Ua Pou

We sailed north from Fatu Hiva stopping overnight at Tahuata where the palm trees were thick and the mango trees labored under huge loads of mangoes.

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We were escorted by energetic dolphins,

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to the spires of Ua Pou.

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These peaks are camera shy. They peek through the clouds one by one, always ensuring that their neighbors are fully cloaked before they take a turn. 

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We sailed around the north end of the island and saw these peaks from multiple angles before we anchored ourselves directly before them at the village of Hakahetau.

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The village was more relaxed than most due to the poor ferry and dinghy access.  Not a lot of visitors come through here and it was the first place we saw the traditional woven mat construction (along with the now-traditional satellite dish).

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There were other characters out of the past still in action. This codger had a farm several miles back into the bush.

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His front door view was something like this:

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The government has invested in several kiosks displaying multi-lingual posters of the various attributes of the island.  With promises of a loop trail where we’d see two small waterfalls (the blue dots) and an archeological site (the red splotch), we traipsed up what felt like several miles of gravelly road through the woods, gathering windfall fruit  and ‘encouraging’ other roadside fruit to fall along the way. 

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We must’ve taken a wrong turn because we never found any waterfalls, and the road ended at the front gate of a splendid garden.   We were greeted by a fierce guard dog, but luckily his owner, Terés, came out and called him off while we were still intact.    Terés, a native islander, and her Dutch husband have what appears to us to be an ideal spread, complete with abundant fruit trees, chickens, and milk goats.   She invited us up to her open-air kitchen and served cold limeade while we sat and tried to chat in bits of French and English.  K quizzed them mercilessly about the various goat products on offer on the island.   Terés made a face when asked if she makes goat cheese and told us her goats are only for milk; she doesn’t like the smell of goat cheese.  Her husband recommended a man to see in the village if we were interested in going on a goat hunt.  We foolishly passed on her offer of a cup of homegrown coffee, but accepted her offer of three of the largest avocados we’ve ever seen.  She refused our request for a photo before we left, but allowed us to take one of her dog.

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We made our way back to the boat and retired to the cockpit to watch the local lads race around the bay,

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while the sunset set fire to the volcanic plug and made the cold lava glow again.

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09°21.86’S 140°06.25’W 24-Apr-10 04:30 PDT

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