Sightseeing in Hao

I’ve had better Internet connectivity here in Niue, so I’ve been gradually updating our photo albums and reviewing content on the Tahina site. I realized I never did a summary of our visit to Hao where we watched the total solar eclipse on July 11. Nor did I upload general sightseeing photos of the island. I never even had a chance to upload some photos of our bashing through the waves, and the problem we had with the outhaul strap on our boom. So, at long last, here are some photos of our sightseeing in Hao. Make sure you read the text below for some context to the sights:

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We had a wonderful time in Hao, and the people of the island were very nice. When we arrived on Friday evening, they were having a bunch of celebrations on shore. The locals were putting on a bunch of events in honor of all the visitors (about 350 tourists came to watch the eclipse). Hao doesn’t have any hotels, so most of the visitors were either camping, staying at local people’s homes, and they had made some rooms in the local school’s dormitory. They had traditional Polynesian dances, games, music, food, arts and crafts, a fishing tournament, and more.

During the day on Saturday, they had a number of kids games: tug-of-war, potato sack races, swimming, etc. On shore, they had set up a temporary restaurant and booths for food and games. They also had stores where they were selling eclipse t-shirts, and local crafts and other souvenirs. We went ashore a couple of times and walked around the island. We sampled local foods in the stores, saw a coconut crab in a cage, found the cemetery, found the town dump, checked out the ocean shore, discovered old abandoned stores that were running while the base was in operation, and watched the locals running their daily lives.

On Saturday night, they had a beauty contest with local high-school girls. They had traditional costumes, and dances as part of the competition. The locals were having a great time with such a large audience for their events. Kids would try to talk to us with a few words of English they had learned, and we would try talking back in our broken French.

The scenery of Hao was also beautiful. We had some fantastic sunsets as well. I hope you look at the photo album above and enjoy the photos of Hao!

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