ON ROUTE TO THE TUAMOTU & DANIEL’S BAY, NUKA HIVA
We have been at sea now for 3 days and are about 40 miles from our destination, the island of Katiu in the Tuamotu’s.
The island chain made famous by the French Nuclear bomb testing.
Fortunately we are several hundred miles from the actual test site, but if Penny and I start to glow a bit you know why!
The sail from the Marquises has been quite frustrating, with lumpy seas, squalls and lots of sail changes. I know we are both looking forward in getting into the anchorage.
The trouble is we will miss the mid day high tide, the best time to enter the lagoon, when the narrow entrance has the least tide running through it. We will have to check it out before we attempt the entrance, hopefully it will be ok as the alternative is another night at sea waiting for the morning low tide.
The Tuamatu are made up of 77 atolls scattered over a large stretch of ocean, with little land area and few people living there. They are a complete contrast from to the Marquises with their towering mountains and deep gorges, which was best seen on our last 2 days in the islands when a group of us hiked from Daniel’s bay on Nuka Hiva along the river to the Vaipo waterfall, which plunges 350 metres into a basin.
The 8 km walk was spectacular as it wound its way through the 800metre deep gorge. There are only thirteen inhabitants living in Daniels Bay. The place is immaculate. There isn’t a leaf out of place. The gardens are rich with fruit trees and flowers. It’s like the Garden of Eden.
Along the walk we came across one of the locals who had been hunting with his dogs and had just killed a wild pig. He looked like something out of ‘Survivor’ (in fact, Survivor was filmed here) wearing nothing but a grass skirt and a necklace made from wild boar tusks. He was sporting the most magnificent tattoos that only the Polynesians can carry off. (O.K and the Maoris).
We asked him if we could buy some of the meat. He said not but we were welcome to come to the beach to eat the pork. Each of us girls took a salad and we had a great feast. The pork wasn’t presented as white loin chops or heart smart tenderloins, but was hacked up quite crudely with everything tossed into the pot with herbs and spices. It was delicious.