other hikers and paid $10 each and ate a delicious meal they had prepared.
Fresh fish was grilled on the braai, breadfruit cooked in the coals, and a delicious salad of grated guava, mango, ginger and cucumber was served.
With full bellies we took our tired bodies back to Tanda Malaika. She floated gently – waiting for us in the bay.
We scrubbed hard, finally coming clean, then relaxed for the rest of the evening feeling completely content. Our world is beautiful, and life is good.
Tomorrow we will set sail for the Tuamotus, which should take 3-4 days.