Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Nuku Hiva French Polynesia

After a day at sea we reached our last stop, Nuku Hiva. Although Nuku Hiva is a large island, the second largest French Polynesian island, it is lightly populated with less than 3,000 inhabitants. It doesn't seem to have the same coral reef surrounding it as the other islands we'd visited. As a result, there aren't white sand beaches like on the other islands and no places to snorkel near the shore.

The sun rises early here, but luckily I was up to catch this sunrise shot.

Holland America only offered one excursion for this stop, Taipivai Valley Scenic Drive. The tour consisted of private vehicles, each carrying about 4 people, driving in a caravan to various parts of the island. At each stop a single English speaking guide would describe the stop. The driver herself didn't speak English and few people on the island seemed to speak English

Our first stop on the island was at Notre Dame Cathedral.

Our next stop was at the Mouake Viewpoint which provided a beautiful view of Taiohae Bay where our ship was anchored.

Next we stopped at an unnamed viewpoint which gave us a view of Comptroller Bay.

Our next stop was at a cultural center where they had a number of tiki statues.

Although the island isn't surrounded by coral reefs, they had to show us at least one decent looking beach during the tour. I think it might be one of the few white sand beaches on the island.

After the cruise there wasn't a lot to do in town - it wasn't really much of a town. There was a small beach near where the tender docked. But most people were going to the small craft store and restaurant near the tender dock.

After the tour Elizabeth looked in the craft store for a refrigerator magnet while I had a local beer at the cafe next door. The line for the tender back to the ship was very long, in part because due to low tide they were putting only 60 people onboard each tender boat instead of the usual 95. There was some medical emergency onshore, though I'm not sure what it was or how serious it was. On the way to shore the cruise director Kimberly had mentioned that some people had suffered heat exhaustion on a prior stop. Not too surprising considering that the temperature has been in the 80's and 90's with the high humidity making it seem even warmer. When we returned to the ship the Captain himself was waiting for the tender boat asking if anyone aboard our tender had a medical emergency. There was one lady who had seemed to have some problem, maybe fainting, while waiting in line.

Click this link or one of the pictures above to see more pictures in the Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia photo album.

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