This place is magical! The entrance to the bay is through a narrow pass alongside steep cliffs. Once you're inside, the anchorage is calm and protected from the wind and the waves.
From the nearby beach, we took a 5 hour hike along an old road with ancient homesites to a gorgeous waterfall. Upon entrance to the main section of the trail, we were asked to pay a $10 fee and if we would like to have a meal prepared for us upon our return. We had heard great reviews about the meals and gladly agreed. We didn’t regret it. This was the best and most beautifully prepared meal that we had the entire time we were in this archipelago. Thank you to Kua and Teiki!
John caught a bit of surf at the small break, and Andrea and I had a nice snorkel with a manta ray. Mostly we just enjoyed the peace, quiet, and beauty. At most, we had 2 other boats in the bay with us. Astonishing, given its only 3 miles away from Taiohea, where an average of 40 boats are anchored everyday. Alan from S/V Goblin made a comment, “If there’s internet in a bay, it will be full of boats, and if there isn’t, you’ll have it to yourself."
The only downside to this beautiful anchorage was the abundance of bugs on the beach. We were attacked, making our way back to the dinghy one afternoon, and I FREAKED out. I dropped my bag and dove in the water. John and Andrea thought I was overreacting, but…turns out, I was the only one that escaped the wrath of the 1,000 bug bites. They both had noticeable bites and itching 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 felt very remote.
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. Shortly after a young local couple stopped and gave us a lift the rest of the way in the back of their pick-up.
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 sight of women in white dresses exiting the church as we approached. We stopped at the market for a cold beverage and asked for directions to the ancient archeological site Paeke. The sign was a bit difficult to see, 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 massive squall. It gave the area a mystical aura. We both meandered around, taking it all in. It was as if you could sense the presence of the ancient people that once lived there.
This was my favorite anchorage on the island, it had excellent 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 a 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, while we were there. They not only helped us find the site but also interpreted the French informational signs.
Another day we hiked to a small farm where we were able to purchase some fresh fruit, and that night, we celebrated our anniversary by enjoying a meal at a local home.
We spent the rest of our time playing games, swimming, reading books, catching up on laundry, and enjoying the view from the boat!