Tag Archives: hike

Mt Duff from the trail

Wet and Wild Hike

Matt and I decided we needed to get up and move.  We had not been hiking since the Marquesas (several weeks) and needed to re-engage our legs.  The only drawback is that we have had lots and lots of rain since we arrived.  So, we knew it would be a wet and wild hike.

We started out on the main road heading over the ridge.  Along the way we passed by the local school.  This is the only school in the Gambiers and it was in need of some lovin the last time we were here.  It was great to see that they were building new classrooms for the young people.

School Expansion

School Expansion

Tombeau de Roi

Further down the road we came across the “King’s Tomb” which is called Tombeau de Roi.  We couldn’t read the head stones, but I imagine that it will be grave sites of the past chiefs and rulers of the Gambiers.

Tombeau de Roi

Tombeau de Roi

Meteo France Station de Riktea

Just past the Tombeau de Roi is the weather station called Meteo France Station de Rikitea.  We explored the facility but missed the opportunity to see them launch the weather balloon.  Evidently, they launch the weather balloon on weekdays at 1400 which would have been fun to see.

Meteo France Station de Riktea

Meteo France Station de Riktea

Couvent de Rouru

After the road turned into a dirt road and about 1 mile down, we stumbled across an old convent.  The name is Couvent de Rouru.  As you walk up the green grassy path you walk along an old stone wall.  There were two stone buildings still standing on property.  The first is still proudly standing, albeit in ruins.  Plants, trees, and vines are trying their best to take over (upper right corner photo).  Inside there is one carved cross still visible.

Couvent de Rouru

Couvent de Rouru

Further inside is another stone ruin plopped in the middle of the grassy field.  Behind the convent was a gorgeous arch that leads to a grassy path below the trees.

Couvent de Rouru

Couvent de Rouru

Baptismal Pond

We stumbled across the baptismal pond which needed some serious lovin as it was not something you wanted to be baptized in.  Hidden in the floral bushes was a mound marked by a sign that read “Baignoire de J.A. Princesse.”  Climbing up the mound is the pond overlooking the bay.

INSERT 3 COLLAGE (dated 24 May)

Chemin des 12 Apotres

We finally get to the start of the trail, Chemin des 12 Apotres (12 Apostles) which had a nice little sign, some old ruins, and a carved stone at the entrance.

Chemin des 12 Apotres

Chemin des 12 Apotres

Within the first ½ mile we came across more ruins hidden in the trees waiting for someone to explore them.

Chemin des 12 Apotres

Chemin des 12 Apotres

The path was incredibly muddy, slippery, and wet.  Just a small part of the wet and wild hike.  But the good news is we came across several waterfalls that were flowing nicely with the recent rainfalls.

Two small waterfalls

Two small waterfalls

A huge squall hit us about 2 hours into our hike.  We hid under a giant rock to avoid being drenched.  It only lasted for about 15-20 minutes.

Hidden from the storm

Hidden from the storm

We had our Garmin GPS and maps.me to prevent us from getting lost.  But, you know how that goes.  The trail we were on was not on either instrument.  But what we could tell was that the road which ran above us had ended.  Yikes.  We decided to try to find a path up to the road to head back.  We were about 3.5 miles into our hike at this time.

Forging Our Own Path

There were no trails, not even goat trails.  We started up the hill and realized our path was covered in raspberry bushes.  Which sounds pleasant at first considering we did not bring lunch and we were starving.  But then reality sinks in as these bushes are covered in lovely little prickles that stick hard and deep into everything!  And to top it off, the raspberries were not ready for pickin!  So, we decided to go up the little river/waterfall to limit the amount of whacking we had to do to clear a path.

Matt led the way with a giant tree stump and whacked the path for both of us (so sweet).  Up we climb the waterfall, across stumps, boulders and debris.  Super slippery, wet, and challenging.

Forging our own path

Forging our own path

After about 1.5 hours of climbing we finally came across a dirt road, thank God!  We were both so tired and sore from being stuck by bushes.  I wanted to show you how high we had to whack our way to the top, but the bottom photo does do it justice.

Long walk home

Long walk home

When it was all said and done, our wet and wild hike was 5 hours, 6.4 miles, 15,520 steps and 33 floors.

Hakatea Bay with Peneque

Hakatea Bay – Daniel’s Bay

Hakatea Bay also known as “Daniel’s Bay” is just around the corner from the main village of Taihoe in Nuku Hiva.  But it might as well be another island as it is so different.  There are about 10-12 people that live in this little piece of paradise.  A small white sandy beach is surrounded by towering mountains that glitter in the sun.  It was so hard to capture on camera, but the trees were truly golden against the deep black crevices of the hillside. 

The top photo is of one side of the bay, the center is the golden hillside and the bottom is the actual palm tree lined beach where the locals live.

Hakatea Bay = Daniel's Bay

Hakatea Bay = Daniel’s Bay

There is no dinghy landing so we had to get creative with “Sweetie.”  The first time we went to shore we dragged her on the beach.  Always a challenge as she is heavy and has a 25hp outboard on the stern which makes it even more difficult.  We had Wayne and a fender which helped.  Basically, we slipped the round fender under the dinghy and rolled it under Sweetie to get her up the sand dune. 

Beauty of Daniel’s Bay

We were blown away by how unique and beautiful this village is. Tropical flowers, plants and trees line the single dirt road from the beach to each house.  Tons and tons of fruit trees are all around, pomplemouse, avocado, mango, lemon, breadfruit, noni and more.

Hike to waterfall in Daniel;s Bay

Hike to waterfall in Daniel;s Bay

There is a freshwater stream that runs along the “town” that enables them to bring their boats in during high tide.  A super small, but efficient church, a cemetery on the hillside and very practical homes.

Daniel's Bay village

Daniel’s Bay village

Each home had a sign indicating the address of the inhabitant.  Either carved in stone or etched in a piece of wood.

Local plot claims

Local plot claims

Waterfall Hike

Daniel’s Bay (Hakatea Bay) is known for the tallest waterfall in French Polynesia.  The locals told us that the falls would be “dry” because it is summertime.  However, it is still a pretty nature walk so we forged ahead.  The trail continued down the main dirt road lined with beautiful and colorful flora and fauna.  At one point, it looked like it was covered in snow from the pods that fell and littered the walkway with white fuzz.

One road in Daniel's Bay

One road in Daniel’s Bay

The road turned into forest and became more of a small path.  Lots of rocks, boulders and ruins could be found here.  You could certainly find remnants of an old village which was fascinating.

Ruins along the path to the waterfall

Ruins along the path to the waterfall

After 1.5 hours we arrived at the “waterfall” or what I like to call a “trickle fall” since there was truly very little water coming down the mountain.  It sure was pretty and we could imagine how breathtaking it was.

Hakatea Bay Waterfall

Hakatea Bay Waterfall

At the bottom of the “falls” is a fresh water pool, but it was stagnant and not too appealing.  However, when you turned your back to the falls you were surrounded by lush greenery and mountains.

Just a couple of posers

Just a couple of posers

Hike to Waterfall in Hakaui was 6 miles, 15,838 steps and up 14 floors.  A good workout.

Lunch Local Style

On the way to the waterfall, we ran into Kua and Tieki who are known for their tasty cuisine.  We told them we would be back for lunch around noon.  Matt and Wayne are part goat and practically ran up and back from the falls.  We finished the hike in just over 3 hours so we had time to kill before lunch.

When we arrived, two other cruisers were seated under the awning and little table was set up in their garden for Matt, Wayne and I.  It so pretty to be in the middle of the fruit trees, flowers and plants.  They grilled lobster for me and goat for the boys.  It was pretty darn tasty and not bad for a total of $40.

Lunch with Teiki and Kua

Lunch with Teiki and Kua

Beach Walk

We needed to walk off our large lunch so we took the dinghy to a neighboring beach.  We found lots of crabs and had fun playing with a rather large one and a stick.  The poor thing must have been traumatized because he hid in my footprint after we left.

Beach walk and crab friends

Beach walk and crab friends

To our great surprise, our neighbors from Ua Pou, Peneque showed up and anchored next to us.  They were the super nice French people who heled us out and never squawked at us for bumping fenders for 3 weeks during the festival.

Hakatea Bay with Peneque

Hakatea Bay with Peneque

Matt in his own private oasis

Killing Time in Ua Pou

We arrived in the main anchorage of Hakahau, Ua Pou several weeks before the Marquesan festival.  Not because it is a great place to be (because the anchorage stinks), but because we wanted to secure a spot in the approved anchorage before the festival.  So, what did we do to entertain ourselves?

Hike Along the Water’s Edge

Matt flew the drone around the out skirts of the bay and discovered a ledge that is only visible at low tide.  We decided to explore the ledge and see how far it would take us around the island.  It was a beautiful walk over lots of large rocks, pebbles, and lava formations.  It was really surprising to see how many fish were hanging out in the tide pools.  not just tad poles, but pretty little butterfly fish, angels and more.  Shocking really.  They must have come in with a wave and got stuck in their new home (bottom images).

Ua Pou Water's edge walk

Ua Pou Water’s edge walk

We found a beautiful little bridge that allowed the giant waves to flow underneath and above.  Perfect photo op for me.  We also found a little blue lagoon with gorgeous plant life and fish all around.  Of course Matt had to climb down and float inside this small piece of paradise.

Ua Pou

Ua Pou

When we returned, the Tahiti Nui boat was pulling in.  To our great amusement they had a large welcoming party to greet the Tahitian performers including dancing, singing, and drums!  My goodness if they do this just as they are arriving, I can hardly wait until the actual festival.

Welcoming the Tahiti Nui

Welcoming the Tahiti Nui

We spent lots of time on shore to avoid being in the uncomfortably anchorage.  However, when conditions were really bad, we were on board to ensure its safety.  Time moved slowly as we awaited the start of the festival.  I was anxious to leave Ua Pou and this anchorage, but my desire to be a part of the celebrations superseded it all!