Inside Nuku Hiva

One of these days we rented a car to visit the inner side of Nuku Hiva:

1 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-009

It was one scenic drive and the camera was active all the time, as you will see on this post:

2 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-002

The road was winding and cut through the island’s lush vegetation:

3 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-015

With beautiful vistas of the many waterfalls:

4 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-065

And the fascinating harbors around the Island. On this picture, Taiohae Bay as seen from above, with Pesto being one of the small white dots in the middle:

5 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-003

We drove across the island toward the North coast, stopping at an archeological site on the way:

6 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-027

Paulo and Raquel explored one of the Tikis found on the ground:

7 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-029

The intricate work of banana leaves which make up the cover of the palapa:

8 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-031

And the delicate work of nature which make up for such a lush ecosystem:

9 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-035

The petroglyphs aren’t easy to find, hidden by the moss that grows everywhere:

10 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-038

Just another bridge that we crossed:

11 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-039

Nature is so abundant here. We were in awe by this tree, so huge it was (can you spot Raquel on the picture?). It felt like we had been transported the planet of the film Avatar:

12 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-024

Locals live in a balanced way with nature here. This old truck, instead of being left to rot, was transformed into a garden. How cool is that:

13 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-007

Arriving to the North side of the Island, the vistas got really breathtaking:

14 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-019

Now, this is one proper beach!

15 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-041

We were surprised by the size of the church at Hatiheu. Its capacity is probably twice the size of the tiny village’s population:

16 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-040

Speaking of surprises, guess who we met there? Our dear friends of sv Enough. We left La Cruz on the same day, did most of the Puddle Jump within 100 miles of each other, and arrived on the same day to Nuku Hiva – at different places, though, and had not seen each other yet:

17 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-056

On the day we did the island drive, they also decided to do a hike from where they were – a beach inaccessible by land – to visit the tiny village of Hatiheu. Both families arrived there at the same time, and we met:

18 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-057

Coincidence? nah – the more I live, the less I believe they exist. It was a most pleasant surprise to meet with them !

19 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-059

It was time to keep going. We were now headed West, along the rugged northern shore:

20 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-043

No caption can make justice to this picture and the vista it encompasses:

21 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-052

Same for this beach:

22 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-055

How could we not take a selfie there, right?

23 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-046

At this stage, we let the kids ride on the back of the truck:

24 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-051

As we kept going, they relished upon seeing all the animal life that roams free on this island. The horses are everywhere:

25 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-006

We saw this one farmer taking care of some horses, but most we saw seemed to roam free indeed:

25A Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-098

There were also cows. This mom was feeding her baby in the middle of the road, and she appreciated that we were willing to wait until the little one was done:

26 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-067

This other cow was on the roadside, and you can tell by her looks that she wasn’t as appreciative as the other. As we stopped to watch – and take this picture – it charged toward us. Adriana feared for the kids on the back of the truck, while I feared for the car’s insurance deductible. Luckily it has good acceleration and I was able to get out of the cow’s reach before it inflicted any damage:

27 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-073

There were also wild boars:

28 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-066

And free-range chicken. All along the way. They made major efforts to try and be ran over by us. Our instincts were good that day though, and we frustrated all of them – not even one having been stamped on the pavement by the truck:

29 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-097

The road took a turn to the left, and we climbed up again toward the center of the island. As we gained altitude, the ecosystem changed accordingly:

30 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-068

We made frequent stops to check the views and enjoy the fresh air:

31 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-077

Here, I was telling one of my jokes to Paulo as Adriana and Raquel explored the surroundings:

32 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-082

On this other one, I pranked him and stopped the truck on top of this small puddle. An irony, for a boy who had just done the “Puddle Jump”:

33 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-090

The road keeps going up toward the center of the island, taking us way above the clouds. The same clouds that kept us so wet during our sailing voyage were now lying tamed under our feet:

34 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-085

At the summit, it felt indeed we had reached the top of the world:

35 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-088

And that crowned what was one very special day here in the Marquesas. One that got this family’s highest Stamp of Approval!

36 Familygonesailing-NukuHiva-19Apr16-005