Farewell aux Marquises

It turns out we hadn’t really hadn’t got the full Marquesan flying experience until we landed on Hiva Oa (last resting place of Paul Gauguin). The airport is up on a plateau surrounded by mountains and the runway is, well, I would call it short. You kind of dive down onto it; and taking off you don’t get any of that long slow revving business. The engines roar into life and, whoosh, you’re in the air. Very exciting! Our pictures of the airport (where we waited about a half hour so they could refuel before flying back to Tahiti) seem to have vanished, but here’s one of the bigger (!) airport on Nuku Hiva:

Nuku Hiva Airport

And here is a look at one of the planes:

Air Taihiti

We’ve now made a number of flights in these interisland beauties and I’m actually getting quite used to them. It always gets a little choppy right after they serve the pineapple juice, but the Air Tahiti flight attendants are marvelously adept. One of them managed to balance an entire tray of hot coffee and pineapple juice while extracting Seven’s tray table from the armrest. Extremely impressive.

We are now returning to the heart of French Polynesia: Tahiti, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, and so on. But before we bid adieu to the Marquesas altogether, I thought I should post a few more pictures. I became quite fond of the place in the end, though I’d have to say it’s not for the Intercontinental crowd.

Here’s another look at lovely Anaho from the ridge above:

Anaho Bay

Looking up from down below….

above Anahoe

Ancient stonework at Kamuihei:


And the four of us at Atuona, Hiva Oa (out of focus, but hey, at this point, who cares)…

Four of us at Hiva Oa

Mutiny on the…

Published by


Editor of Harvard Review and author of "Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia" and "Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All."

3 thoughts on “Farewell aux Marquises”

  1. That plane looks like the flagship of Air Scissorhands. The view does seem to make up for it, though.

    1. That bay (Anaho) looks so lovely and peaceful. The bungalows seem so cozy and at home with the scenery. Glad you liked the Marquesas. Thanks for the “virtual” visit! Looking forward to hearing about Tahiti … Gail 🙂

  2. Ahh C – 7 – M & D! You look wonderful!

    C – if only you had another set of hands, you could write more. Trying to make them last, I was reading just one a day – and then, forget it, I re/read them all – and crave more.

    The pictures are fabulous – you all look well and we’re hoping Dani’s finding *anything* to eat – that aren’t of peanut kin… for Matiu’s sake.

    And, I’m busy planning in my head the “They’re BACK!” slideshow and buffet fete (at our place if it’s ok… ; ) And sorry your missing the miserable 100º days here — you are the only one I know who likes those… Stay cool –

    xo – L

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s