|This blowhole was one of many Fatu Hiva
scenic spots on our boat ride from
Hanavave to Omoa.
|Blown! We got close to the blowhole. Timing the shot
to catch the spray while not soaking my camera lens was challenging.
|Omoa town, Fatu Hiva dropped quickly
into the distance as we hiked up….
Wayne and I were relieved Steve blamed our guide book for recommending the hike, instead of us…. He completed the hike a couple hours faster than us, pounding the long, steep and shadeless downhill return stretch in some of the worst heat of the day. We trailed a bit behind at a more leisurely pace with Jan from Ambler, pushing it to get in before dusk, though believe we rebounded more quickly.
|Seen along our Fatu Hiva hike, these
blackened ferns were striking. There was
as much variety of ferns as in
my best Pacific Northwest hikes.
|These orchids, which grew in wild abandon,
were my favorite flowers on Fatu Hiva.
|Fatu Hiva’s textured foliage invited photoplay.
Fatu Hiva shares billing with Venice, Italy as one of the more surreal scenes I’ve had the pleasure to step into. In the case of Venice, stepping out of the train station doors felt like entering a postcard into the past. Fatu Hiva’s Bay of Virgins (Hanavave) is like the bunnyhill of landscape photography – nearly as impossible to take a bad photo of its fantastically lit weird geological formations as it is to fall on a bunnyhill (click here for some stunning Fatu Hiva Hanavave anchorage photos).
|Oddly, this Fatu Hiva road was nearly impossible
to see when looking up from Hanavave valley. We liked the subtlety of that.
No luck on the baguette – and we were early enough to get them – if they had them.
|Overlooking the town of Hanavave, Fatu Hiva on our downhill stretch.
So there we were, exiting the small valley surrounding Omoa, beginning our steep climb toward the summit, eating dark Cadbury chocolate bars, washed down with cold Hinano. It was only 9:30 am, and hot. Breakfast of champions. Not one I care to repeat.
About halfway through our hike, at a lovely summit point with covered picnic tables, we enjoyed a more nutritious lunch of cheese and salami on gluten-free rice crackers, with bananas for desert.
|Just outside the town of Hanavave. As through much
of the Marquesas, coconut palms are grown for copra production.
At the end, we were tired, hot, sweaty, dusty and felt a little flat-footed. Yet, the walk was as thrilling as it was long; we’re really glad we did it. If you follow in our footsteps, I recommend saving cold beers and chocolate for the finish rather than the start of the hike.
Can you see those little tiny dots in the water? One of them
is our sailboat at anchor in Hanavave Bay, Fatu Hiva,
as seen on our Omoa – Hanavave hike.