Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cascade Tevaipo

We lifted anchor from Taiohae Bay on Nuku Hiva (Marquesas) at 12:15 on June 15th for a 1.5 hour motored voyage to Hakatea Bay (S08°56.594' W140°09.847'), also known as Daniel's Bay, and also on Nuku Hiva Island. This is the location of the Tevaipo Waterfall, the 3rd tallest in the world at 350 metres.

On June 17th, with Bruce and Jeannie of SV Jabula, we hiked the long trail - depending on one's hiking ability, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. The forested trail varied with rocky areas, a lot of gnarly trees, a few muddy areas from the evening's rain, about 3 creeks to cross - some knee-deep - and a narrow path through a lush green field of groundcover.

Judy and Jordan traipsing through creek

Along the way, we travelled at times on footpaths built up by the ancient inhabitants of this valley as well as passing by remains of their long abandoned village.

Upon arrival at the falls, it was not what we had been envisioning. We had seen several pamphlets and postcards showing the entire 350-metre stretch of the waterfall surrounded by verdant green cliffs - perhaps aerial photos.

However, at the end of our hike, only the bottom of the waterfall as it fell from its upper hidden cliffs could be seen from where we stood. We ate our picnic lunch and then got into the cool pool of water where we swam to make our way in behind the large boulders.

Jordan at lower left checking to see what is behind boulders

But the view behind these boulders was quite stunning and breathtaking. We all gasped as it came into our sight - the tall black indentation of the cavern wall, the jutting peaks behind us, and the glistening lower portion of the waterfall cascading into the pool depths. After admiring the scene, we swam right under the falls and revelled in the outward spray and downrush of water.

But it was getting late...time to hike back to our respective boats after a great day.

Jordan and Bruce of SV Jabula

At the end of our hike, we met up with a local man who offered to remove the outside husk of the coconuts we had collected by thrusting them against a sharp rod sticking out of the ground. He was adorned with several of the traditional Polynesian tattoos.

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