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Tour de l’ile: Nuku Hiva

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The planning was pretty simple: a conversation between me, Eric, and our local contacts Debora and Kimi. We had a map, a mango, a dog, and a mission. Nuku Hiva has some spectacular hiking trails, and Kimi would take us to them.   Kimi is a life-of-the-party kind of guy, with a zany photo collection, […]

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Exploring the town of Taioha’e

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The landscape of this island, Nuku Hiva, is so extreme it can be hard to find flat ground. That’s why the airport is on the opposite shore from the main town, Taioha’e: there’s only one runway compatible patch of ground. After landing in a small plane, you drive an hour through stunning hills and valleys […]

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Getting to know Koueva

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Smoke from burning leaves lifted into the morning sky. Two custodians had arrived before us, though it was still early, to continue the endless work of carving this site out from the surrounding forest. Debora Kimitete explained that the name of this site, Koueva, refers to dancing that begins in the evening and goes right […]

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The woman who opened the door

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Debora Kimitete showed us how to slam the car door correctly, so it wouldn’t fly open again. We would spend the day in her Land Rover that has had more adventures than I could ever hope for.   The streets of Taiohae are full of memories for Debora, but an important place to begin was […]

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Crossing Nuku Hiva to reach the beginning

Flying over Nuku Hiva

The views from the air were beautiful. When we came here by ship, just over a week ago, it took a day and a half to reach the Marquesas, the most distant archipelago in French Polynesia. Now we would return to the largest island, Nuku Hiva, in a matter of hours.   Before traveling here, […]

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Storytelling at Marae Arahurahu

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Guests streamed up the dirt road and wound through trees and flowers to the site of the performance. The bleachers were almost full when we arrived. Dancers and musicians rushed through their final preparations, and then the scene was set. If this place had a roof, they were about to blow it off.   This […]

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The Heiva festival launches our journey

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The Heiva i Tahiti runs for weeks. It is the largest, splashiest cultural festival in French Polynesia, and people come from all over the archipelagos to attend. It covers sport, handicrafts, and other cultural events, but the big nights are reserved for song and dance. The troupes are huge and they can perform here on […]

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Nuku Hiva overview

Overlooking Nuku Hiva, very green with small road below

An overview of somewhere new. Getting ready to explore Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia. Do you see the road down there?

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Harsh paradise

Takume atoll with palms in background, but you can see underwater

Many outsiders think of these islands, the coral atolls of French Polynesia, as paradise, but there is no escaping the harsh conditions here. Although I LOVE to swim, I have never really explored the underwater world. Here, it was more than beauty that called to me from below the surface, it was a curiousity about […]

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Marquesas arrival

almost black and white shot of Marquesan cliffs and palms

Welcome to the Marquesas! I hope these islands will blow your mind the way they are blowing mine. It’s just too much to start with colour, so I’m easing you in with an almost black & white. We are way out in the South Pacific, on the edge of French Polynesia. Kaoha! Bonjour! A place […]

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