Monday 7 March 2016 – 8000 steps
Internet Access and Banks in both Taiohae and Hakahau
8am Laundry (Suites and Deluxe cabins)
7:45am Bus shuttle to village every 20 minutes (driver would not stop in between)
9am – Hikers meet at the archaeological site of Temehea
11:15am Lecture by Tahiarii Pariente “The Human Settlement of Polynesia (Way Finding)”
11:15 last return on board, Aranui departs for Ua Pou
12 noon lunch for everyone
1:45pm Barges start to go ashore (actually 2:15- late), options to hike to the cross and visit the handicraft centre
5pm Zumba on the Pool Deck
This morning was the last laundry day of the cruise. This time, however, we had our laundry outside of our door the night before so that we would not forget to have it out in time. We weren’t the only ones; down our hallway there were plenty of laundry bags outside of each room the evening before.
Today was to be our last day on shore in the Marquesas islands and it had us revisiting two of the busiest ports we had been to so far. In these more densely populated cities, locals would come to the Aranui today to drop off fresh produce and freight bound for Rangiroa, Bora Bora and Papeete. It is also an opportunity for some of the locals to board the Aranui to make their way to Bora Bora or Papeete. This is an alternate route to taking a costly flight.
Because we had missed out on visiting the iconic Catholic Church in Taiohae due to a funeral when we first came, a shuttle bus drove between the pier and the church every 20 minutes for the duration of our stay from 7:45am until 11:15pm. When boarding the bus I asked the driver if he would be stopping at the handicraft centre which was by the boaters dock. He told me that he would be but when we drove by 5 minutes later, he told me to sit down and continued on to the far side of the bay with a bus load full of confused passengers. He continued to the church and insisted that this was his only stop. We did stop to visit and take some photos but when continuing back on the bus I had to reconfirm with the driver where I was going. At first he said he would not be stopping but then I told him that he had advised me he would stop. He then said that he would stop. I’m not entirely sure if he knew what he was doing or saying. The Aranui staff the evening before had told us we could just wave down the bus and he would stop wherever we wanted him to. Perhaps he had not received the same information.
It was a short visit of Taiohae before we had to be back on the ship. I was surprised to see that all of the trucks full of produce had already been loaded onto the ship and it looked ready to go.
Just before lunch, our guest lecturer Tahiarii taught us about the “Human Settlement of Polynesia”. He illustrated the early settlement of the islands, where they are expected to have started from in Raiatea and how these early settlers became incredible navigators of the expansive oceans of the Pacific.
During lunch the ship cruised on to Ua Pou. It was a fairly quick trip and shortly after lunch everyone was ready to spend a few last hours on shore to get ready for their day at sea. The ship was about half of an hour behind schedule but as before, the dock was still being renovated and so we had to take a quick 2 minute boat ride about 200 feet to shore. The longest part of the trip was loading and unloading the tender.
Not many people went on the hike up to the cross on the mountainside this time. Most that had wanted to do that, did it when they first arrived. Also it was now the middle of the day and the sun was that much hotter. When we arrived in the village, everyone seemed to be gathered around the local library where there was free internet. There was so many people however that it was extremely slow. Finally, after about 2 hours, the librarian turned off the internet and advised everyone that it was over for the day. It stayed off for about half of an hour until the majority of cruise passengers had left. Kirsten and I went to the local cafe and I had an ice cream cone while she had some freshly squeezed mango juice. After a short period of time the internet connection came back on and because everyone had left by now, it was much faster than before.
During our time by the library, we were able to speak to each of our children at home and those staying with other family members through the internet. It was a great opportunity after 10 days away, to catch up with everyone back at home. I was also able to catch up on some things from work that were starting to pile up as well as to make some final plans and arrangements for our upcoming visits to Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea and Teitiaroa.
Once back on board we attended the simple and not very important meeting outlining the day at sea. Everything that was discussed was on the little handout that we had received so the meeting was more-or-less, just reading through the flyer.
Dinner was as enjoyable and delicious as ever. I didn’t stay up for the Aranui Band in the Veranda Bar but instead headed to my room to enjoy a quiet evening.