August 10, 2010

wallis island

wallis is one of the islands of the french territory called wallis and futuna. the territory includes three main islands: wallis (the most populous), the island of futuna, and the island of alofi which is uninhabited reportedly because all of its people were eaten by the cannibals from the other two islands...

wallis is a big island inside a lagoon with several smaller islands in the outer reefs. the pass into the lagoon was complicated. we approached the entrance in the morning with over 25 knots of wind. we tried to enter but felt the strong current pushing us out, the rip tides and the big waves breaking in either side of the reef. we were afraid to be dragged by the strong current and finish on top of the scary rocks, so we decided to sail back out to the ocean and wait a few hours until low tide and the slack before trying to go in again. this second attempt was easier and we were able to go negotiate the pass with no problems at all.

once in, we discovered a paradise which is hardly visited by anyone. as opposed to the french polynesia this is not a common sailing or otherwise tourist destination; there were only three sailboats anchored of the village, us included of course. maybe this is why the locals are extra kind to the occasional visitor that stops by. here there are no buses but there is hardly any trouble getting around hitchhiking. all doors to every house are open, cars are left with open windows and keys inside. everyone pretty much knew everyone else, I have a strong feeling that they were even related. after the second day esteban started to recognize the people! a quiet place, not crowded at all with great views and beaches and islands to explore…. not a bad spot at all ah?!

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