Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

First off, this is late because my wireless network connection was down. I waited a day as I figured we were in a “no receive area”. This morning I went to Mike Smith, Mariner’s computer expert who came up and took a look at my laptop. Oops, someone had moved the computer and the wireless switch on the side. One click and wireless was back.

At Nuku Hiva,

I solved the mystery of the half hour time change. In a private conversation with a guide,

he said, with a touch of pride, “We used to be cannibals.”

The feuding tribes finally came together under a King. My guess is the King, was the first to dinner as he had reset his rooster. The other courtesans, getting tired of elbows and knees, did the same. Thus the half hour time change came into common practice. You can look it up in hyperbolepedia.

The population of Nuku Hiva is only 2,600, and many of them play locally made Ukuleles. These ukuleles are the most attractive I’ve seen and I love that people just sit and sing and play.

We were met at the tender dock by a line of private 4 wheel drive trucks and SUV’s. Each loaded passengers and took them to the Marquesas’ Sacred Marae,

which was restored in 2000. There we saw a mini version of the Marquesas’ Festival of Arts which is held every four years.

The male dancers were very forceful

and circled the women who responded to the loud male chant.

No one explained to us what was happening, but we figured it was a dance that mimicked the capture of an enemy tribe’s women.

An underground oven dug for the feast

produced piglets.

Those I skipped, but I ate more than my share of the breadfruit with coconut milk. The breadfruit was kneaded like, well, bread dough, in the coconut milk

and then placed on a tray.

I wish we could get breadfruit in the States.

Once you have it fried, you’ll want it for every breakfast. Actually one could live on breadfruit alone as it provides so many nutrients.

We had been warned to use mosquito repellent. Although it was well after sunrise, and I know mosquitoes don’t do brunch, I remembered Alaska where we were actually swarmed at midday.

Repellent on and tube in my pocket I figure we were covered. Oh we were, and so was the plastic ID that serves as an ID and key to our suite.

The repellent had leaked, but I rubbed as much of the oily substance off as possible. About 80% came off along with 100% of my name and cabin #. Fortunately, the card beeped in the security computer, but I got a reprimand from the security officer. Once cleared to board, I immediately went to the Reception Desk, and told the woman that I had a major problem.

I handed her my card and said, “I have no idea who I am.”

Later in the evening, we attended a private party with members of the website www.cruisecritic.com. Former Mariner cruisers along with first timers we asked, thought the food was not up to expectations, particularly that at La Veranda.

Lunch today at La Veranda Grill, however, was an exception. Tex-Mex! Funny here we are surrounded by lobster and foie gras, and it was refried beans that took the cake. (I can’t believe I used that idiom.)

We again dined at Signatures, and then watched a movie and I realized in the middle of the action that we had seen it. The eternal question, keep watching or go back to continual repeats of Fox news. DVD’s rule.

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