A Travellerspoint blog

Pitcairn to Henderson adventure

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Just a quick update on my travels to the most remote country in the world: it looks like we might visit Henderson Island after all. Jack the mechanic has been working on the boat for the last 5 or 6 days and it seems the engines are quite ok again. Well, you never really know but Kurt called me and asked me if I was ready to go on the luxury cruiser Bounty Bay haha...Austrian humor I guess. So we are leaving Pitcairn tomorrow morning, spend the next day wandering around Henderson Island (the island is a Unesco World Heritage Site by the way) to see some endemic bird species, do some snorkelling and what else comes up to do and see. We do come back to Pitcairn to pick up some food, booze and cigarettes though which the locals are buying for us tomorrow when a small cruiseship comes in.
Nothing much more to tell now, apart from my strenuous hike to the Highest Point and enjoying the magnificent views for the last time. We have a small birthday party this evening so last time to say hello and goodbye to all these people. The whole country is invited!
Cheers and thanks for reading about my adventures and we might see or read eachother during some other travels!

Posted by Utrecht 18:42 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (4)

Typical Pitcairn: Whisky from a whales' tooth

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I have been on Pitcairn for almost a week now and as it looks right now we leave somewhere late tomorrow or maybe the day after. There is no rush anyhow because we will go straight back to the French Polynesian islands so we better spend as much time possible here on Pitcairn, as there is just a very small chance I will probably visit this island again. That's the disadvantage of remote places I guess.

So, what did I do more on Pitcairn after the first 3 or 4 days?
On Friday nigth we went out for dinner and some beers at Steve Christian's Cafe and met him as well by the way. If you order a plate of fish, beef or sausage here, you will definately be sure of a good bottom in your stomach before heading to Pawl's house to play darts until very very late...or early, depending on how you interpretate things...;-)
Pawl is a big rough guy...well, that's how he looks, but inside he is just like most people here, a very friendly fellow who just wants to have some fun. And he sure makes his guests feel like home in his house aka bar. We did have some beers, but the absolute island famous highlight of a visit to Pawl is his way of hospitality: he offers you whisky. Ok, whisky....not from a glass though, but you have to drink it out of a spermwhales' tooth! Makes it just a little more special, and so is the hangover the other day.
That's why I spend a lot of that following day sitting, staring and thinking while watching the view from my favorite spot along the Eco Trail. Although during the late afternoon the whole family where me and my cousin stay went up to the highest point (called Highest Point remember?) to have a BBQ and just sit, talk and relax a bit. The whole family is almost 20 people, so over a third of the population. It become a bit surrealistic if you realise you are having a picknick with almost half of a country's inhabitants. Oh, and yesterday was also a bit of a day where you finally here some more things about the recent past of Pitcairn. Just don't start it yourself, they will finally bring things up a bit, although it depends where you are staying and who you are talking with. Let's just say that there are different opinions and experiences from different people. Like anywhere else in the world. That's about all I can and want to say, because I won't mention people and (to me rather shocking, just google a bit) details. There has been enough said by others, and who am I to say or judge about anything at all. I can only thank many people here for having a great time.
Today I will hike to the top of Pitcairn to sweat out some food and booze of the last day or so. I lost a few kilos on board, but gained more over here that's for sure. So I go by myself, pack some lunch and enjoy to be the only traveller here on Pitcairn, because the other are going to dive.....so boring..;-)
Oh, and let's not forget about tomorrow when a (relatively small, thank god) cruiseship is anchoring somewhere off the coast of Pitcairn. Either some people come ashore or we go on board....yeah! Living the real life over here! Looking forward to sell those luxurious travellers some stuff. We are also going to stock up on some alcohol and cigarettes for the way back, because we are running out of them rapidly now.
It's the last ship of the season which runs from September to March, when around 10 ships anchor here for a day (this one from 7 am until 3 pm like we heard on one of the general anouncements on channel 16 here). Only a few will be able to come ashore though. So, should I tell them I am a Pitcairner or a Dutchie?
Bye bye boys and girls, talk to you (much) later.

Posted by Utrecht 09:32 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (1)

Temporarily living the Pitcairn life

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I might not be an official inhabitant of Pitcairn, officially I might even not be a temporary inhabitant, but as a visitor staying at a homestay on Pitcairn surely feels close to it. At least much much closer than you would in any other country on the world. If you would stay in another country at a homestay you might get to know some people, but the last 3 or 4 days I have met the majority of people living in this fantastic remote little country. And that's what makes Pitcairn just a lot different from remote compatitors worldwide. In those 3 or 4 days I have also seen and done most things, and I just start all over again and visit some favorite places. One of these is the Eco Trail, a nice walk west of Adamstown where at the end there is a bench with a million dollar view of the Pacific Ocean, parts of Adamstown and the slopes of the hills descending into that same ocean and covered with palmtrees and other lush and green vegetation. And let's not forget the beautiful birds like the snowy white terns towering above the trees and my head.
Today is my 4th day and I probably might add a few days more, as we are not in a hurry as the plane from Mangareva doesn't leave within 10 days. Tonight is kinda party night, going out to have dinner, a beer and a good laugh while playing darts. We will see how things work out to be. Although a few other go diving tomorrow morning, of course I am going to church on Saturday which is the official resting day at the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I might just soak up the religious atmosphere as well while I am here.
I know things have been written down in the past about Pitcairn, and some things might even have been negative, but my experience is just positive, both regarding the natural beauty of the island itself as well as the magnificent people that live here. So hearby I declare all people who wrote negative about it totall fools and blind as well. We might just call someone Dea Bitchett....people know what I mean, at least the Pitcairners.
So, could I live here? Well, yes and no. I would miss a lot of people in the Netherlands, miss the space and miss the opportunity to just get into my car and start driving for an hour or so. Other than that, nothing is to be missed here.
To all Pitcairners....cheers for a great time here on the island. Let's just hope our days on board the Bounty Bay back to French Polynesia will be just as memorable....in a positive way that is....;-)

Posted by Utrecht 17:51 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (2)

Pitcairn Party and everyday life

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To start with: all the Pitcairners I have met are just fantastic. Just come out here and see for yourself, life is good here and I hope this fantastic community will be here in the very far future as well. Just let me hope that tourism is not going to spoil the island, most people like it the way it is. And as there are almost no possibilities and plans to built and airport, I think things will be just fine here. Still, I can imagine that Pitcairners do want to have the opportunity to leave the island more easily and quicker if possible.
The three of us, Tom, my cousin Eric, and myself, all stay in different homes. Tom stays at the famous Tom and Betty's place, Eric at Carol and Jay's house and myself at their daughter's place, Darallyn and her man Turi. On top of that I have met several dozens of people, including the youngest one (only 4 months now) and the second oldest one (Emma). People here really make you feel like you are at home, and they take so good care for me, with nice food, transportation on their quad bikes, and finally a really good big bed to recover from the harsh conditions on the Bouncy Bounty.
Almost anyone here on Pitcairn has at least one job, or rather is a multitasker, because really they can do just about everything themselves. Just over 50 Pitcairners live here, and about 15 or so people living here temporarily, like a social worker and police officer from New Zealand.
Yesterday, by coincidence, with had a little party at Andrew's place (remember Andrew? the 7th generation Christian, crew member on board). The reason for this party can sound a little strange to some of you readers, but I just think it is a fantastic thing: his dad died on the 18th of March 2004 and from then on he has a nice little party on that same day every year. So now we had a 5th anniversary celebration...so to speak. He did show an impressive slideshow with photos of his dad and family members which even me gave me some goosebumps. But the main thing was having a good drink (including home made honey liquor....thanks for the headache Andrew haha), talk and meet some more Pitcairners and dance the evenening away. Andrew has built a new house, the highest on the island and it is quite luxurious, including a nice hot tub outside and a big 50 inch screen on the wall where he showed the videos of the music we were dancing on. Sitting down was not an option, we were kindly forced to dance as well and loved it. We didn't leave very late though, so I guess that officially makes me a Pitcairn Party Pooper for leaving early. But hey, people had to work and Friday is another pubnight here on Pitcairn. Hopefully I will still be here by then, because we are still not sure when we go back on that piece of crab. I'd rather go with a dinghy haha. Let's hope we will leave Saturday or later...I heard there is even a dart competition and I wouldn't want to miss that for sure.
Love from all Pitcairners and myself to anyone taking the time to read my basic English blog..;-)

Posted by Utrecht 12:27 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (1)

Pitcairn Island, I have made it....finally!

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Well, after a long trip on the Bounty Bay (aka Bouncy Bay), I finally managed to go on land early in the morning of Tuesday the 17th of March. Solid ground just feels so good after a rough trip at sea and finally reaching my goal of setting food on Pitcairn Island, after dreaming to here for at least 15 years, made me feel a very happy but also lucky guy.
So, before I tell you something about the everyday life here on Pitcairn (or at least how I experienced things), it is time for me to teach you some geography lessons. The reason why is that I was actually quite surprised that a lot of people back home who travel themselves didn't even know where Pitcairn was located and they never heard of the name and not even about the mutiny on the Bounty back in 1789. Well, I can't blame them of course, maybe it is just me and my strange destinations I want to travel to.
The Pitcairn Islands are located in the southern parts of the Pacific, in between French Polynesia and Easter Island (Chile). Apart from the main island, Pitcairn, there are (from east to west) Ducie Island, Henderson Island (both of which I am not going to visit unfortunately, because of all sorts of problems on that bloody Bounty Bay) and Oeno Atoll (which I did visit, fantastic place). But for me the main reason was to visit Pitcairn Island itself, to see how people live, how they are, what they do etc. etc. Pitcairn is just about 4,5 square kilometers big, but it feels bigger, as there are quite some places to go around the island, and it's rather hilly almost anywhere. Also, there is a more extensive road system than I expected, most of them gravel (a kilometer or so is concrete, from the wharf to the public square) and by a quad bike you can go everywhere, which I did yesterday. Some names of places to visit with beautiful names: Ted Side, Blowing Hole, Highest Point (which indeed is the highest point at around 337 meters above the sea), Down Rope (there is no rope though, to watch out to go down that cliff towards the only beach on the island), St. Paul's (natural pool over there, again watch out, this time for the waves), Ship Landing Point and The Edge. Lots of other places to visit include a bounty anchor, a bounty canon, John Adams grave (the last surviving mutineer of the Bounty) and the museum with some excellent stuff over there, including stamps and more Bounty stuff of course.

Posted by Utrecht 11:51 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (2)

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