Hiva Oa, Marquesis, French Polynesia.
We sailed to Hiva Oa on Monday and officially checked into the country of French Polynesia on Tuesday. Since then we have done a ton of boat chores (yes, we have to work at this life) and have made an effort to see this beautiful island. Hiva Oa is the second largest island in the Marquesas Island chain and has about 2,100 people living on it. These islands are Volcanically formed and have rich black soil. The jungle is massively thick and full of healthy green plants than makes it hard to walk through. These islands make me think that this is what Hawaii looked like 150 years ago before we over populated it. Only it’s much more lush here.
Kathy read something somewhere about a short cut path to town. 20 minutes later she was leading five of us up a hill that reminded me of the movie “Romancing the Stone”. I am sure it wasn’t the path we were supposed to be on.
The town is cute and a little more than just basic. 2 restaurants, one bar, an ATM, a few other stores and chickens everywhere…..We rented a car and drove around the Island with cruiser friends. We saw the Ancient Tikis that dated back to 1500 BC and met a man that helped us to some coconuts. Again, the locals are just so happy to spend quality time with us.
What strikes me funny is the lack of a fishing industry. We were so used to pangas everywhere in Mexico but here there are very little commercial fishing. We actually haven’t seen one commercial boat. Most of the fishing we’ve seen are the locals fishing for themselves but not even much of that. The diet here is mostly fruit, coconuts, baguettes and simple foods imported from New Zealand or Tahiti.
Very little fresh fish in the markets.