This time we did leave overnight in time to arrive at Ua Pou, the next island of any size up the chain, + immediately start work, unloading the goods. Not that we played any part in this of course – we simply had to get up, grab some breakfast (a cup of coffee + a piece of bread) + wait for the boat to take us ashore. A few people left the boat here, but if anything we lost space rather than gained it, since plenty of people were waiting to move in from the less comfortable quarters arranged on deck, + they weren’t exactly considerate.
In any case, we rode ashore, + went for a walk. At first, we were guided by Angela, a girl we’d met on the boat. She had lived on Ua Pou some years before, + was now searching for her brothers, but she was only 14 now, so she wasn’t a very reliable guide. However, with her help we did find the home of some local craftsmen, where Bernadette bought a basket, + Dave a ukulele. However, once she’d found her young brothers, she was rather preoccupied, so we walked on. A pleasant, tho’ undramatic, stroll. The island is dominated by some wonderful needle- like peaks – they even feature on stamps + bank-notes – but the village is unremarkable. We bought some oranges from one lady, some huge grapefruit from another small farm – where we also had quite a chat, fixed a young lady’s bike chain, bought ice-creams… then just got back to the boat in time for lunch. Tho’ I don’t know why we bothered. The meals are tedious in the extreme, the same for every lunch + dinner – rice with stewed meat. Oh, sometimes there are a few noodles too. Sometimes I can barely touch mine, but Dave is always around + he rarely refuses any extras. We left Ua Pou in the afternoon and arrived at Nuku Hiva by 8 o’clock – I was more or less asleep by this time, but was vaguely aware of street-lights outside – for once we were tied up right next to a dock – + of much movement all around me, but I ignored it all, as best I could.
Barely a chance to see Ua Pou properly, but then I don’t think there was all that much to see. But good to get off the boat for a couple of hours; our nervousness at it sailing off without us prevented a longer look around.