Friday, December 5, 2008

Fata Hiva

Nov. 7/08
It looked like a pretty rough landing, and since I do enjoy my time alone on board, I decided not to go ashore this morning to the village of Omoa. This is one of the most remote and smallest islands, and there is no air strip. It is only visited by the Aranui3, yachties, and a small catamaran that runs twice a week from Hiva Oa. This island recently revived the art of making tapa cloth, from mulberry, banyan or breadfruit bark. There are only about 650 inhabitants. Passengers had the opportunity to take a 16k hike from the first village to the second village or return to the ship and sail there to pick up the hikers. Sophie was smart and returned to the ship.

While they were in the village, I painted the towering cliffs, and watched the sailors transferring huge shipments onto barges that were then ferried to shore. These men are amazingly skilled, many covered from head to foot with beautiful blue Marquesan tattoos.It was a short stop, and on their return we sailed to the next town of Hanavave, located on the Bay of Virgins. Originally this was called the Bay of Vierges, (which means Bay of Penises). This was changed by the church people to the more 'presentable' present name.
It was an easy landing, and the crafts people were waiting. I wandered a bit away from the hordes, and found a woman with a small table of interesting carvings hidden behind a building. I found a lovely, carved hair pick with a black pearl on it for Haley, and was tempted by a hand painted pareau, but managed to refrain. Another dance perfomance, this time by the children, who were dressed to the nines with floweres, leaf/grass skirts and shells....

And then hustle, hustle back to the ship for dinner. That night a real treat. We had a Mexican/Polyesian buffet!! We got to make our own fajitas! Beer would have been better than wine. Poor me... no wine, because I am on antibiotics three times a day... I have cheated a bit, if only to counteract the taste of the nasty French medicines! The antibiotics were in a powder form, and had to be mixed with water, and they were awful!

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