The Marquesas are like, what? The problem is this, how do you describe where you are when you find
yourself living a cliche? I mean, really, its almost embarrassing. We are currently floating in a sea of
aquamarine. The deeper water is indigo and towards shore it turns a light turquoise. The beaches are
either pearly white or a volcanic black. Clouds puff, birds chirp, palm trees sway - see - all cliches.
Walking around Hiva Oa is a delight. Granted, a toasty hot, can I find water to plunge into kind of delight.
The walk from port into town takes you by a myriad of flowers. There are brilliant white tiare which smell
of gardenia. Leia flowers are star shaped with a creamy yellow center which fades to white at the outer
petals. One of my favorites is thumbnail sized and blue - it looks just like a tiny delicate passionflower.
The plants are almost as colorful as the flowers, reds, yellow, greens, they look like living fireworks.
All the time you are walking you are chirped at. Little finches, sparrows, chickens - yes - chickens talk to
you the whole way.
Town is a neat and clean little place. Each home is surrounded by plants. Bananas, breadfruit, nonis,
mango, pamplemousse all grow rampant. No, I have no idea what a pamplemoousse tastes like, but, it
would be a terrific name for a racehorse, don't you think?
The men, and some women now, are tatooed. The women are gorgeous. They are all friendly and
helpful. We had dinner at a restaurant, the proprietress insisted that her husband drive us home after.
Tipping here is an insult, they just seem to be raised generous.
The crew of the Mystic Rhythms is currently engaged in our new favorite activity, shade-chasing. As the
boat swings we scamper like mice to and fro lazing in the shade and then racing to the next shady spot.
Hello from an extremely rainy anchorage in Ua Pou.
When I say rainy, I mean when I woke up the first thing I saw was Doris's naked tush as she was
scrubbing the cockpit. I'm still recovering. Apparently, the crew has given up on clothes and are tumbling
about the decks au natural collecting drinking water and washing the decks. Of course, the rain is also
occasionally accompanied by high winds which chills the our crew. So, when the winds come the crew
don their diving suits. It's a weird sight.
The rain has created brand new waterfalls on this island. What was mere goat trails are now tumbling
masses of water, flinging themselves willy nilly over the island's peaks. I wonder if the goats can swim?
Previously, on Days of Our Cruising, Doris, Richard and Jennifer find themselves searching for the
mythical Fatu Hiva waterfall. Upon landing in Fatu Hiva a pair of local kids, Priscilla and Victor, take the
intrepid adventurers in hand. What this means is that they lead the little group to every craft maker on
the island. Lead is perhaps a misleading term, rather, we were shepherded. It was clear that we MUST
visit every place and be given the opportunity to buy stuff, lots and lots of stuff. The crafts people are
skilled in tapas (a painted cloth made from bark) and sculpture. It was beautiful stuff, however, the
waterfall was our obsession.
Eventually we impressed upon the kids that no, really, we wanted to hike to the waterfall. It should have
been a warning when the formally attentive, fruit giving, question asking, kids left us to our own devices
rather than accompany us up to the falls.
We walk. We walk and walk and walk. There is a fork in the road, yippee, we follow the river on the part of
the road that is flat. Darn, a group of giggling local women point us back to the road going up. Sigh. More
walking, the crew is beginning to doubt the captain's sense of direction. The crew mutters mutinous
words under their breathe. The road has become a path and that has become a trail. The trail is through
jungle. We scramble over moss covered boulders and duck under low-hanging vines. Scattered across
the ground is fermenting fruit covered in buzzing flies.
The only indication we have that we are actually hiking in the correct direction is the occasional silent pile
of stones. These piles are made up of anywhere from two to five medium stones piled in a tower. They
are silent sentinels in the quiet green light. We hope they whisper - this way, this way. Either that or local
kids are having a lot of fun leading the silly boaters astray.
Suddenly Richard says softly, "I see it." High above our heads, through a tangle of foliage is a sheer cliff.
Water is tumbling playfully down its side. As we get closer the view opens up. The rock face is several
stories high and a curtain of water is pouring down. At the base, what once appeared to be a small rocky
pool is a large open pool, deep and cold. The pool curves around into a bent teardrop shape. Two thirds
of the pool is surrounded by vertical cliff and softly falling water.
Richard and Jen plunge into the cold water as crawfish and tiny brilliant green fish nibble at their toes.
They swim to the edge of the cliff and hold on to the slick green rocks letting the waterfall shower them.
The walk is forgotten.