Travelling by mail coach

…or at least with a modern version of it ;-) We hadn’t made it to the central part of the northern coast yet (the anchorages are open and difficult by boat and there’s hardly any traffic going up there so no point in hoping to hitch a ride), but reading the guides about this rugged piece of coastal line we were eager to get there. Yesterday I chatted with the young post woman and she explained that she had to cover 3 offices at the moment (Taipivai and Hatiheu and Aakapa on the northern coast), because her colleague has been on leave for 5 weeks. I casually mentioned that we were searching for a way to get to Aakapa and she immediately offered to take us with her the next day. The only problem: she has to leave at 6 o’clock in the morning to be there by 7…

So today we set the alarm to 4.30 (getting the hiking things, taking the dinghy ashore and marching to the meeting point took a while) and met Norma and her mom at the agreed point and time. The road to Hatiheu is very steep, but still partly paved and in a fairly good condition. The stretch further on along the coast is a dirt or rather boulder road with more potholes than flat bits. While Norma opened the post office in Aakapa we walked through the tiny village and further west up along the coastal road to a ridge with magnificent views over the wild northern coast with ocean surf fringed bays, volcanic cliffs and pillar-like rock formations. We got back just in time when the post woman closed the office again at 10.30 and back in Taipivai still before noon. We went to the shop in search of a thank-you gift. Fortunately the shop owner’s Norma’s cousin, knows her taste and was able to point us in the right direction :-)

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