Yes I went ashore almost dead on my feet, to look for Customs. By the time I got to the Police Station it was closed for lunch so I wandered half dead along the road and saw a lady selling food from the back of her little car. Whatever it was I was having some - It was Poisson Cru again (raw fish) and baguette and a can of juice for 1000XPF. Other women there asked me to come into the shade of their building to sit and eat, which I did, and then realized I was sitting in the courtyard of their very tiny Hospital, and the women buying food were three nurses.. They said there is no Doctor on the island and I said yes there is! So then they became even more helpful and one , seeing how tired I was asked if I would like to rest in the clinic room while waiting for the Police, so I laid on their bed and went to sleep! I woke after 20 minutes and left to see the Police, but not before agreeing to come back tomorrow so they could show me round the Hospital!
Tubuai is a very small and obviously very friendly place. Its striking to look at from the sea, as there are two mountain peaks with a wide smooth valley drooping down from one to the other. The southern peaks are like the comb of a rooster, 3 massive vertical rocky crags thrusting up from the steep flanks of the mountain. The northern mountain is equally high but less spectacular. Surrounding the two mountains is a flat rim of land, where all the settlements are, then a sandy palm fringed beach with traditional canoes scattered along, the lagoon - bright blue - and then well out a white rim of crashing surf at the edge of the reef. It is not a tourist destination as far as I can tell - there are no facilities for visitors, there are no other yachts here, it is very quiet.
My plan is to stay a few days here and get some rest. This morning, walking along that road I felt utterly exhausted, physically and emotionally, and I felt the full weight of the challenge of being a solo sailor. What I am missing the most at present is company, the language difficulties mean I can hardly have anything but the most superficial of chats to all the friendly people I meet, and that doesn't really satisfy. I am also missing a really dry bed and pillow.
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