Touring Around Hiva Oa

I learned recently through a podcast that Antarctica gets four times the number of visitors as The Marquesas Islands. The Marquesas are among the least visited places in the world, and we are so happy to be among the lucky few. It’s remote and difficult to get to: it took us a month, but intrepid visitors to this archipelago are in for a treat. We recently spent a week in Hiva Oa, the second biggest island in the Marquesas. With our friends on Pelican, we rented a car and spent some time touring around Hiva Oa.

About Hiva Oa

Near one of our favorite places, Tahuata, Hiva Oa offers less fun on the water, but has its charms. It’s 124 square miles, second only to Nuku Hiva, with over 2200 people.

The main anchorage is in a snug harbor with a dock full of fishing boats and dark muddy water. Called Atuona after the nearby town, this anchorage is great for provisioning and as a base for touring Hiva Oa.

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Driving in Bonaire

Although a relatively small island, Bonaire is worth taking the time to explore. I recommend renting a car or pickup truck as there is no public transit and it is too big and hot to walk or cycle. In our three months in Bonaire, we shared a pickup with friends from another boat. The truck was perfect on the rough roads and to transport dive tanks for shore diving. It’s not just the roads that make driving in Bonaire an interesting experience.

The Good Parts of Driving in Bonaire

Unlike other Caribbean islands, you don’t need to pay for a driver’s license in Bonaire. This is a plus because it saves you money and a trip to the police station. Seriously. In Grenada and Dominica you have to get a license at the police station to rent a car, and some places they sell it to you at the rental agent. In Bonaire, it’s much easier as there’s no license to buy!

Another plus about driving in Bonaire is the flat terrain. And the drivers are pretty polite. You don’t get honked at as much as back home. Plus, they drive on the same – right – side of the road just as we are used to back home. So for the most part, driving in Bonaire is a good experience. Here’s what makes it interesting.

Van driving in Bonaire
Our rental truck had room for scuba gear for 4 of us!
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Off Road Driving in Iceland

Our Road Trip

We got a camper van with 4 wheel drive for one important reason: to leave the ring road, Iceland’s main drag, for some adventures! Some of our most fun times included off road driving in Iceland.

Nothing against Iceland’s Ring Road: it takes you to the country’s most well-known spots, including waterfalls and hot springs. But. We want to go off-the-beaten path, to parks that are harder to get to. So we have a 4WD and we are using it!

Camper van with 4WD Iceland
Our campervan in Iceland

Off Road Driving in Iceland Video

This was us crossing a river yesterday. We had fun! I am not going to lie, we were a little bit hesitant at first, me more than Brian, but we made it through that river twice.

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Hot Tubs and Rough Roads in Iceland

So Brian made sure today included some off the beaten path “hot pots” in Iceland. He knew there was one southwest of Akureyki on the way to the off-road destination he planned for today, and by god, we were having a soak! Today was a day of hot tubs and rough roads.

Hitting the Road

We packed up and left the campgrounds by 9am. The morning started beautifully in Akureyki but the sun never came out from behind the clouds,

Campsite View Akureyi
Campsite View Akureyi

and the day got cloudier and windier, with rain intermittent. Still, when in Iceland we must find the hot water!

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Watch Out for Sheep When Driving in Iceland!

There are lots of sheep in Iceland! I said Iceland, not Ireland, but you would think that right? My warning to you, is to watch out for sheep when driving in Iceland.

Sheep are Everywhere

They are all grazing alongside the major highway and often with no barriers to the highway, also known as the ring road. Needless to say, I had a close encounter with some sheep! It’s all ok. They move surprisingly fast and I had a lot of notice they were coming. They moved so fast neither myself nor Brian were able to get a photo (boo!). Anyway, for the remainder of the day, I had to keep on the alert as the sheep were never far from the road.

The Views in Iceland are Gorgeous

Other than sheep, we saw a lot of beautiful natural wonders: glaciers that stunned us into silence with their magnificence and beauty, waterfalls and streams cascading down rock cliffs and mountains, fjords and more. Our campsite last night was alongside one of the fjords with a mountain view to match. Iceland is gorgeous.

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