July 22nd 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
Hiva Oa, taken from the point near our camp-site

After not at all a bad night’s sleep, especially considering the absence of a sleeping-bag, blanket, or even sheet, we walked down to Dave’s place.  He is homeless + tentless, + consequently living in a workman’s shack near the beach… mice + ants…  + then we walked into town together.  Val + I spent all our remaining money – fortunately we’d changed $30 extra the other day for our own use – on basic provisions (tho’ I must admit we also managed to find money for donuts + peanut butter) so we all sat down outside the bank – the second one, that is – waiting for it to open.  It should have been, but wasn’t.  French money showing itself again, they had a very attractive + modern complex of the 2 banks, a library, post office, airline office, one or two others, all grouped together.  We were able to sit down comfortably around a table, + wait.  Siesta-time arrived without our bank having exhibited any signs of life, so we had lunch – bread + cheese – + wrote letters, + waited.  Then, when things opened up again – they’re not very bureaucratically-minded here, so it wasn’t a simultaneous opening-up of all premises – we noticed that our bank didn’t open this afternoon.  Such being the case, + since we were out of money, we couldn’t see any alternative to trying the bitch in the bank.  So, rather apprehensively, Val went over.  And, after a short wait, was admitted.  And returned, 10 minutes later, clutching money.  It seemed our friend could not possibly have been nicer.  Maybe it’s just yachties she can’t stand.

We returned to camp, + then shot down to the breakwater for a quick swim – beautiful water.  The evening meal was another masterpiece – beans, sausages, bread, topped off with coffee.  And much time sitting around the fire chatting.  Time for bed, said Zebedee.

Ah, the joy and freedom of being on our own! Even our encounter with Polynesian bureaucracy did not seem so painful. And then that joy of travel – sitting around the camp-fire. If we had to be marooned, even for just a few days, it was good to be marooned in paradise.

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