Sunday, April 15, 2012

First day in Hiva Oa

Today we walked into the little town of Atuona and bought fresh French baguettes, Brie, and Camenbert from two of the three small groceries that line the main street. Rani stopped to chat with a young Marquesan who climbed a nearby tree and picked for her a ripe pamplemousse (a sweet variety of grapefruit). Later, we climbed the hill above the town to the cemetery where the painter Gaugin is buried. Rani observed that, as in many European cities, ironically the dead enjoy the best views.

Atuona is a beautiful place - a sort of French tropical suburb as our friends Mike and Karen on 'Chapter 2', who accompanied us, put it. We ate our picnic lunch with a view from the graveyard out over an impossibly lush 1000 meter mountain, with the surf pounding on the black volcanic beach at its base. The baguettes tasted just like the ones you buy in Paris, the Brie was smooth and delicious, and the Normandy Camenbert intensely flavourful.

It was a sweltering walk back, but a friendly and very tattooed islander generously picked the four of us up and dropped us back near the boat - nice people here! The chilled beer we enjoyed in the shady cockpit of 'Chapter 2' tasted ridiculously good and Mike insisted it would restore the electrolyte balance.

Tomorrow we check in with our agent and the next day we have arranged to take a tour of the island by car to see the archeological sites and other villages.


Anonymous said...

Chris and Rani
Well done you guys! I have been following your blog daily and enjoyed the passage right along with you.
The next bit is a lot more fun. Enjoy it.
Doug Swanson

Randall Reeves said...

Glad to hear / see you two have made it safe to Hiva Oa. Have a great cruise in FP.

Randall and Murre