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Fatu Hiva : The Island of Lights

©SOP Manu © P. Bacchet© Thomas Ghestemme© P. Bacchet© P. Bacchet

Going to Fatu Hiva results in an encounter with some of the most beautiful of lights in the world. The evening’s last light sits on the foothills of Hanavave Bay, formerly known as La Baie des Verges (The Bay of Penises), which the missionaries renamed La Baie des Vierges (The Bay of Virgins). The setting sun transforms the black basaltic rocks which slide into the calm waters of the bay into striking masses of orange, green and black hues. As the light falls, a star of fire sprinkles gold dust over coconut trees suspended from cliffs and over the immense tikis that the sea and wind carved out of the mountain. There are many wonders in the world, but rarely does one see something as magnificent as the spectacle in La Baies des Vierges at nightfall.

In this most remote and southernmost island in the Marquesas, the smiles of the inhabitants also warm the heart. Children play in the village streets while adults play music under the shade of the trees. The most ancient traditions are still preserved in Hanavave. Tapa is still made in the traditional way, and so are umuhei (or kumuhei in the Northern Marquesas), aphrodisiac head wreaths that blend aromas of pineapples, ylang ylang, mint leaves, vaho vaho flowers, sandlewood powder, miri (basil) and mou’u roots. The women entwine this love potion into their long hair and when they pass by, sweet scents float through the air…

Fatu Hiva : The Island of Lights
Fatu Hiva : The Island of Lights
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welcome Tahiti
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