(Bay of Virgins, Hanavave, Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia)
Insider tip for finding the waterfall – go with people who have been to the waterfall before.
This is what we did this afternoon. After, of course, Gregory and Henrik dinghied back from their morning trip to the surf break. They came back with not so many stories of waves caught and a whole lot of talk about its scary, pinching, intimidating, rock strewn, danger zone.
The walk to the waterfall was worth the trip itself. Turns out we should have gone right when we unknowingly went left, but that’s old news now. We ambled through the village’s concrete roads, out past the barking dogs on a wide dirt path, over a hibiscus lined grass trail, and into the cool cover of the dark mature forest.
Here we followed the inuksuk marked trail winding up through mango pit strewn paths and rocky outcroppings. When the trail abruptly gave way to a staggering view of the waterfall it was absolutely breathtaking. I mean, we’ve seen a couple of waterfalls during our travels, but this one takes the cake. The entire cake. From the base its glimmering rock wall shoots up into the sky to soaring heights. The ravine like pool formed at the bottom made for a great fresh water dip, and no doubt something for Gregory to jump in to.
We had been there for a while when a group of locals showed up to really show us how an afternoon at the waterfall is done. They came bearing boombox beats, fresh fruit they happily shared with us, and a far better understanding of the cliff jumping spots. One local climbed up to a perch we’d previously overlooked for good reason. It was up the mossy, slippery rock and at a height beyond what one assumed was safe. Not to be left out, Gregory was scrambling up to this lofty platform seconds after the local hit the water.
To round out a wonderful day, we invited all our new Norwegian friends -the crew from Doris (Henrik, Marius, Christian, and Lena) and the crew from Fraya (Oyvind and Tina) – along with Roger and Sasha, over to Oceanna for a fabulous potluck and general good time.