Road Tour Hiva Oa

We took a road tour of Hiva Oa with our multi-talented guide, Pifa O’Connor.

The first stop was the grave of Paul Gauguin. Jacques Brel, the French singer is also buried there. Both lived on the island, although not at the same time.



Cemetery above Atuona


Monument to Jacques Brel.


Stunning views from the the cemetery above town


The geography is so steep and rugged that most of the island is uninhabitable. People live in the valleys close to the ocean.


Baie Hanatekuua on the north shore of Hiva Oa, with Baie Hanaiapa in the background. We stopped there in Velic later on.


We stopped at a small store for cold drinks and snacks along the way. It becomes part of the tour and spreads the wealth around just a bit.


Happy tourists with cold drinks: Ruth, our guide Pifa, with Lindsey and Tim who sailed their Cascade 36′ Sababa over from Mexico.


Onions from the Pacific Northwest!

A key destination was the ceremonial tiki site near the village of Paumau.  P1030577_edited-1 Hint: Click on a picture to enter the slide show in larger sizes.

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Beach time after a fabulous Marquesan lunch


The beach was in a small public park with a community building. Like all community centers here, it is open air. Park techs were preparing for a festival that evening. They gave us fresh coconuts to drink.


It was hot mid afternoon. This dog just lay down in the sand and let the surf cool him. The epitome of one cool dude.


All beach parks, and most quays, include a shower of some sort. This design is popular: Simply a pipe strung across two concrete posts, with numerous holes drilled into the pipe. A ball valve turns the water on and off. Everybody that gets in the ocean rinses off here.


A local outrigger canoe for fishing and general hauling stuff about. Deep V hull shape, a single ama (outrigger), and very high aka (outrigger beam) all speak to launching and working in surf.


On the way back we stopped roadside for fruit: Tim and Randy got to cut their own bananas. Pifa took care to gather fruits only along the frontage of his family property.



2 thoughts on “Road Tour Hiva Oa

  1. Great photos. We saw Gauguin’s Polynesian art at the Seattle Art Museum last year. it’s fun to follow your adventures. If you have access to email, send us a message; we’d love to connect. J & J


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