Wednesday, November 2

Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands, on board the Aranui 3

Here's a flashback to 2010 when we sailed aboard the Aranui 3, a combination cargo/passenger ship that carried goods and tourists to the Marquesas Islands.
Back then I edited videos from several of the islands but, as is frequently the case, I didn't get all of them finished. (I have gigabytes worth of unedited video on my hard drives.)
I was reminded of this when I checked out the Aranui 5, the extremely fancy replacement for the Aranui 3. Whatever happened to the Aranui 4? I've got no idea - the 5 was always planned to take over from the 3.
In 2010 we visited Fakarava (not one of the Marquesas), Ua Po, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa and Tahuata as well as Fatu Hiva, Ua Huka and Makemo; the videos from these three islands have been in limbo for many years.
The itinerary of the Aranui 5 now includes Bora Bora. I imagine this is for the benefit of the tourists as I'm sure Bora Bora has no problem with cargo deliveries unlike some of the more remote Marquesas.
We travelled to Fatu Hiva after leaving Hiva Oa - Paul Gauguin's tropical island bolthole.
The island has bleak-looking mountains made all the bleaker by the torrential rain. The valleys were green though, unsurprisingly.
This is the place where the young Thor Heyerdahl and his then-wife went back to nature before the second world war. There they struggled against the climate, mosquitoes and venomous insects, rain, skin disease and local hostility. The book 'Fatu Hiva: Thor Heyerdahl's first Pacific Adventure' describes this in fascinating detail.
It was on Fatu Hiva that Heyerdahl formed the ideas which eventually led to the famous Kon Tiki expedition.