Morning dawned and time for some proper exploration.
We pulled out our handy “South Pacific Handbook” (David Stanley, Moon Publications, Email email@example.com ) and set about
planning the day. First stop, Paul Gauguin’s grave.
The French painter who came to French Polynesia in the early 1900’s is buried on a hill overlooking Traitor’s Bay. Seems he came to paint and raise a little hell. He took a 14 year old mistress (common in the early 1900’s in French Polynesia) and had the local gendarmes all a flutter. Known for great house parties, the locals say… The cemetery also has another semi-famous plot, Jacques Brel. Brel was a songwriter that sailed to Hiva Oa and never left.
While we were provisioning in the small town, we met Noel.
Noel was a large Marquesan with many, many tattoos. I quickly asked him how much for a tattoo and what styles he could create. So, in a nutshell, after a quarter bottle of tequila and 4 beers, I now have a bevy of Marquesan tattoo art gracing my right ankle. Alex got in on the act and got a small fishbone on his right ankle. Bill was hiding and couldn’t be found during all the activity. Sergei flat out decided that the art form was not to his liking. But, he did decide to film the whole debacle.
A couple of days later we rent a car and decide to go exploring the interior of the island. Now, roads would be too much of an
honor to bestow on the shamble that we encountered.
We have a Suzuki Samuri and nothing can shield our bums from the bone jarring blender that is to come. As we are careening off small boulders pointing out local flora, Alex makes an interesting statement. It went something like this; Jeff – “Look, there’s a banana tree”, Sergei – “I see a mango tree, let’s stop”, Alex – “I see some Kittens”… Kittens??? We stop the car and on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, someone had abandoned 3 small kittens. Of course, the trusty and big-hearted OOB crew came to the rescue. We bundled our small charges up into a box and took them back to the boat.