Feb. 13, 2015. Our hosts, M and R, are now visiting their first grandchild in New Zealand. They are the most wonderful couple that you could meet. From the moment they met us at the ferry terminal with authentic floral leis made of Tahitian flowers picked from their garden, we knew that the six days together would be magical.
In my last article, I mentioned that the garden is full of native Polynesian fruits, trees and shrubs. The previous owner was a botanist so his talent is obvious. The colors, smells and shapes make us feel that we are in the original “Garden of Eden.” We can hear the ocean and a waterfall of a stream that runs by the house. My mind goes back in history to the early explorers who arrived and saw for the first time, a world so different from their own.
Two Beautiful Islands
M’oorea is reached from Papeete (capital of Tahiti) by two ways – plane (less than ten minutes) and by a fast ferry which does the journey in twenty-minutes. Nothing prepares a person for seeing the mountains and lush vegetation of M’oorea come into sight. It is majestic! Tahiti is busier, at least in the town, but M’oorea is more laid-back.
We visited the market in Papeete and we were dazzled by the displays of fruits, vegetables, beautiful carvings and Polynesian fabrics.
Our home is located another twenty minutes by car. The road winds along lagoons, beaches and the ocean. We stopped at a certain part of the journey to view the over-water thatched/bamboo bungalows that have glass floors. Those with extra money in the bank can watch the fish as they sit on couches or walk on the glass floor.
S has a Birthday
S is the youngest son. He is an English teacher on Tahiti and just so sweet and friendly.
His older brother, N and his girl friend, I joined us for a birthday party. N cut down a coconut and prepared it for us. I prepared a delicious salad of coconut and sweet potato blossoms. She also fried breadfruit * into chip size portions – great flavour and taste.
(A couple of days later, N cut down a huge bunch of bananas and hung it from a beam in the terrace). These are the unique experiences that we are enjoying. (* I’ve enclosed a wooden statute of Mary with Jesus holding a breadfruit.)
The Bungalow Type of Holiday
M drove us to various parts of the island. We were shown Polynesian sacred places and taken to a couple of white sandy beaches that were surrounded by dark and mysterious looking mountains. Always, the sea was turquoise and blue and inviting.
We drove to the Hilton hotel and walked around the finely groomed grounds. The over the water bungalows looked exotic, but very few people seemed to be occupying them. This is the rainy season. I don’t want to stereotype “the rich and famous,” but I am sure a percentage of them want everything brought to them – drink, food, etc.
At the big supermarket we encountered an American couple. The woman (Frankie) stopped to ask Trish to translate the meats into French. We had a nice chat. Some minutes later, and to my horror, Frankie was sitting on a chair with blood dripping from her forehead. She had not read the French signs and had exited in an entrance door.
It slammed into her head. Trish was able to speak French to an employee and a first aid kit was brought.
While Frankie’s husband (name unknown) attended to her head, Frankie informed us that they were travelling with another couple. The male of this couple stepped on a stone-fish (extremely poisonous) and was in terrible pain. Here’s the kicker – all four travellers did not take out travel insurance. There are no poisonous snakes in Tahiti, but there are mosquitoes! Each night we listen to the gentle chattering of geckoes on the sides of wall. They do not approach and eat the insects.
Take care everyone. Paula in Paradise