After crisscrossing the islands of the Marquesas Islands in the North to the South since last July, We decide to go back on Tahuata in the Bay of Hapatoni. The atmosphere that reigns among the inhabitants is harmonious, their generosity and their sense of sharing makes this place particularly endearing.
Saturday 7 October:
Tao is nestled at the bottom of the Hanatefau Bay in the middle of the greenery when Kaveka (Frank & Céline) and Avatar (Mike and Shelly) Join us. A few minutes in the annex separate us from Hapatoni Wharf.
Immediately to earth we are greeted by Carter, who trained the team local volleyball and it is one of the sculptors of the island. Let's go for a walk along the track that connects the three villages of the island.
Many kapokiers grow along the way. Easily recognizable by their branches that go horizontally.
The trail is covered with their cottony shells.
Philip is quick to pick up some to make a hairpiece! What think you?
The trail continues to rise gradually and along the way we pick up some wild squash by the roadside,
then a few peppers that you will dry to a mixture"explosive"
Our bags are a bit heavy, especially that of Philippe and we decide to turn. What chance a pickup we offered to take us and is not refusal, as it starts to rain!
Our walk back, We get acquainted with Tehina waiting for us with a meal prepared especially for us. Goat in coconut milk, raw fish, vegetables... what a treat. We spent a lot of time with Tehina which is a pillar of the local life. It guides us in the village for a search of oranges and passing in front of the school it is good to sit in the shade around this table in wood of Tamanu.
Sunday 22 October:
It's Sunday and we join a few families in the village to attend the mass in Marquesan! Several voices songs accompanied by Ukulele, guitar and Te beat (drum Marquesan) are divine...
Philippe takes advantage of the Brazier of Carter and his hot oil to cook the mahi-mahi accras he prepared. All the neighbors there taste. Tehina still prepared us a meal that Carter shares with us.
Today Tehina is open for lunch from tourists visiting the island with a guide. This is an opportunity for Leone (the sister of Tehina) for a demonstration of how to prepare the kaku with the fruit of the tree bread (Mei or Uru). As always the meal is hearty, goat with herbs, tuna believed in coconut milk, Carpaccio of tuna, rice and finally bananas fried with pastry cream, accompanied by the famous fruit cake and chocolate we had brought. It will be a few days of "regime" before we start such a feast.
The inhabitants of the island of Tahuata are in full preparation for the festival of the arts of the Marquesas Islands in December. In the village of Hapatoni while women weave coconut leaves to decorate the Community Hall and make costumes with the passion fruit leaves, the men carve in the tikis rosewood, turtles and many other objects of art or good manufacture in bone jewelry, knives.
We have a little "pinch in the heart" to leave Hapatoni and its inhabitants but especially Tehina, so inviting and generous with whom we have shared so good moments!
Tuesday 24 October:
Before returning on Nuku Hiva, We return to Hiva-Oa in the Bay of Hamanenu to visit Joselito and Tepua.... and see if the ham is ready?
They are not at home, and we find them in the Coconut Grove to load sacks of copra on the horse. Hams have been a success and they have prepared another.
Walking under the mango trees, a small wild pig on the trail seems to have lost her mother (probably the one that has turned into ham!). Philippe grabs her after a long Chase and we bring it to Joselito so it feed...
Friday 27 October:
We will soon leave the Marquesas and there more to go through Nuku-Hiva to say "Goodbye" to our friends before heading on the Tuamotus and the Gambier...