Month: June 2017

Rarioa, Tuamotus

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Tanda Malaika and crew arrived safely in the Tuamotus Islands after a gorgeous 2 1/2 day sail. This place is absolute paradise. The marine life is so healthy and in great abundance. We have no idea when we’ll have wifi.

Waterfall hike, Daniels Bay

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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.

Exploring Nuku Hiva

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We picked up our rental at 9am yesterday, and all squished in until we were outside the village limits before the creatures jumped in the back for more space and a better view.

We were surprised with how well maintained the roads were as we snaked back and forth through the jungles of Marquesas.

The sky was partly cloudy but the clouds were high enough so we had amazing views from higher elevations. Taiohae Bay is where we are currently anchored.

I have always loved the various shapes of trees, so traveling through hundreds of thousands of them all day long was heavenly for me.

Looking down on some of the bays like this one called Hakau’i, it was interesting to see the variation in water color – some areas brown from runoff from the mountains, while others were beautiful blues.

Some of the valleys had very shallow brown water and water ridden lowlands.

The number of coconut palms is unbelievable! Houses are nestled among them up on the hillsides like I’ve seen cabins among the pines in the US.

Every once in a while Aidan would jump out with his long board and fly down the smoother roads. He is amazing at drifting on his board. Once minute I’d see him and then all of a sudden he’d disappear around a corner.

He had a blast and a half, and only had one unwanted landing but didn’t get hurt, just immersed in a puddle of pig poop water. He smelled delightful for the remainder of the day!

We stopped and explored a site where some ancient tiki’s stand and new ones have been added.

It’s easy to tell the difference between old and recent. Studies indicate that the first people to arrive 2000 years ago, were from west Polynesia, and later colonized Tahiti, Cook Islands, New Zealand and Hawaii.

Polynesian tribes practiced cannibalism. One of the theories was that it was more for food than ritual. An offering to the Gods was called Ika, and was caught and hung by a hook in a sacred place – whether it was fish or human.

Coconut palms by the 1000’s in this valley,

and some are obviously over achievers as they reach far higher than the others.

Further on down the road around several corners,

we reached a stream running down into Ho’oumi Bay,

where we strolled the beach and picked up several shells.

We passed by gorgeous waterfalls,

and an archaeological site where huge rocks were arranged in different layers where thatched structures once stood.

Hieroglyphs were on some of the moss covered rocks

just beyond a little bridge,

which led to a majestic, ancient glorious Banyan tree. Notice how small Aidan looks next to it.
If only it could talk…

As we descended into Anahou Bay, we looked down on jagged volcanic spires which were so dramatic against the blue of the bay.

We got several glimpses of it as we made our way down through the trees – each time looking just as beautiful as before.

Down in Anaho Bay rocks lay rounded and smooth from erosion on the beach.

Sand banks on the sides of a stream emptying into the ocean looked like someone had spooned mouthfuls of chocolate from the sides to devour.

Leaves laying off to the sides reminded me of Fall – a season I haven’t seen for some time!

The highest area of the island called the Toovii Plateau, reaches heights over 4000ft, and has an entirely different look and feel with pine trees and open meadows.

Aside from the fact that there was no smell of pine in the air and many ferns grew in giant patches, we almost felt like we were back in Idaho!

We took time to admire our surroundings,

before continuing on to the ‘Grand Canyon’ on Nuku Hiva.

We have just barely scraped the surface of these beautiful islands of Marquesas, yet are so touched by the goodness of the people here, and the peace and beauty in all that surrounds. When we leave Nuku Hiva, we will probably stop by Daniels Bay on our way out, which is about 10 nm around on the other side, then continue on 400 nm to the Tuamotos Islands.

We have no idea what wifi will be like there, so if no blogs with photos are posted, it’ll be because I can only write text through satellite, and will blog as soon as I can.

Ka’ oha, my friends.