Saturday 30 March 2019

Exploring Hiva Oa

Tintin hasn't moved since dropping the anchor here on Sunday. Hiva Oa is a wonderful island to explore after weeks at sea. Walking ashore, it is so green. There are bright abundant tropical flowers, and mango trees dropping their fruit along the roadside. Bananas, papayas, pamplemousse, jackfruit and star fruit too. Birds sing.

Having got down to our last orange and lime on board, this is a wonderful place to make landfall. The last boat in the fleet arrived yesterday to the sound of fog horns and big cheers from others anchored in the bay.

The Marquesans are so friendly, very happy to help with any query, but no hustle whatsoever. We have hired a pickup truck (that's what everyone drives here) and explored the island. Up in the bowl of steep mountain ridges we found an archeological site with huge stone tikis (simple human forms with big eyes) and a terrace where ritual human sacrifices were made, in the not so distant days of cannabilism. The road to the north east is mostly gravel track, sometimes vertiginous along the cliffs, where it is hot and arid until the track dips down to a village by a bay, a green valley and coconut groves with racks of copra drying in the sun.

Lizzie, James and Bridget arrived on a small plane yesterday, and it is fabulous to be together again. Tomorrow we will sadly wave goodby to Steve as he starts his long journey home to Carlisle. We will then set off for the next island, Tahuatu. 10 miles for this next passage, not too far.

We have heard very good news from Nicki and Richard. The wounded arm is repairing well and they hope to rejoin us when we reach Bora Bora in May.

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