|This blowhole was one of many Fatu Hiva|
scenic spots on our boat ride from
Hanavave to Omoa.
The day after we made the 17 km Fatu Hiva hike from Omoa – Hanavave, our friend Steve from Armagh groused, “I will never feel the same about Lonely Planet again!” (I noticed Armagh’s Moon Guidebook listed the 17 km hike, too).
|Blown! We got close to the blowhole. Timing the shot|
to catch the spray while not soaking my camera lens was challenging.
|Omoa town, Fatu Hiva dropped quickly|
into the distance as we hiked up….
|Seen along our Fatu Hiva hike, these|
blackened ferns were striking. There was
as much variety of ferns as in
my best Pacific Northwest hikes.
|These orchids, which grew in wild abandon,|
were my favorite flowers on Fatu Hiva.
|Fatu Hiva’s textured foliage invited photoplay.|
Given we only planned to anchor in the Bay of Virgins, we were hungry to explore more of Fatu Hiva’s vibrant foliage, crenulated mountains, vistas overlooking soaring basalt wall and spires…..
We caught a small speedboat from Bay of Virgins* to the more established Omoa in the morning. Normally we’d grab some breakfast before we took off. I figured it would be okay; there was a “bigger” grocery in Omoa**, so I was betting I could grab an inexpensive baguette there and eat on the go, and something cold to drink in addition to the water we packed for our hike.
*$60 or $15@ for each of the 4 of us in the boat. Arranging that is another story…. For now, let’s simply say while we liked our driver, the arrangements did not leave us with a warm, fuzzy feeling about the locals. Made me pine for Hiva Oa albeit pretty though less visually spectacular than Fatu Hiva.
**The grocery in Hanavave had very short hours and didn’t even carry beer! Not even Hinano!
|Oddly, this Fatu Hiva road was nearly impossible|
to see when looking up from Hanavave valley. We liked the subtlety of that.
But… they did carry some substantial 8 oz sided Cadbury Old Gold 70% dark chocolate bars for just over $3. I bought several.
And they carried ice cold Hinano beer. We bought two tall ones.
“They’re just going to get warm,” Wayne observed, glancing at our Hinanos. “They won’t be any better warm,” he added.
|Overlooking the town of Hanavave, Fatu Hiva on our downhill stretch.|
We stopped to check out viewpoint after viewpoint, detail after detail along the sometimes paved, sometimes ferrous red-orange winding road.
|Just outside the town of Hanavave. As through much|
of the Marquesas, coconut palms are grown for copra production.
When we sailed to Tuahata, we noticed our guidebook mentioned there was another 17 km village-to-village hike. To Steve’s relief, we never even suggested it, except to let him know there was one listed in the guidebook. Ditto for Ua Poa. In Tuahata, the highlight was swimming with manta rays (click here for that). Ua Poa, we opted for another 4-wheel drive tour. Watch for an upcoming post on that.
Can you see those little tiny dots in the water? One of them
is our sailboat at anchor in Hanavave Bay, Fatu Hiva,
as seen on our Omoa – Hanavave hike.
We’re in Taiohae Bay, on Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia (S8.54.856 W140.05.880). We’ve tentatively planned a Nuku Hiva road trip for this Friday, May 29th 2015.This time we’re relying on good local guidance from Kevin of Nuku Hiva Yacht Services before we go, a map and a rented 4-wheel drive ($120 + gas). Our new autopilot’s been installed (though it needs to be tested). We’ve replenished our engine diesel and outboard gasoline fuel ($6/gallon!). We still would like to replenish our water tanks before we go, get some last-minute fresh produce***, visit the local dentist and the waterfall at “Daniel’s” (Hakatea Bay) before we head off for the Tuamotus. Depending on where we stop, that’s a 300-500 mile sail; several days worth.
***We’ve heard fresh produce is difficult to come by in the Tuamotus and also a good “trade” item for fresh fish there.