Blog 11 – Ngā Pū Toru – Tāua e Moana Voyage

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A couple of our crew have been exploring around Mangaia before the Vaka arrives (today). Tangi ke, Tangi ke, Kia orana kotou! Bernadette and Helene here from CIVS in Mangaia.

The sun is out here and the wind is howling in the beautiful enua of Mangaia we’ve been Koka around the island twice and it’s just mind blowing.

From its rigid makatea coastline full of goats and piggies to the inland beauty of green forest, taro and pineapple plantations and makatea cliffs and caves (which we hoping to explore today). Being able to visit Mangaia has been an amazing opportunity for me personally, as my great grandfather was from the village of Ivirua, so it’s given me a chance to connect to the island and hopefully find some of my anau.

Life here in Mangaia seems so simple and somewhat unspoiled (apart from invasive trees that has played a huge part in destroying plantations). The locals are very friendly and welcoming. Many have their plantations inland in the swamps and also vege gardens near the villages. Some plantations in the swamps have huts next to them, so people stay in them while looking after that plantation.

Mangaia was well known for exporting fruit and veges in the 60s and 70s and was flourishing but due to population decline and invasive trees, exporting is pretty much non-existent. In saying that it still has massive potential!

Some locals refer to the roads as having an upstairs and a downstairs.

Goats and pigs are a dime a dozen around the island from the coastline and right inland. Also we’ve seen evidence of wild pigs running a riot digging up the grounds but we haven’t seen one with our own eyes yet!

The big Makatea cliffs and caves are what captivate me the most. There is a lake here! Some cliffs almost look like there’s windows being cut into them. People use to live in the caves to hide from the other tribes and still today you can apparently see human bones. Hopefully we can go do a bit of exploring in them with someone who knows the caves and tell us a bit more history about it.

That’s it from us for now. Just waiting patiently for our Mama Maru to arrive in Mangaia, we are both really excited for the voyage back from here to Rarotonga.

Kia kotou katoatoa

– Bernz and Helene

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