The days start early and end early. At 6.30 am, right after sunrise, even the best sleeper wakes up. Why? Beause in the evening you’re so tired from sun, wind and water that you hardly survive to stay awake through the dinner just after sunset. When the dishes are done, around 7.30pm, you ask yourself: what can I do now to stay awake….People on the island seem to be the same. Life starts and ends early. In the morning, as of 7am, the run to the bakery, better to say to the baker (“le boulange, c’est lui” is how I found out where I could get fresh bread), starts. What can you get there? Baguette, only baguette – but a good one.
After breakfast I usually go to land to discover more of the island. What did I find? Green, lots of green. Besides the redwood trees I see the biggest (mostly highest) trees of all different kinds I have ever seen. They seem to constantly grow, nothing keeps them from doing so. The island behind the town looks more like a jungle.
There are several paths to cross from this side to the other, but I think only tourists use these once in a while. There is so much green you hardly find the paths. The islanders don’t walk. They all have mopeds or cars. But not just cars, the biggest, mostly modern Pick-ups.
I don’t understand why they need them for an island of about 12km length with probably about 25km streets in total. A bike would be more than enough. Or a horse. But now, they all need cars. Looking for a gas station? No, not here. People all privately order 200l barrels of gas/diesel in Tahiti. A cargo ship, which comes here every two weeks, brings the barrels plus anything else the people might have ordered and some vegetables for the people to buy. They could grow everything here, but they don’t (they did grow vegetables here in the 70s, but not since). They grow only fruits and most of these get rotten if not sailors like me come by and ask for permission to pick up some of those fruits. Do they let you pay for these? No, they’re happy someone is interested. They all asked me to come back anytime to get more. Today I went “shopping” at Gaston’s again – and at the place of the lady where I have the best source of pomelo. Now I’ve got enough papaya, banana, pomelo, coco, lemons and some other fruit to survive the next couple of days.
Today Marcus walked with me along the southern part of the island a little bit. We passed by the little graveyard, where the last king of Mangareva, who died on 20.6.1857, has his grave.
We ended up walking through a beautiful, enchanted (verwunschen) forest with an interesting mix of trees.
We’ll leave the island of Mangareva tomorrow and hang around some of the beautiful other islands here in the atoll of Iles de Gambier. On Saturday we come back here to get Pizza at night and for me to be able to go to church Sunday morning for the service. It’s supposed to be gorgeous – especially the singing. People dress up and everybody meets at church.
Then we wait for Sebastian to arrive on Tuesday. Gyuri left by plane today, but had been on land in a hotel the last week because it’s more comfortable to be at land without depending on someone to drive him to land with the Dinghy and to pick him up. We had a nice good-bye dinner yesterday.
In the following picture: Marcus' construction for re-filling gas from one bottle to the other.
Fruits for Micha: