July 15-16, 2009 – Hike to Waterfall
It was only 1 hour motoring around to the next protected anchorage, but I felt pretty bad from the motion of the ocean. It is a lovely spot, very tranquil. I was kind of lethargic the rest of the day. Scott decided to bake bread! Never discourage a man from cooking. I set him up with a recipe & all ingredients. It turned out great. The fact that the oven was on during the hottest part of the day, did not diminish our enjoyment of the yummy fresh bread. In the evening our group of 6 had a beach party complete with bonfire. Since we didn\’t roast anything, it seemed out of place in this climate & the smoke somewhat annoying. But it supposedly helps keep away bugs. We made our plan to begin the hike to the waterfall at 8:00 a.m.
The hike was 5 hours start to finish. It rained on & off so we were quite wet well before reaching the waterfall. We crossed a stream 4 times. Once knee deep & quite swift, but a convenient tree limb growing across helped us get to the other side. Someone thought this was the 3rd highest waterfall in the world, but I have no way to confirm that. The full height was viewed only at a distance. To Scott it appeared to be around 900 feet high. Once we were up close there was a pond to wade across. We had to scramble under & over huge boulders to reach the water catchment. It was refreshing to swim toward the spray zone. We did not go all the way back to the base of the waterfall. Even though this was a second water catchment that only fell about 100 feet, the power of the water was intense.
On our return, Augustine, a local bone carver that lives in the area along the waterfall path saw us walking by in the pouring rain. He invited us under his shelter & kindly showed us his work. We admired his large spear, used when hunting pigs. He has about 5 dogs & a few cats. We were amused to see that he feeds them baguettes! He generously picked papayas & limes from his trees. Mary smartly carries a bar of soap as an impromptu gift, she was the only one prepared to reciprocate.
The others bought bananas from another woman with a small farm. We were tired & wanted to just get back, but took a few wrong turns. In the end they 4 beat us in returning to the dinghies. We were tired but glad that we had this final outing at the Marquesas. The next hike we will be able to do is in Tahiti. The tallest thing to climb on any Tuamotu Island is a palm tree! We will set sail early tomorrow, expecting 3 days at sea.
Cindy & Scott