Thursday, May 23, 2024

Tahiti at last!

Twenty-four days after we left Los Angeles we finally sailed into our final destination, Tahiti!  The sun was shining, the weather was beautiful and I, for one couldn't be more excited!  We had booked a "tour around the island" from 9-2 that would pretty much cover all the sights, then it would be time to go shopping!  Our on-board island hosts said that the market here was really huge and the best!  Tahiti is known for it's black pearls.  I wasn't really in the market for any, but, hey, it's always fun to look!  

As I stood on our balcony watching us pull in, I was amazed at how big Papeete was compared to the other islands we had just visited.  It was more like the US or Hawaii ports with high-rises and modern equipment albeit surrounded by a beautiful, tropical cove!

 Unlike the other, smaller island, there were no "island greeters" singing and dancing for us, just a whole lot of tour busses, ready and waiting to whisk us away, so off we all went (and there were a lot of us going here and there)! 

Once we left the dock and the "downtown" area, the island took on the jungle beauty and charm that we all anticipated it would be.  Lush mountainsides, pristine coastlines with clear blue waters coming up on black sand beaches, scenic waterfalls and beautiful gardens.  

Here were some of our stops...

A fabulous visit the Vaipahi waterfall and Gardens.  What a lovely, peaceful place.  There were several paths here to meander through, but the first to catch your eye was to the waterfall and grotto with lush ferns hanging to the edges.  

 As I walked on from the grotto, there were so many beautiful plants and flowers to see and smell as well and birds to just enjoy listening to...

Which then led me to the lily pond and streams...

 Finally scooting us out of here, we were off to see the Araholo Blowhole!  What fun.  Waves loudly crashing through volcanic basalt rocks, spraying us with cooling mist and sending laughter throughout the group as everyone snapped lots of pictures and video!  

 It was a short trip to see the beautiful black sand beach at Point Venus!  We've seen others in our travels, but I have to share that this one was a bit darker, with a little more sparkle and the "bits" were a little larger (not so fine).  Maybe that's the reason for the darkness and sparkle?  hmmm

Also at this stop was a great lighthouse and a cool display of all types of boats...

 We saw so much more in our travels - neat churches, whizzed by a cool cemetery, great views of valleys, sea sides and coastlines...all beautiful and mesmerizing.  Here's just a small taste...

 After hours of driving around the island, snapping dozens and dozens of pictures, we were ready to come back and check out that Market place we heard so much about!  Jack was hungry, after all it was 2 0'clock and way past his lunch time and all he was interested in was food!  Kathy and I decided we could wait on that and headed straight into town, and sweet Bob followed along with us.  Well, much to our surprise and dismay...the town was all CLOSED UP!  It seems that on Saturdays, it closes by 12:30!  No one told us!  Not our Island Hosts, not our tour guide, no one!  We knew that they would be closed tomorrow (almost all the islands respect Sundays and keep their shops closed then).  We walked all around the town, just to make sure, but other than a McDonald's, and a couple of very high-priced outlet stores, nothing was open. To say we (and everyone else) were not happy, was putting it mildly.  As we came back to the ship, there were others coming off the ship that had waited until it got cooler to go shopping, so when we told them, not to bother, they too were surprised and unhappy.  Tomorrow being Sunday, and our last day in Tahiti, we didn't hold out much enthusiasm for our trip to Moorea...A sad ending to a beautiful day.

...catching up from our cruise,  Marie

If you would like to see the rest of my photos, you can go to my Flickr account and it's under the Pacific Islands Album.

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