This place is magical! The entrance to the bay is through a narrow pass, along side steep cliffs. Once you're inside the anchorage is calm and protected from most wind and waves. We took a 5 hour (RT) hike along an ancient road of platforms and home sites to a gorgeous waterfall. Upon entrance to the main section of the trail, we were asked to pay a $10 per person fee and asked if we would like to have a snack or a meal prepared for us upon our return. We had heard great reviews about the meals and signed up for another $10/pp item. We didn’t regret it. This was the best meal and the most beautifully prepared that we had the entire time we were in this archipelago. Thanks to Kua and Teiki!
John caught a bit of surf and I joined in for a short session. Andrea and I did a nice snorkel and saw another manta ray. Mostly we just enjoyed the peace, quiet, and beauty. At most, we had 2 other boats in the bay with us. Amazing given its only 3 miles away from Taiohea which had an average of 40 boats each day. Alan from S/V Goblin made a comment, “If there’s internet in a town it will be full of boats and if there isn’t you’ll have it to yourself”. It turns out to be true.
The only downside to this beautiful anchorage was the abundance of bugs on the beach. We were attached making our way back to the dinghy one afternoon, and I FREAKED out. I dropped by bag and dove in the water. John and Andrea thought I was crazy and certainly overreacting but…turns out I was the only one to escape the wrath the 1,000 bug bites that remained and apparently itched for almost a week. Sorry guys:(
Andrea departed en route to Tahiti and ultimately the United States, and John and I continued east on the island to Controller Bay. This valley is said to be the place that Melville abandoned ship in the book Typee. It has more rainfall and lush vegetation than Taiohea and once again very few sailboats in the bay.
We spent a long day walking through the town in search of waterfalls, tikis, and archaeological sites. Along the walk to the waterfall, we were caught in a downpour but shortly after a young local couple stopped and gave us a lift the rest of the way.
The next day we walked through town and arrived just as church was letting out. We could hear the sounds of singing voices and the site of women in white dresses exiting the church as we approached.
We stopped at the market for a cold beverage and got directions via broken French and hand signals, to the ancient archeological site Paeke. The sign was a bit difficult to see or understand and we hesitantly walked up a side road that looked like it might be private property. A nice woman appeared in her yard and waved her hand, directing us to continue on. The people in this area are just so damn friendly!
Just as we approached the ancient site we were hit with a large squall. It gave the area a mystical aura. We both meandered around taking it all in and sensing the presence of the ancient people that once lived there.
This was my favorite anchorage on the island, it had great protection from the southern swells, a feeling of remoteness, and a beautiful landscape. We stayed at this anchorage for a week. We took a walk over the hill to the town in the next valley, Hatiheu. This town is accessible by road and has nice infrastructure. Tourists visit this area because of it's well known and well preserved archaeological site. We were lucky enough to run into a French couple, Rose and Demetri, that not only helped us find the site but also interpreted the informational signs for us since they were all in French.
Another day we hiked south along a path to a small farm where we were able to purchase some fresh fruit, and that night we had a meal at a local home for our anniversary dinner.
We spent the rest of our time playing games, swimming, reading books, catching up on laundry, and enjoying the view from the boat!