Friday, August 28, 2009

Tourism in Hiva Oa

Wednesday was a wonderful day. Thanks to our driver/guide Marie-Jo
(telephone 200732) we had the most exhaustive tour of the island that
you can do by car, mostly on dirt roads.
We (Barbara and Paul on Qweemarla, catamaran, and myself) left at 8:00
first for the village of Puamau, long ways away on the east side of the
island, through a very scenic mountain dirt road. Marie-Jo is a very
careful and prudent driver, which is a good thing as some portions of
that road are very impressive for their steepness of the road, its
narrowness and closeness to vertical cliffs. In Puamau, we visited the
site of the great Tipis, ceremonial sites from a few hundred years ago,
with statues carved in stones. Interesting site, but we would have
needed more explanation or prior knowledge about the history of the
After the visit, we had lunch at the local restaurant with local
delicious food, fish, goat, pork, a dish prepared from pumkins, bread
fruit, and fresh juice.
On the way, we stopped in a farm where we could buy dried bananas and
fresh grapefuits.
Then we returned towards the airport and descended to the village of
Hanaiapa, obviously regularly visited by tourists, with a wharf to off
load people, a nice beach and many many lime trees.
Then, back up to the airport, down to Atuona and on to the west side
which appears to be the residential area for the island.
There we visited another archeological site, without Tipis but much
larger than the one in Puamau.
Then back to the boat for a quiet evening.
On Thursday, Jean-Francois apparently was so eager to leave that at 6:00
a.m. he made it obvious that I had to get up and get on with it. We
prepared the boat, got the anchors up and cleaned then thoroughly from a
very heavy and black mud which guarantees you an excellent holding there.
We had a little more than 5 minutes of sailing, and then it was motoring
until 5:00 p.m. when the wind returned and we could hoist the Gennaker.
Since then, we average a little more than 5 knots with less than 10
knots of wind.
A few technical problems for this first day at sea : the winch for the
mainsail halyard failed and we discover after the sun had disappeared
that the connections to the aft bilge pump were so corroded that they
finally dropped. This will be fixed on Friday.
The pictures from Hiva Oa and Fatu Hiva will be on the blog after we
arrive in Tahiti. The connection in Hiva Oa was good but too slow to
upload pictures.

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