Hiva Oa is another beautiful spot in the Marquesas. It is far more industrial than Fatu Hiva but still very rural on our standards. The anchorage was very crowded and we ended up anchoring too close to the freight dock, requiring us to move in the morning incase a ship was going to come in. On Wednesday morning we dinghied to shore where we were picked up by our tour guide Frida for the day. She took us first to immigration to check into the country. All went smoothly there and we were then off to explore the island. We took the main road which runs all over the island up the mountains and down the switchbacks from one side to the other. We saw many little towns and beautiful valleys. Along the way we stopped at a few key locations. One of them was called the smiling tiki. It is a rock carving of a tiki that is smiling and we were asked to identify if it was a man or a woman. We went with woman based on hand placement and the way the hair was done. It turns out we were correct but for all the wrong reasons. Oh well. We also stopped at some petroglifs, as well as a nice beach, and a farm where they were making dried bananas. We were able to sample the bananas as well as buy a lot of additional fruit. At the end of the all day tour, after bouncing along the miles and miles of dirt road, Frida brought us back to the boat around 6 PM.
We had made plans to have dinner onboard our friend’s boat Double Diamond so we stopped by Murar’s Dream, grabbed a few supplies, then took the dinghy to Double Diamond. Andy cooked up his famous chicken coconut curry and the 6 of us told our war stories and conversed over some fine food and bubbly celebrating safe arrival to French Polynesia.
The following morning Andy, Debra, and I, along with Melody and Cassie from Double Diamond, walked the 45 minutes into town. We explored the local shops and bakeries and I splited off with the Double Diamond crew while Andy and Debra hiked up to view the local cemetery. After a few hours of exploring it was back to the boat so that I could pack.
I began what turned out to be a rather lengthily process of putting everything I had in 2 large duffle bags and my backpack. By the time I was finished they were stuffed full and quite heavy. I was worried that they might not make weight for the plane but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best; I did pay the extra $150 for the 2 bag ticket but was still concerned.
After packing, we refueled Murar’s Dream. This is no pull up to the dock and drop the nozzle in. Nope. This had to be done using the 5 gallon cans. We loaded them into the dinghy, headed over to the fuel station, filled the cans, then back in the dinghy to empty them into Murars Dream’s tank. 2 hot sweaty trips later she was full!
After dripping sweat for a few hours Andy and I headed back to shore to use the outdoor shower for a well deserved rinse. It was then time for my going away dinner out at the local pizza restaurant. But, we could not head there without first heading to Double Diamond for Margaritas. Jeff makes a mean Margarita! An hour and a few drinks later everyone was sufficiently boisterous and we disbursed on the dinghies to the dock where the restaurant had sent a car to pick us up. 9 of us squished into the Range Rover and headed up to dinner. I ordered an everything pizza that was piled high with lots of veggies including artichoke hearts and too much other stuff to remember. No olives though! It was absolutely delicious! A few bottles of wine and a few martini glasses of chocolate mousse later, we piled back into the car and it was back to the boats! It was a wonderful last night full of fun and conversation with some of the nicest people on the seas.