13 May 2010 | Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas
Anthem at Anthem
Atuona is more developed than anticipated, almost European in feel, with a few paved roads and numerous cars. Hiva Oa is, however, a huge disappointment. Scenery is merely spectacular instead of breathtakingly stunning. It had to happen eventually. One must make do.
Three kilometer walk into town was not toilsome at 0700 and offered a scenic view of anchorage. Lovely as was going, hitched a ride back on purpose. Caribbean customs and immigration offices are often disobligingly hidden, but finding gendarmerie here, where one can clear into all of French Polynesia, is not too difficult if one follows a few basic clues. Large 'Gendarmerie' sign on main roadway can be somewhat helpful. The lone official requested completion of a simple form (which was returned for mailing to Tahiti at nearby poste) at which he didn't look, nor at zarpe from Galapagos, didn't ask for bond, stamped passport and took up, perhaps, 10 minutes of the valuable time that would otherwise have been spent serving all mankind. Au revoir. Total cost about $.77. I love the French, even discounting le croissant et le baguette.
In the bird segment, today, we will recognize the distinctive whippoorwill, which have made their way here, possibly for the subsidized pastry. Also, while chicken on the hoof are generally not a favorite, roosters in Marquesas have brilliant plumage and are beautiful. However, at risk of hurt feelings or damaged psyches, regrettably, they are still rather stupid.