If only we could upload photos from Sail Mail… Today Donald and I took the Gendarmes recommendation and headed to the lookout between Mt. Hiro and Mt. Mouatapu. The directions went something like this: take the main road (there’s only one that goes around the island) down to the town of Anatonu (approx. four miles), where the road turns from paved to unpaved go to the house on the right and ask if you can walk through their back yard and head up the hill to the lookout, all of this done in very butchered French. Having come from New Zealand where there are the most well marked trails, it feels funny to walk through someone’s backyard and head up a hill where you are trying to keep focused so you don’t loose sight of the minimal trail you may or may not be on. Once you do find your way to the top it really is extraordinary. You can see both sides of the lagoon and surrounding motus, it’s beautiful. The aerial view also helped us map out a path through the lagoon to get to the motus in the boat.
After all of this we still had to bushwhack our way back down the mountain, then walk another four miles back to the anchorage in Rairua. All of this was done on fairly empty stomaches because we missed our opportunity to get baguettes from the boulangere. We had asked about a boulangerie at the post office and we’re told that Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday the boulangere drives around the island about 7 a.m. delivering baked goods to people waiting on the side of the road. We were there at 7 a.m. waiting to purchase baguettes but when we spoke to her we were told that she had no more, every thing was pre ordered and spoken for. We should have known better, you always have to order ahead for baguettes.
We will upload photos once we have internet.