Thursday, May 25, 2017

Nuku Hiva Island - Anaho Bay & Hike to Hanatuatua

[Maryanne]There are no roads to Anaho, and just a few people remain living here (although there is still a church). The main modes of transport are foot and horse, and (naturally) boat. All the homes have copious fruit trees around, and of course there are the fruits of the sea to hand too.

Our first morning there we had breakfast of fresh Papaya while listening to Polynesian music playing ashore. The scenery was the most dramatic we have seen so far. There were spires on both sides of the bay, which was centered upon a mountain with vertical ridges leading up to it like enormous buttress roots. Palm trees swayed as the wind through their fronds mimicked the surf below – this really was paradise.

We went ashore to hike to the even more remote bay of Hanatuatua – where the oldest ruins in the Marquesas are said to be found.

Ashore there were young black tip reef sharks swimming about in the shallows – only a foot or two long, but they were spooked and quickly fled if we approached them.

As we walked by, the locals seemed to vanish. Assuming they were enjoying their privacy we just said ‘Bonjour’ as we passed a home and left it at that (we were possibly talking to empty properties). Horses, chickens, and a group of piglets entertained us on our hike.

Our hike along the horse road was interrupted by several squalls, the path was very muddy In patches (feet often sunk up to the ankles) and the overcast nature of the skies did not allow for the best experience of the beautiful beach of Hanatuatua, but it was nice to have a bit of a hike and to see this part of the remote Nuku Hiva coast. We found an extensive farm on the other side of the ridge, but was unoccupied and although we longed for some of the cucumbers growing there we had to do without.


Returning to the dingy it was floating quite high and Kyle waded in to his chest and fetched it.. (HERO).
We then had a snorkel about the bay (purported to be the ONLY coral reef in the Marquesas) – a bit silty in places but with plenty of different fish species, and quite a lot of healthy coral amid the dead stuff (especially on the north-western point). The bay is famed for having Manta Rays, but we didn’t see any (Later, the other boat that was anchored there said they’d swam with them in the far East of the bay – while we were anchored way over to the west).

Our new underwater camera has failed us – Doh! Our ‘good camera’ is also playing up (insisting all shots must be MACRO mode, and resulting in lots of blurry landscapes). How many spares must one carry!!!!

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