From July 8th to 14th, we were in Hiva Oa.
When we arrived, we had a very warm welcoming: Gaëlle and Ani, two people working for our pension, took us for a drive while drinking an ‘aperitif’. We directly went to Paul Gauguin’s and Jacques Brel’s graves, and stopped at several look-out points. The evening, we continued the ‘aperitif’, Jérémy played bowls and managed pretty well (there, they do not joke about that, they have a good level!).
The next morning, Lauriane got some nasty stomach cramps, Hinano beer is bad enough, but clearly you would better not drink too much of it! After that, Ani took us for a little drive, we ate at the snack, and then went to Gauguin museum (600 XPF or 5€) and Brel (500 XPF or 4,20€). Well, let’s be honest, Gauguin is… special. We do not have much to tell about that. The warehouse where you can see Jojo, Jacques Brel’s plane, was pretty nice. We learnt more about his life in the Marquesas islands.
On Friday 10 July, second round of marquesan tattoo for Jérémy at Piu’s (Louis Bonno). He finished the tattoo made in Nuku Hiva.
On Saturday 11 July, we went on a day-tour with Simone on Tahuata, the craftsmen island. Unfortunately, a lot of craftsmen were on a pilgrimage trip, so we just went to visit a lady at her place but she did not have so much crafts, and the crafts house where the crafts were pretty expensive. After that, we went to the beach, we had to jump from the boat into the water and then swim to the beach. It was not practical for Jérémy, who got tattooed the day before (yes, you avoid seawater for a while after a tattoo). There was a body board, so he took it to keep his arm out of the water. We ate on the beach and it was delicious. On the menu, among other things, some crayfish. The locals prepared a mixture that served as sunscreen and anti-nonos. To come back on the boat, it was something: put a foot on the rudder, then the other foot in a tiny hole, and finally drag yourself (when you are tall, no problem, but for smaller people like Lauriane, you had to get some help from people already aboard because arms were too short!). Then, back to the port. In the evening, marquesan couscous!
On Sunday 12 July, Simone took us on a day drive among the valleys. We went to see the biggest tiki in Franch Polynesia at the me’ae ‘I’ipona, in Puama’u (300 XPF or 2,50€) and the smiling tiki in Punaei valley, and some nice landscapes. We could pick some fruits: papayas, clementines, grapefruits, lemons and starfruits!
On Monday 13 July, we planned to go on a horse ride but unfortunately it was cancelled at the last minute: as it rained, the ground was too slippery and consequently too dangerous.
On Tuesday 14 July, before we left, we went to see the July 14th parade. Marquesans in traditional suits, horseriders, soldiers, firemen, bowls club, surf club… everybody was there!After, we could watch the youth from the army dance, along with a marquesan dance. We could not stay longer because we had to take our flight but were glad we could see a part of it.
Finally, we took a flight in the middle of the day to go back in Tahiti.