Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Tahiti


You know that you have been away from civilization too long when passing cars and trucks startle your children as they walk on the sidewalk! 


Amelie is currently anchored just outside the Marina Taina on the West Side of Tahiti, just South of Papeeté. Being in the largest urban centre in all of French Polynesia has been a bit of a shock to the system, but the people are just as lovely, and there are definite pluses too  .

Our neighbours at the anchorage


What’s great about this anchorage : 

1-We have the most spectacular view of Moorea, especially at sunset. 2-We have had the privilege of being a ‘starting line’ for an outrigger canoe race: Tahitians are an active bunch and they can handle an outrigger canoe like nobody’s business .....sitting in the cockpit we can see them go right by us, all in beautifully coordinated unison.... and so darn fast !  3-We are near one of the best (maybe even THE best) grocery store in all of French Polynesia !  All we have to do is dinghy into the marina and then walk 10 minutes to the store, and they will let you bring your cart right to the Marina ...it is so nice not to have to carry all those provisions on our backs ! 

Moorea (Background) and the Reef as seen from Amelie


Day tour of Tahiti. 

We wanted to get out of the city and see Tahiti’s more natural side so we rented a car for the day on Sunday. What a relief to see that Tahiti actually does have some very scenic sites !  We saw some very large caves, surrounded by lush forrest, towering waterfalls, stopped in to Tautira village where author Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) lived for a while  and was cared for by Princess Moe (of Tahiti). 


We also went up to the Taravao Plateau overlooking the Isthmus (narrow strip of land) between Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti (‘Large’ and ‘Small’ Tahiti) 


View from the Plateau




.and of course we just had to go see the world famous Teahupo’o  (pronounced ‘Chai Po’) , home of the mythical wave and world class surfing competition. The wave, which is about 1 km out from shore, is said to be: consistent, huge and  perfect  which is of course what every surfer is looking for, but only the most experienced surfers attempt to ride it !





Other than this tour, we have been mostly working on the boat.....trying to get through the most important items on the never ending To-Do List. Now that school is over for this year, we were able to get a fair bit done and ,even though we know we will never get to the end of the list, it still feels so good to check items off as they get done .Quite a bit of time has also been spent re-provisioning. The biggest one we’ve had since  Panama.....Since we will soon have 4 teenagers on board (yikes!), this requires some careful planning of snacks and meals ....thankfully Matthew has us well trained for this already!


Even with all the work that we have done on board, we have nevertheless taken the time to go see another great dance show one night (as part of the Orange festival on the weekend). It still amazes me how much energy the dancers display  for each performance and the drummers. keeping a furiously fast pace for the dancers,.....with their bare hands on these very tall wooden drums all the while signing and making loud war cries, ........quite powerful ....ensuring that no one in the audience, not even Mark- who has been known to fall asleep in more than one occasion- could EVER fall asleep during the show. It is really nice to see how proud the Tahitians (and all French Polynesians) seem to be about their culture, not only with the dancing, singing but also with their traditional way of life (the canoes, tattoos, ....) I think it reflects well on their education of their children, to carry this pride of their identity from a young age. Like I was telling Meg the other day : Imagine if the younger generation here all listened to modern music only and did not embrace their local traditions and music.....As tourist, you and I would have a very different experience visiting these far away places !  We would not have a chance to learn from them about their roots.....it would be a mush less interesting world to visit !  This helped us to have a new found appreciation  for all the work done in preserving different cultures, all around the world...



Roulottes:

The renown food trucks , called “Roulottes” can be found on any given evening, through out Tahiti. These are more than your average food vendor. They set up tables (with table cloths and all!)  and even have waiters come to take your order and serve you at your table . At the Main Roulottes area in Papeete, there are dozen of these trucks offering choices such as Pizza, Chinese Food, Steak Frites,  Pasta, Poisson Cru, Crepes and even Fondus !  We enjoyed eating out at these on a few nights !  Yum Yum !




Coming up, our friends Sonia, Alexis and Olivia are on their way to us  from Canada as we speak.....we look forward to sharing the nearby islands with them over the next 14 days !

Much love

4Ms sailing
XXXX



1 comment:

  1. Robert Louis Stevenson territory!!!!!! Phenomenal!

    I never thought even ONCE in my lifetime, until you mentioned it, how coming to Canada as a tourist is a "multicultural" event but not in the root sense. What would a day be like in Canada as a tourist if our music and dress were all base cultural and not modern? A children's short novel in the making for Meg to write ;-)

    Enjoy your company! Thinking of you from way up North xoxoxo

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