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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

Nuku Hiva, Marquessa Islands

FRENCH POLYNESIA | Monday, 29 April 2019 | Views [25]

Maasdam in Nuku Hiva

Maasdam in Nuku Hiva

NUKU HIVA WAS A DELIGHTFUL RESPITE AFTER 36 HOURS at sea.  No wave-swept atoll this, Nuku Hiva is an honest-to-betsey island with volcanic cliffs falling to the sea, mile-high peaks and sheltered coves.  The people were welcoming without being predatory — so much so that Connie — yes, my Connie — negotiated with Elissa to take us around the island with as many birding stops as we wanted.  She even talked Canadians Owen and Pat into sharing the ride in Elissa’s brand-new 4-door Ford Ranger.

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     Volcanic cliffs                               Church

Our original itinerary had Maasdam spending two days in the Marquessas.  I think we were supposed to be on Hapatoni today and here on Nuku Hiva tomorrow.  No explanations were given as to why we skipped Hapatoni but I’m sure the natives were displeased.

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   Ancient Statue                                Not so ancient statue

Our island tour was pretty much the same as the ship’s excursion except for the group size and the price.  Elissa pointed out various sights, named the trees and even helped spot birds as she twisted and turned the truck around the mountain switchbacks.  We stopped at spectacular viewpoints and historic sites from the early inhabitants.  Eventually we circled the island back to harbor.  

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    Marquessan Imperial Pigeon

On this our final day ashore, Connie added a Marquessan imperial pigeon — “upe” to the locals — a white-capped fruit dove, Marquessan swiftlet and a northern Marquessan reed warbler to her list.

 

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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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