Rest, Recovery and Catching Up

We’re getting settled into the Marquesas now and are starting to get back into some semblance of a routine and more normal life.

A view of the anchorage on Nuka Hiva

A view of the anchorage on Nuka Hiva.  Yes, it is that blue here.

The kids haven’t been able to do a lot of school for some time, in Will’s case some of his courses he hasn’t been able to spend more than a couple of days on since we left Panama as they require internet access which has been in short supply.  We bought the bullet here and ponied up for some boat Wifi that is available through much of French Polynesia so the kids should be able to keep up with school.  You can imagine their excitement.

Gratuitous Boobies

Gratuitous Boobies

I owe all of you a few blog posts from the Galápagos still.  Isla Isabela was our favorite of the three islands we visited there, but there was bupkes for internet unless you went into a little shop on land and rented a booth or ate at a restaurant. Several unique species of animals are there as well as fascinating landscapes, volcanoes and other things.  In the spirit of modern media, I’ve posted some gratuitous boobies to whet your appetite and keep you interested until I get around to write the several blog posts it will take to cover this stunning location.

The last couple of days have been really low-key.  Officialdom in French Polynesia apparently does not do weekends, as we were unable to clear in to the country when we arrived on Saturday.  On Monday morning I went to shore and visited our agent and we walked up to visit the Gendarmes with him and our friends from Anthem who arrived the same day we did.  Clearing in was surprisingly easy given all the hoops we had to jump though to get a long stay visa.   I should have remember though, we are technically clearing into France.  This is the same country we cleared into in the back of a gift shop in Guadeloupe.

Speaking of French

It is kind of nice to be back in “France” again.  As a confirmed Francophil I am happy to be back.  So far though, this IS French Polynesia, and you can feel hybrid cultures.  You can get your steak frites avec sauce roquefort at a local restaurant, but of course one of the choices of sides is breadfruit croquettes.

The combination of French Culture with Island Time in the Pacific takes some getting used to.  Most things close for lunch – the post office, the banks, some stores.  Inexplicably all the ATM’s stopped working at lunch time too which seems like the only time they really should be working since the banks are closed.  And the bank views “Ouvert 1:30 – 3:30” as more of a suggestion than a rule, when we were waiting for cash they managed to get the bank reopened before 1:50 which wasn’t too bad apparently.  That is “bank”, singular – there is one.  Though the Post Office has an ATM it seems to close for lunch too.

And it is actually nice to be not quite so disoriented as I was in Panama with my complete lack of Spanish skills.  By the time we left Panama I was able to get around pretty well though – give instructions to taxis drivers, ask for help in a store, even have a light conversation about where we were from and what we were doing.  I didn’t feel nearly as hampered by the time we got to the Galápagos, I felt almost functional.

DSCN0796

The occluded by clouds sun is about to dip behind the mountains for the night.

But French I actually studied in middle school, high school and college.  And I worked for a French bank and took more lessons there.  I’m not up for reading Voltaire in the original French or anything but I can ask questions of a local like “Are there any other banks in town?” or “Where can one buy baguettes then?” after a discussion about how the last boulangerie in town had closed.  All without stuttering, sputtering, reaching for words, mixing in English and playing charades.

Now all I have to do is forget all the Spanish I learned, because THAT is mixing me up and I am now mangling Spanish into my French.  Which is not pretty.

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4 Comments

  1. Constance Porter says:

    Finding Nuka Hiva on an ordinary map is a real challenge. Any hints are appreciated. Enjoyed your comments, of course.

  2. Jim says:

    First off…..Nice Boobies!!!!!
    Are they man boobies???

    Secondly…Ahhh the old you got Spanish in my French like peanut butter in my chocolate mix up. Keep trying that out you might invent Reese’s Peanut Butter French Cups. Haaaa.

    More Boobies please.

  3. B.J. says:

    Try here:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@-8.9145354,-140.3832818,8z

    Or here:

    08° 55″S
    140° 05″W

    If you look about 2,000 SSE of Hawaii there is a small cluster of islands, those are the Marquesas. Nuka Hiva is one of the larger ones and one of the most North and West in the archipelago.

    Also a line draw from around Mexico City to New Zealand sort of almost goes over the Marquesas.

  4. B.J. says:

    Jim,

    On the Blue Footed Boobies the females tend to have brighter blue feet, especially during mating seasons.

    I will leave it up to you to figure out how that applies.

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