We went ashore in Taiohea Bay early to get fresh baguettes, top up on fruit and vegetables and email in schoolwork before we did the 25 nm sail to the island of Ua Pou. On rare occasions while we sat in Taiohea bay in quarantine we had seen Ua Pou with its phonolite needle-top mountains in the distance. When we arrived in the bay Mount Oave, which stands at 1, 203 metres, was covered in clouds. The bay is beautiful and besides Mount Oave there are also a dozen or so basalt thumbs that protrude from the ridges. Ua Pou actually featured In a song ‘La Cathédrale’ by Belgian Musician Jacques Brel, who made the Marquesas his home.
On our arrival we were met by Spruce who helped direct us into the anchorage where there were three other boats, all stern tied. We soon had Utopia stern anchored, dinghy down and Andrew, Tristan and I were off for a walk around town (Max and Ava had schoolwork to do). We passed a clothing store and Andrew was able to replace his board shorts that had ripped that morning. There are two supermarkets but the only fresh vegetables were carrots. By the time we returned to the dock Charisma and Distance Star were anchoring, leaving the bay pretty full.
There are actually two hikes on the island; one is to the Crucifix and a longer one, the ‘traversière’, is a trail that starts from the village of Hakahau and joins the village of Hakahetau with great closeup views of the pinnacles. Our plan was to stay only one night as we had a weather window to get to Fatu Hiva, so we opted to do the Crucifix hike.
We met onshore at 4 pm when it had cooled down a bit with the other families. The kids chose to stay on the beach and set up their volleyball net to have a game. The adults, minus Chris who looked after the littles, (as they are often referred to) went on the hike.
The kids setting up up the net for a volleyball game
The Crucifix Hike is a 3 km round trip uphill to a cross; it does afford beautiful views over the pinnacles and the bay. While it is recommended to do the hike early morning, we went late afternoon and the clouds had cleared, giving amazing views of Mount Oave and the other pinnacles.
View as we walked up to the crucifix, pretty isn’t it.
Ashe and Luca relaxing below the cross and tolerating me taking yet another photo.
View over the bay from the crucifix.
The shrine below the crucifix.
We returned to the beach as a volleyball game against the locals was ending. The kids had been slaughtered, and it looked some volleyball skill practice might be needed.
Ua Poa is a great spot for a stop for a couple of days if you want to enjoy some of the hikes, the view or visit the small chocolate factory on a hike to the waterfall from Hakahetau.
Below is a map of the hike to the Crucifix and the ‘traversière’ if you want a copy you can use offline feel free to email me.