Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fatu Hiva Cascade, by Lexi

<> Hey, it's Lexi! <>

We just left Fatu Hiva, an island that doesn't have any interesting histories or background , but has amazing natural features. (Parental editorial note- this is a bit of an exaggeration- Thor Heyerdahl actually played Hermit here for a year and wrote a book about it, and they used to practice cannibalism until not that long ago- CTZ) We hiked up to a cascade, as its known in French, or a waterfall. The hike was very beautiful and peaceful. We had to cross over many streams, but it was all worth it. The waterfall grotto was something out of a fairy tale. Every crack or crevice was filled with the most lively, soft green moss, little flowers covered the river bank, as if the grotto wanted people to be near it.

The waterfall was otherworldly. In fact it was 150 meters of otherworldlyness, Seriously though, it didn't fit in the camera frame. The towering, black, rock wall behind the droplets of refreshing fresh water, was covered in splotches of green moss. There are little holes where you can sit in a little protected ledge that fits only you. The holes provide little dents of shelter from the water of the waterfall. The water trickles all the way down the rock face, and the sides of the seat of the hole, and is surprisingly warm against your skin. Your feet are the only thing touching the cold grotto water. As you enter the grotto pool, there are about five feet of clear, cool, rocky water and then it drops off deep. If you floated on your back, like I did, and looked up at the falling water, the sun would catch it just right and you would be mesmerized at the little drops straying from the downward stream that seemed to dance around as they fell softly to the grotto.

My Dad and I climbed up one of the rocks and jumped off the top, Climbing the rocks was a mild challenge as well as a fun experience. The moss on the footholds provided great cushioning for your feet. The little lizards skitter across the rocks away from your hands and feet as you make your way to the flat rock you'll be jumping off. And when you finally jump off, and break off contact with the rock, there's no going back and its a lot higher than it looks when you're up top. When you're suspended up in the air, for a second, you feel like one of the drops of water from the waterfall, lively and free. And that makes you want to dance too. When your feet touch the water, the cold water sends up jolts of shock that combines with the little adrenaline in you from the jump. and it makes you want to go again and again. So I did.

When it finally was time to go the cold but refreshing presence of the water that lingers on your skin is refreshing on the way back down to the boat. The waterfall felt like an exciting dream rather than a memory, but the little streams we crossed on the way down were proof that it was there, and wasn't a figment of my imagination.


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