The waterfall wasn’t in full flow but was still an impressive site. On the way back I ate with one of the locals who prepared food for a small boat with a few adventurous tourist who made the journey over from the main village. After days on the water and living simple, it was a great meal with green mango and guava salad, fried breadfruit and meat with fresh coconut water. A feast. The next day my journey was coming to an end. I just had to battle the six miles against the 20-30 knots of head winds to get to the main village of Taiohae. That took a lot longer than expected, especially because I had to turn back as I left my boom on the beach, which I only realized when I wanted to start windsurfing the last few miles. Another small disaster happened when a man-a-war jellyfish got into my surf shorts and started stinging my bud.
Fighting the wind for many hours, I finally came in at 3 pm just in time to arrange a car for the next morning to bring me to the other side of the island where the airport is. Alexandre, owner of the valley where I just came from, also owns a house in Taiohae, the main village on Nuku Hiva. He offered me place to sleep so I could pack my gear up to get ready for the flight the next day. Again I happily accepted the true kindness of the Marquesian people. This is a big part of what I took away from this expedition. While I sat in the two-propeller plane back to Tahiti I had time to reflect. Yes, even one of the most remote places in the world has changed a little, more modern with cell phones and French bread, but what hadn’t changed were the people. It was good to see that you don’t need much to be happy; that the people around you and the place you live in makes you happy. Here people help and have a lot of time for each other. The last two weeks flew by, the Marquesas and especially its people made a deep impression on me.