Exploring the town of Taioha’e
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 to reach this town with its population of ~1,800.
This statue stands on a hill by the harbour overlooking the town. It has been somewhat controversial, as it was not created by a local person, but you certainly cannot miss it!
Most people that we met in the Marquesas had a variety of plants growing in their yards. Anything from vanilla, to ginger, mango, or any number of flowering shrubs gave each road its own abundance and aroma.
One mystery I have yet to solve about French Polynesia, including the Marquesas, is the popularity of chow mein. Most restaurants serve several different types. It’s always made fresh, always a huge helping, and often very salty.
We ate our fair share here.
Like any community, Taioha’e is full of details and interesting stories. This mural was painted by the Israeli born artist Avi Kiriaty who has spent most of his life in Polynesia, particularly Hawai’i where he still lives.
This little chapel is no longer used (we had to climb in the window), but its painting of a Polynesian Jesus with fairy terns must be one of a kind.
And I’ll leave you with this portrait of a rooster, because they are a main instrument in Taioha’e’s 24/7 soundtrack. Eric shooed many of them away from Matt’s video camera and microphones.