Feb 17 - Island of HuahineFebruary 17 in French Polynesia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C
We moored at the island of Huahine (pronounced wah HEE nee) about 8:00 a.m. this morning in Maroe Bay. Huahine consists of two islands - Huahine Nui (the big island) and Huahine Iti (the little island). I left Doug in bed, waiting for the doctor to visit, and had breakfast by myself beside the pool. it’s another blue sky/green hills/blue water day here in the Pacific Ocean.
I took the tender/ferry boat over to the pier; five of us met up with our guide, Anne, for an e-bike (electric assist) tour of Huahine Iti, a distance of about 27 kms/17 miles. Anne had a little trailer on the back of her bike to carry our knapsacks plus a cooler with cold water and fresh fruit - mini bananas and mangos. After we all more or less figured out how to use the bikes (I had ridden one in Europe), we set off to circle the island.
Our first stop was to look at a small island that has only one house on it - Barack Obama stayed there a couple of years ago. I guess security is easier when you’re on an island. We stopped at several lookout points to admire the fabulous colours in the water - deep blues, emerald greens and icy greys. Each colour indicates a different water depth.
We also stopped at a place where coconut pieces were being dried in the sun. The dried pieces are sold and used for making cosmetics. Every little bit of income on this island of very few natural resources counts.
Our next stop was at a parea shop. Pareas are the colourful hand-painted wraps/scarves/dresses that are so popular here. The owner demonstrated how she outlines the design using a black paint with a rubber component in it. Then she paints inside the lines - rather like paint-by-number - but on stretched white cotton. After all the painting is done, she dips the fabric in sea water and then leaves it on the stretchers to dry for three days in the hot sun. The combination of the sea salt and the sun sets the colours permanently. I tried my hand at painting - it’s actually quite easy. My next craft perhaps?
Next stop was a marae - a sacred temple site for the Polynesian people. It was made of sheets of black coral. We had fruit and lots of water - we were all sweating profusely.
Next stop was at Hôtel Le Mahana - a pretty little place with cosy bungalows for rent that sit on the edge of the white sand beach. The people here graciously let Anne’s clients use their washrooms and swim at their beach. I swam; some chose to sample the beer selection. The swim felt good - it’s a very hot, humid day - and we were only halfway around the island.
One last beautiful lookout stop and then a steady pedal with electric assist to the top of a small mountain. Saw the cruise director jogging around the island - show off. Maybe that’s how he keeps his slim physique when he lives on a floating food festival.
We roared down the hill and caught the 12:30 p.m. tender back to the ship. That was a good excursion - I told them at the excursion desk how much I enjoyed it.
Doug is feeling quite good -he slept well last night; the doctor came this morning and gave him some tablets. All seems good. I'm trying to get a refund on his e-bike tour ticket. We had a nice lunch together - after I had a hot shower. We are trying to focus on salads and fruit at lunch, because they tend to be absent at dinner.
At 3:00 p.m., the children of the village of Maroe (where the tender boat docks), along with several musicians, put on a really enjoyable song and dance show. The kids ranged in age from 6 to 14. The 6-year old, a little boy, was a real cutie - you could see a bit of the devil in him. Boy, could he dance. Fuelled by a glass of rum punch, I got up and danced with one of the teen boys. For my efforts, I was rewarded at the end with a handmade floral hair wreath. The flowers are lovely and have an intoxicating scent.
We listened to Port Talk at 4:00 p.m. We will be in Taha’a tomorrow - we have an excursion lined for the morning. In the afternoon, we will sun ourselves on Paul Gauguin’s private islet and work on our snorkelling skills.Read more