Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Big beautiful day

The two Phils collected me and we started up the endless winding and zig zag roads that was typical all day wherever we went. Sometimes concrete slabs, sometimes bitumen tarmac, plus always the body and muscle stretching would be bone breaking rocky roads. But what vistas. Ooh la la. So much and I can no longer remember it all. When I get to a map, I will be able to fathom the detail of our route. Probably the most interesting and exciting location was the town/valley of Taipaivai. This was the valley which inspired Herman Melville's great novel, Typee. Climbing to the top of something like Moaeki was breathtaking. We could see two oceans on either side of the island. We could look down TaiOHae valley. We could look across towards Toovai and its acres of pine trees, and cows and landscape which reminded me of Cygnet. We could see mountain ridges in all directions,and much more.  I think I was in overload by then, and didn't take a photo, took so many today and hope they will prod my memory. Petroglyphs and extensive pre European settlements and I mean covering huge tracts of land.  Have to be seen to believed. Vegetation, albeit containing similar trees to previous islands, still seemed to be different and more exotic and richer and denser. Perhaps the extreme landscape structure was the cause for things to look so new. That is the simple story of 9hrs travel. Oh yes ... and the food at Yvonnes. Exceptional. We each had a heaped plate plus there was a centre plate to share. In the centre was poisson en cru (I will be preparing this fish dish come summer), plus more of some items on our own plates. On my plate I had some yummy deep fried breadfruit balls, some breadcrumbed dark fish, some grilled white flesh fish, some taro, and what Philip called lobster  - in my opinion was nothing like. It had a small prawn like tail sticking out from what was a good battered small crustation. Each battered piece was no more than the size of a piece of my thumb. There were other foods on the plate but I have forgotten. Young Phil photographed his plate and I should have been smarter. The place was airy and opposite the beach with the gentle waves edging in and out quietly. Other tourists arrived and I realise in 36hrs I wont be saying bonjour, bonsoir, bonnuit and merci, and much more etc again for a long time. Although I will seek out Penny Dyer when I get back to work. She recently spent a while in Paris brushing up on her french language skills and maybe she would like some conversation. This could well be my last chance to blog before I get home. Will be glad to download the photos and make some sort of sense of what I have been doing, and to wind this story up so I can move onto the next one. Think there will need to be a Polynesian party in the coming months in memory of these gardens of eden and the beautiful paradise which is the Marquesas.

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