After leaving Fatu Hiva, we hustled over to Hiva Oa to clear in to Customs and Immigration (which one should really do before going anywhere else but we'd been advised at a talk about French Polynesia in Panama to visit Fatu Hiva first and it's hard to get back up wind to and people often done and they are missing the jewel in the Marquesas Islands's crown) and to meet up with Phillip and Claudia on Bruno's Girl.
The anchorage that could become untenable in a big swell from the south, but luckily never did for us. It is a looooong windy walk up to the main town of Atuona which had two supermarkets, a couple other shops of less interest to us and the Paul Gaugin Cultural Centre.
I did enjoy the Centre, a modern airy many-roomed building. All the paintings, letters and sculptures were reproductions and were satisfying despite this. The three paintings were painted by Gaugin here in Hiva Oa. A nice juxtaposition of sculpture and painting featuring the same sculpture.
There were also a number of stone Tikis; some tapa beaters and stone tools and small carvings. The Centre was a nice mix of Hiva Oa-ian artifacts and art.
Our favourite supermarket in Atuona, though the other had fabrics and clothing which was quite useful as I bought yellow fabric there to make a windscoop for the forward hatch with a pattern I found on the Sailboat Cruising website. Red bananas in the supermarket and the bee hives next to the Tourist Office where we booked taxis to take ourselves and our shopping down the long walk to the anchorage. A Polynesian headdress in the tourist office featuring a black pearl which the Marquesas are famous for.
On our last chance to shop in Atuona, Tim and I started walking up the supermarket and were very pleased when we were offered a lift up the hill by a passing motorist. We were even happier when after we'd finished shopping another car stopped and offered us a lift down to the anchorage. We were lucky as well because as we drove past the Tourist Office we saw that it was closed it was closed so we couldn't have got them to call a taxi - which seemed to be any local person with a car that they can call. We were even luckier that the only gas/petrol station was at down by the anchorage, which was why so many people were either coming or going from there.
We made a second visit to Fatu Hiva with Rob and Frances on Alia Vita and Claudia and Phillip on Bruno's Girl. It really is worth a multiple visits as it really is the most beautiful and unique anchorage.
I rest my case.
Our next stop was Tahuata and that will be in the next post.