Monday, July 11, 2011

Hike to the 3 Palm Trees

July 8, 2011

After Dave saw Jim off on the bus to the ferry, we moved Soggy Paws around the corner to anchor up inside Robinson's Cove, deep inside Opunohu Bay. This is a totally different sort of anchorage than the Opunohu Beach anchorage, which was off a palm-studded beach in aquamarine water. Robinson's Cove is in a deep bay with high mountains on all sides and a lush vally 'ahead'. The water is not that clear, because of the stream emptying into the bay, but it is a beautiful anchorage.

When we anchored there, only our friends on Dreamaway were anchored in the cove, so we felt very remote after the crowded and busy beach anchorage. Though friends had told us there was no internet up inside the bay, we were delighted to find an open wifi spot (seemed only to be turned on in the afternoon and evenings).

We had a great dinner aboard Dreamaway, with fresh shrimp from the shrimp farm on the way to Belvedere. Over dinner we made plans with Graham and Avril for our hike to the '3 Palm Trees'.

It's easy to get to the 3 Palms lookout using the path from the Belvedere, but Avril wanted to try getting there using one of the other paths shown in the Lonely Planet, and come back down the easy way.

We set out from the boats at about 9:15, and walked up the road toward the Belvedere. We had a little trouble finding the starting point of Avril's alternate route. It seemed to be at the right turn-off just before the 2Km marker on the way up to the Belvedere. This is actually part of the agricultural school. When we asked some people working there how to get to the 3 Cocos, they pointed up the road to the Belvedere. But we didn't want to go that way, so we wandered off on our own.

After hiking across the ag school property, through pineapple fields and past the pig farm, generally heading toward the lone palm tree on the ridge, and trying to follow the directions in the Lonely Planet, we eventually stumbled on the start of a path going the right direction. We found a few pieces of red and white tape fluttering from tree branches as we walked along, so we were pretty sure we were on the right path.

Eventually, after a long way hiking through huge mape (map-ay) trees, and crossing the stream a bunch of times, our path merged with the one from the Belvedere, and we met a couple of other hikers who confirmed we were on the right route.

Finally, at 1pm, we emerged on the ridge. We had brought lunch with us, so we enjoyed the view and ate our lunch. There were a couple of scraggly young coconut trees where we were eating, but not 'the' coconut tree that is so visible from down below. Where was it? Dave said we had, in our last scramble to get to the top, must have passed right by it and didn't even notice it. We must slow down and take notice of it on our way down!!

The way down was easier, of course. But we still somehow blew right past the lone coconut tree without seeing it. We remembered one level down in the vegetation, but it wasn't visible. I know it's there, but we never saw it!

For the route down, we went across to the Belvedere first. This was a much easier route, because it was mostly going across the face of the hills and not up and down the hills. We stopped again at the Ice Cream shop on the road down from the Belvedere.

We were really dog tired by the time we arrived back at our dinghies--at 5pm. We'd been hiking for 8 hours!!

And 10 boats had moved into our 'private' anchorage, due to gusty winds out in the beach area.

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