I’m not sure I knew that Daniel’s Bay (aka Hakatea Bay) was the site of Survivor 4 when we decided to check it out. By the end of our 5 days there it seemed to be the theme for everything. So much so that when I organized a little beach bonfire on the last night, I sheepishly touted it as the Survivor Beach Bonfire.
Our stay there was nothing like the reality show though. We spent our first day on the beach, collecting limes and coconuts and generally making ourselves at home on the abandoned shore. The gendarme from Taiohae was there, which we thought was a little weird until we discovered that he was probably investigating the sensational cannibalism case* that has made the news (though thankfully not enough to catch our parents attention) lately.
While we were loading the dinghy up to head home a couple motored up in a small boat and started to fish. I started to communicate (which is mostly smiles and hand gestures) and was invited to take a seemingly invisible trail back to his house. Teiki assured us that it was a road (holding his hands out to signify a road of superhighway proportions) and pointed to the lava rock on the adjacent shore.
Sun wearied though we were, we decided to give it a go and were so glad we did. The trail (which we later found out was cut and maintained by Teiki) was gorgeous and offered some amazing vistas and fruit. When we got to Teiki’s house we were shown their eel garden (a swamp with a giant eel that they were feeding/playing with) and then fed fresh coconuts, bananas and other treats. We shared some of our treats too and were pleasantly surprised when the refused our neon colored jelly bellies.
We headed home with a bounty of tropical fruit with Teiki’s admonishment that “real men carry their bananas in their out-stretched arm, like this,” ringing in my head. When a guy like Teiki tells you what a “real man” does, you kinda have to believe he knows what he’s talking about.
* Check out the local perspective that Carol and Livia on s/v Estrellita picked up