A Travellerspoint blog

Papeete

We wandered around before joining a group on an around the Island tour.

sunny 26 °C

We got off the ship early and walked along the sea wall as far as we were able. We snagged one geocache and passed on the other two. One had not been found in a while and the other was placed in front of a property with three barking dogs. Most people have not enjoyed that one or just left it once the dogs start.

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My first Impression is that the water has a slight green tint rather than pure blue. Papeete is a city, small compared to ours but big here. It is fairly clean right here, but gently rustic. Sidewalks, roads and pathways are higgly-piggly. There are major trees growing in the center of the sidewalks some so big you must step off the sidewalks to get around. There is a major road that runs just a bit in from the coast line. There are crosswalks, they have painted lines, but no lights. We did find one place to cross with a traffic light, other than that you are on you own.

Paul Gauguin brought Tahiti to the worlds attentions with his paintings of this place. There is a memorial for Bligh, a War memorial, an interesting Pearl Museum and an interesting mix of Colonial, modern and traditional Tahitian. There are the ruins of what must have been a beautiful building that burned near the waterfront.

We joined the group who had two vans booked. When we got to our vehicle it turned out to be one 45 passenger van with others on board. William the owner was not there and the guide was apologetic, but was only the guide. The circle tour started off with the attitude that we would have a good time anyway. Lisette our guide was good! The second strike for the bus company was there was no mic so those at the back could not hear what Lisette had to say.

At one point the bus stopped as nine (we counted them) gendarmes on motor bikes went by. Lisette was puzzled about this. Part way around the island we learned why. The were doing random checks on drivers and our bus was one of the victims. Our driver passed the screening, but Lisette was concerned for a while.

We stopped at a micro tiny botanical garden where we bought fresh coconut milk, then had our shells cracked open to scoop out the soft yummy insides.

Another stop was the grotto which was pretty cool. The ferns hung from the roof and water dripped constantly. Lisette said the water was cold, but it was pretty warm to us.

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We also stopped at an incredibly tall waterfall. Right now it was not too wide as there was no rain but it is something like 900 feet tall. At that stop the bus next to us burst a hose. We ended up taking along 22 of them. It was very cosy. We also stopped at a view point. Because of the delays we were at the view point for sunset. See, there is always a good side.

Posted by Mari Anne 19:18 Archived in French Polynesia Tagged bus waterfall excursion drive grotto tahiti

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