Adventures on Nuku Hiva
Part I

Tuesday, May 20, 2003  8:30 p.m.

LATITUDE: 08-49.27S

LONGITUDE: 140-03.82W

At anchor, Baie D'Anaho, Nuku Hiva,  Marquesas Islands

Click here for Part II

More photos

Sequoia at anchor in Taiohae Bay
Daniel's lagoon, near his house, at Daniel's Bay

Dear Friends and Family: 

Last time I wrote, we had arrived at Daniel's Bay on Nuku Hiva, where one of the camps of "Survivor Marquesas" was based.  Daniel's house had been torn down by the TV crew.  After the show was over, they erected a new pre-fab house, which Daniel seems happy enough about.  We dinghied ashore, with new friends Niel and Brycea from the sailboat "Windchime," and made our way up the river until we reached Daniel's place.  It is truly a tropical paradise.  He may live in the most beautiful spot in the world. 

Daniel showed us the start of the trail up the valley to "one of the world's tallest waterfalls."  We walked along the river, through the river, and through the clouds of mosquitos.  At first, we were walking through well-tended fruit orchards, with an occasional house.  People greeted us, "Bonjour" and we tried out the Marquesan equivalent: "Kaoha."  (Everybody likes that).  One house had a huge bank of solar panels, and you could see the refrigerator and freezer on their outdoor porch.

The back side of the beach at Daniel's Bay Taking the dinghy up the stream into Daniel's lagoon
Shrine built on prehistoric temple ruins

Nearing the end of the civilized section, there was a little outdoor chapel, quite obviously built over a pre-European temple platform ("meae").  There were offerings wrapped in banana leaves at the altar.

The trail to the waterfall

The trail ran along an old Marquesan road, built out of lava boulders.  Apparently this was some sort of royal domain, and there were frequent meae along the road.  We saw one stone tiki.  The trail crossed the river several times, wading more than knee deep (It was actually fairly refreshing, because the temperature was pretty hot.  But the bug repellent would get washed off, and we'd have to renew it.  Not that the bug repellent actually did any good.  Brian and I are quite covered with bug bites - Craig seems more immune.)

Brian with the tiki we saw in the bushes
Waterfall (our destination) in the distance

The scenery was spectacular.  We were in a narrow canyon, with walls several thousand feet high.  We saw the top two thirds of the waterfall from a distance, but by the time we got to the base of the waterfall, we could only see a small portion.  The rest was in a vertical chasm, around the corner from the trail's end.  We hesitated long enough to eat a brief lunch, but the mosquitos were eating us alive.  We beat a hasty retreat, swimming in the river at the last crossing.  We collected some fruit from apparently wild trees, and finally emerged at Daniel's house.  He showed us how to husk a green coconut, and then open it (with some fizzing) to drink the coconut water.  Then we ate the jellied coconut meat, which tastes like a rich custard.


More photos from the waterfall hike

Nuku Hiva adventures, Part II

Back to the previous report

Daniel (for shom Daniel's Bay is named)