After leaving “that one island where everyone was wasted” we had a great over night passage to Nuku Hiva, the biggest island in the Marquesas. Our first stop there was Daniels bay which is one of the bays where survivor season four was filmed. It’s hard to think that survival would be hard in this bay. There is great fishing, an abundance of mangos, bananas, limes, breadfruit, grapefruit, papaya, coconut and even land crabs that eat coconut which makes there meat taste sweet. What else would you need? A beautiful hour or so hike even takes you to the largest waterfall in all of French Polynesia. Unfortunately, when we hiked there it hadn’t rained in awhile so it was only trickling.
The hike itself winds its way from the bay and crosses a cool water river a few times. The trail even goes through an old village that probably hasn’t been lived in for hundreds of years. Eventually you come to this lush green valley, where the waterfall stands and is enclosed by 1000ft+ cliffs on either side. We spent two nights in Daniels bay relaxing in the very sheltered cove before going to the biggest city in all of the Marquesas.
Of course, the way I pictured the biggest city was totally different then it actually was. I was picturing hotels, multi story buildings, and more of a hustle-bustle atmosphere. The city of Taiohae has a population of 2,600, one good hotel with maybe 20 bungalows, two stores, a bank, a pizza place and some food carts that made burgers, crepes and ice-cream. It was defiantly bigger then the other villages we had visited but it certainly should not have the title of a big city.
Being in Nuka Hiva was nice because it was a great place to provision before heading to the Tuamotus. The hotel there even had a happy hour on Friday nights. Happy hour here isn’t as happy as it sounds. The drinks go from 1600 francs a piece to 800 (about $17 to $9). We still had a great time and ended up having a pretty serious cruiser after party on Delos.
One of the days walking around the bay I met a guy that went by Andy. Of course that wasn’t his real name but it was easier to say then his Marquesan name. We talked to him about going over to the next bay, Comptroller bay. Comptroller bay is well known because this is where Herman Melville, author of Typee, lived for a month or so amongst the cannibalistic natives. Andy offered to take us over there to check it out later that day. At around 4 p.m. he pulled up at the dinghy dock in a small truck. There were four of us so Brian and Erin hopped in the back. The ride was amazing. We slowly climbed into the mountains where the temperature really started to drop.
The smell of the fresh rainforest and the cooler temperature made it feel like we had totally left the hot south pacific. After about a half hour ride we came to the other bay where we were able to look down and see the second area where survivor was filmed, again filled with plenty of food and supplies for easy survival. We hung out there for an hour or so until the sun went down then made our way back to Taiohae bay.
After a week in Nuka Hiva and about a month in the Marquesas we were pretty ready to move on to the Tuamotus where it is a complete change from the mountainous areas we have been.
We had done research on all the Tuamotus and still had no idea where we wanted to go, even the day before we left. It’s great cruising because your possibilities are so open. A coin flip seemed the best way to decide our next destination. The coin landed on heads and we trusted our coin-flippin-fate to head towards Apataki.