We needed a day to settle on the earth after so many wonderful days at sea and wandering the islands.
Our hotel is right on the lagoon and we watch the sun rise and set over Mo’orea!
Today, we’re on a tour of Tahiti with a wonderful 65 year old “crazy fresh fruit salad Heinz 57 melting pot family” tour guide” named Angell…she just sang “Angels looking over me”!
So…a few notes from our tour:
All imported products arrive at 200% above the original coat and then shop owners profit increases products to 400%! If a family doesn’t have enough money, they can BBQ freshly caught fish for dinner, roast breadfruit, (Which are both delicious!) and collect fresh fruit! Pineapples were brought from Hawaii initially. The small sweet ones are now called Cosmosas. Here there are also 300 types of bananas!
There are 2000 islands, 1800 inhabited in the whole of French Polynesia, most folks live on Tahiti. Yes, most of the atolls or small islands around the area are privately owned.
The language is fairly easy to speak as only 13 letters are used and each vowel separately pronounced. Learning what each word means is a different story. Faa-valley. Faa’a means extended valley as in the town where the airport is located. Water basket is what Pape’ete translates to in English.
Our tour guide is French, German, Irish and Tahitian. “This is Tahiti! Go with the flow! We are all one family!”
Gas here is $9-11 per gallon! And you thought our prices were high??!!
There are 10 Christian religions in the country as the missionaries decided that one god was better than 3. Many of the churches have their own schools in addition to a public school system. Students have 6 weeks on then one week off, one month off at Christmas and 6 weeks off for summer! The school complex here is all grades including college. Bora Bora and Mo’orea have lower grades and students then travel here. Some travel daily and others stay the week before returning home for the weekend.
Recently, there was a cyclone in Tonga and Samoa (we saw this on the weather screen during our bridge tour) as well as a volcano in that area. This has affect the ocean here. The area also had a heavy downpour and several landslides occurred on the other side of the island. This is the rainy season!
We just passed a car that used Hawaiian shirts as seat covers for each of the 4 seats! And a van that had weeds growing in the engine-guess its not running!
There are so many fruits here! Sea grapes! Big pits, taste sweeter than crabapples. Noni fruit-look like small bright green avocados and used as a medicinal fruit for various ailments. Rombutons, they look like spiny plums. When peeled, they look and taste similar to lychee nuts. Luscious pomplemousse or giant green grapefruit! Sweet papaya, mangos! Walnuts and chestnuts!
Instead of burying your family members in your front law, on Tahiti, the government purchased land for public cemeteries. They are snug and very neatly kept, just like the ones in front yards.
We stopped by a black sand beach, quite a surprise to see. Tahiti is a “much younger” volcanic island than our other islands with white sand from coral. Coral hasn’t had a chance to develop in closer to the island here and thus, the parrot fish haven’t been as active creating the white sand as they digest the coral.
As we stopped at the blowhole, I notice small black leech shaped creatures jumping about on the wet exposed rocks. They are Cobo, a half lizard half fish!
The plants and flowers are gorgeous here as well! Mom and I have taken numerous pictures of them. Parrot beak flower, lobster claw, ylang-ylang, water lilies…
We also learned that here, bamboo grows 9 inches very 24 hours! Or perhaps that was one of our guide’s “little white lies!”
Maruru, thank you, thanks for your patience awaiting our last posts. The Internet connection was extremely expensive on the islands. Thanks to our hotel, we can post again.
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