I saw the Marquesas for the first time from the deck of a ship. The hillsides, captured above by photographer Eric Guth, foretold the natural beauty we would experience in this archipelago.
One of our first stops, from that ship, was in Hatihe’u, where a group of local performers welcomed us at one of their ancient sites (below).
From there, we visited communities throughout the islands, until we reached the end point of our voyage, several weeks later, in the community of Hapatoni (below).
The above photo is from the first time we left Hapatoni. We were still aboard the National Geographic Orion on that day, and we had only spent a few hours with the people who would become friends over the coming weeks. The first send off, after just a few hours, was joyful.
When we left the second time, after a longer visit, I carried many flowers, necklaces, and memories with me. We left by sea, this time aboard a local ship called the Aranui which transports both people and supplies. When I got on board, adorned with the gifts I had been given, the other guests asked me if I was going to be the entertainment that night!
Travel is a constant cycle of arrivals and departures, and during this journey both were equally memorable.