Hanaiapa Bay, Hiva Oa
It was raining all night long and in the morning when we left Hapatoni bay, Tahuata. Half a mile away the sun was shining again while we were motoring toward to the north side of Hiva Oa. After a rough ride early afternoon finally we dropped anchor and had lunch.
Hanaiapa is a small village tucked in in a lush valley, from the anchorage there is no sign of the village. Tony decided to stay on board and the rest of us felt the urge to explore the shore.
As soon as we set foot on the island a line of lime tree welcomed us. Needless to say we were thinking of gin & tonic with fresh lime as an aperitif before dinner. Decide to pick some on the way back. The bay looked a bit rustic with some wild goats running around us. The dirt road lead to a clean paved road sided by tropical flower bushes. Immediately we felt that it might be the entrance of a real Polynesian village what we were pictured earlier. As we walked further in we kept repeating “this is unreal” Small, but clean houses on the both side of he road with all kind of tropical fruit trees in the front and the back yard. It felt like being in the “Garden of Eden”. Smily faces were welcoming us, as we enjoyed our walk. A dark tanned elderly man invited us to his home before he pointed to a hand written sign at the entrance of his property “Yacht Club William Hanaiapa” He was asking us if we can write some note in his yacht book collection. It turned out that several hundreds of boaters had stop by his house and enjoyed his hospitality while writing about their sailing experience to get to this island. William shared many stories with us with his self studied English. He gave us a big bag full of all kind of tropical fruits to take it back to the boat. This man lives very modest with out any luxury but with a big hart.
We decided to return to his house next day with a bag of full of our gift.
On the way back to the boat we got invited to an other family’s house, where we learned a lot about growing vanilla, certainly it takes lots of effort and work to get to the finished product. Also, Jessica was able to arrange a ride to the local airport to pick up her boyfriend Jason who is arriving on Sunday.
Tony could not believe to his eye, when we returned to the boat with our goodies and stories.
By the way the gin & tonic with local fragrancy lime never tasted better than that night.
Early morning is the time to take a long hike to the valley. We filled up our bag with useful present for William. He was happy to see us again. We spent a great time with him listening his stories visiting his parents and grand parent’s grave in the back yard of his property and after couple of goodbye picture we were heading out of the village. That was a hot day and we were running out of energy quickly, the valley have a long banana and coconut plantation and among them papaya, mango, grapefruits trees were seen. What a sight, we enjoyed every bits of it.
On the way back to the boat the village people were so kind to us, we received a boat load of all kind of tropics fruits from them. I’ve heard a lot about the Polynesians generous hospitality earlier but that was more than that.
Father and son returned back from fishing when we arrived to our bay. We asked if they have any fish for sale? They caught only one yellow fin tuna and the father sad “It is to much for us for dinner, please take the half of it”. And he fillet the fish immediately with out expecting anything in return. I know nothing taste better than cold beer after fishing, so that was our treat for their kindness.
We decided to move on to our next destination Ua Pou tomorrow. Jason got picked up at the local airport after a long flight from Vancouver via Tahiti, he brought joy to Jessica’s heart.
That was a really hot day even the sea didn’t help us to cool down, hard to believe but the sea temperature was 34 Celsius.
We timed our dinner early with the sunset at 6:30pm because we were planning to leave the island before sunrise. The alarm was set for 2:30am