Tag Archives: hike

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!

Nuku Hiva

Quest: 3 Hikes and a Sacred Site

Matt and I were determined to get some exercise traversing across these mountainous ridges.  Our quest was to explore all 4 “known” hikes during our short visit.  Our first hike was to Baie Colette (read about it in the last blog).  A few days later we adventured to a gazebo atop a mountain, a waterfall, and a sacred site called Koeva.

Gazebo Hike

Taiohae anchorage is actually inside a caldera.  Probably one of the coolest anchorages we have been in since not many people can say they parked their boat inside a volcano!  At the southwest side of the caldera, atop a mountainous ridge sits a gazebo with spectacular views of the bay.  The photo shows the gazebo from the half way point in our hike.

Gazebo at top of Hill

Gazebo at top of Hill

It was labeled as a “gentle” hike.  I’m not sure what that means as it seems like an oxy-moron to me.  But we ventured on this quest.  The first 2-2.5 miles were a gradual climb up the hill on a paved road.  But, the last 1-1.5 miles were straight up a dirt, rocky path with lots of switch backs.  It was steep, but worth the view.

Many benches and rock tables were scattered about at the top of the ridge.  The rock tables had really cool carvings showing what the view was in front of you.

Maps carved in stone at top of hill

Maps carved in stone at top of hill

The gazebo faces Baie de Taiohae and gives sweeping views of this beautiful caldera

Taiohae Bay from the gazebo

Taiohae Bay from the gazebo

After cooling off, we decided to stop at the “pebble” beach which is another hike just off the main path for the gazebo.  As it turns out, it was not much of a “pebble” beach but rather a rock beach.  Either way it provided a nice opportunity to dip our feet in the water and cool off from the hot day.  The top photo shows the beach in the lower right corner.

Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach

Results

  • Total Miles:  6.5
  • Total Steps: 16,653
  • Flights Climbed: 55 floors

Waterfall Hike

Most of the cruisers we know make use of a compendium that has a lot of data on each of the archipelagos and islands.  It is crowd sourced and managed by a boat called Soggy Paws. In this document, a cruiser mentions a nice hike to a waterfall.  We gathered our friends on Maple and began a new quest.

It was pretty easy to find even though there is no true trail.  A lot of the directions were similar to “turn right at the banyan tree.”  But we found it or rather we found a waterfall but not exactly what we were expecting.  It certainly was water cascading from the mountain, but it fed the village’s main water supply.  Which meant no swimming, no dipping, and no cooling off.  But it was pretty.

Our waterfall hike ends here

Our waterfall hike ends here

Results

  • Total Miles:  3.5
  • Total Steps: 10,435
  • Flights Climbed: 6 floors

Koeva Hike

We believe Koeva to be a holy spot with some historical or archaeological significance.  Unfortunately, there is very little information on Koeva both locally and online.  The entire site was spread across a grassy area and covered in trees and wildlife.  There were dozens of 1-sided huts with thatched roofs.  Elaborately carved poles held the roof and wall up.

Koeva tiki poles

Koeva tiki poles

Lots of tikis were peppered across the region.  Some were hidden by wildlife while others were in prominent locations.

Tikis spread throughout the site

Tikis spread throughout the site

The huts reminded me of separated areas for families or clans to pray or pay homage to their gods. But honestly, I do not know.

Huts in Koeva

Huts in Koeva

Some of the huts had things inside like an outrigger or tiki

Koeva Site

Koeva Site

There were plenty of beautiful views along the way.

Views along our hikes

Views along our hikes

Results

  • Total Miles:  6
  • Total Steps: 15,821
  • Flights Climbed: 50 floors

Some pretty photos of the black sand beach and Tu Hiva Tiki:

Nuku Hiva

Nuku Hiva