Sunday, June 15, 2014

Touring Tahiti

Barb and Joe relaxing on S/V Trilliium
Whenever I pictured Tahiti in the past, I saw beautiful turquoise water and white sand beaches and lovely dark-haired, bronzed-skinned beauties with flowers in their hair. Well, the beauties with flowers is right. The young women here are quite striking. And everyone wears a flower in their hair - even some of the men - because there are flowers growing everywhere! It is also a sign as to whether or one is "available." I still haven't figured out which side means what. I think if the flower is in the same side as Americans wear wedding bands, i.e. left, it means you are unavailable.
The four of us on the island tour.
Dennis' brother, Joe, and his wife Barb joined us in Pape'ete to sail for a few days. Barb wanted to see BoraBora. We had heard it was overrated and thought she would see more of what she was expecting in Mo'orea. They arrived in time to join us on the WARC tour of Tahiti. So we started their French Polynesian adventure with a trip around the island.

The Cathedral in Papeete
The name Tahiti became famous because of the romantic charm of HMS Bounty and Paul Gauguin, the painter. English Protestant missionaries were the first to settle here. The Tahitian King gave his island to France in 1880 and in the 20th century, it became an Overseas Territory of France with autonomy granted to the Polynesians.
Downtown Papeete
A crafts market in a Papeete park.
The square lighthouse on
Tahiti designed by Robert
Louis Stevenson's father.
Of the 230,000 inhabitants, over half live in Papeete, which looks like any modern city. The port is very active as it supplies much of French Polynesia. Arriving here was interesting as the chart shows what appears to be a land mass to be sailed around. We could see it it all. It is only above water at low tide! Navigation is tricky.
Flowers everywhere
On the tour, we visited historical sites, blow holes, beautiful lookout points and drove along the 90 km road around the island. We saw it all! All of the WARC tours have proven to be well worth the time. Of course we saw local craft shops and were encouraged to support the local economy. Which we did! I now have my Polynesian dress and Barb has her black pearls.
Easter flowers at the market
The waterfall at the end of
a long hike - again!
Once again we hiked up a mountain to see a waterfall. It was so wonderfully cool - even cold to many. I loved it as it was the first time in a while that I felt my body temperature lower. I really don't like the heat so many of these locations are hot and sticky to me. Not to mention salty from the sea spray and sea air. While everyone was shivering, I was soaking up all of the coolness and fresh water spray.

It was amazingly cold and windy up at the waterfall.
We had a traditional French Polynesian lunch along the way. It is always interesting to taste and see what others eat daily and for special occasions. So far most of the islands have had an abundance of fruits and starchy vegetables. It has been difficult to find lettuce and other fresh vegetables to which we are accustomed.

A typical Polynesian resort
The large supermarket in Papeete carried almost anything you wanted at a price. Unfortunately, it doesn't last long due to the way it has been transported and stored. I have learned not to by too much at once and hope I get another chance to shop before leaving. Provisioning in Papeete was wonderful, although extremely expensive. In many places I spend $300 for five bags of groceries and there is very little meat or non edible items in it. Just the basics.
Another thing I discovered I. French Polynesia was a very good powdered milk called Sunshine, produced by Nestle. I am guessing we don't have it in the USA due to the American Dairy Association. It is a nice product to have in the pantry. It is nothing like the old Carnation powdered milk we had as kids!

Enjoy the photos from our tour of Tahiti:
Interesting trees and vegetation
 A view of Moorea from Tahiti

A view of Tahiti along the ring road

The coastal area with the blow holes

One of the paths we hiked to the waterfall

An ancient sacred site

Details of the sacred site

Outrigger in the museum we visited

The grotto with the large pool

No comments:

Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you here. You can see earlier posts at