Part 1…Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia…Excellent island tour…

Us, on the bridge overlooking the sea.

Here is an interesting link with detailed information about the island of French Polynesia including both Moorea and Tahiti. I’d mentioned providing more detailed information about the islands, but this link explains it much better that I could.

The view from the ship of Papeete, Tahiti.

As I write today again, we’re situated in our favorite spot in the Schooner Bar after a chatty breakfast in the Romeo & Juliet main dining room. There’s a tiny table onto which I can set my laptop giving me perfect ergonomics for the time it will take for today’s post and photo upload. 

This is the most comfortable spot on the ship and we can stay mildly entertained by the activity surrounding us at times; trivia or Sudoku games played in teams. On a few occasions, we joined in on the trivia games.

Typical busy city streets found anywhere in the world.

At the moment the ship has anchored a distance from the pier in Bora Bora and taking a tender is required to go ashore. Once we’re done here, we’ll unload our computers back to the cabin and take off for a little exploration of this island paradise, not unlike what we’d done yesterday in Tahiti.

Breadfruit tree.

With our friends Rene and Jeff, we grabbed a taxi at the pier, negotiating a fair price of US $20 per person for a tour of some of the highlights in Tahiti. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

There’s always a pizza place in every city.

Our driver Benjamin, who can be reached at 872 976 35, an elderly English speaking gentleman of Chinese descent who’s lived in Tahiti all of his life, was the perfect driver taking us in a safe and timely fashion to see the high points. His tour was similar to the four-hour bus tour at a considerably higher cost in considerably less time than going through the ship’s excursion department. 

Noni fruit in Tahiti.

In less than two hours we’d seen all the high points and with the photos, we were able to take, we couldn’t have been more content. The four of us were looking forward to the afternoon matinee back at the ship to see the excellent movie, Unbroken.

This cloudy view of Five Fingers Mountain.

One may ask, why in the world we want to go to a movie on a cruise ship while we’re in Tahiti?  For one, it was raining. More importantly…because we can. Plain and simple. Because we can. This cruise, like others, isn’t our once-a-year-vacation/holiday. 

The Mayor’s home in the center of town known as La Saintonge.

This is simply 18 days of our lives during which we happen to be using a cruise for transportation to Australia, during which we’re having a fabulous time, making new friends and checking out new locations we’ve never visited in the past.

Vegetation view from the bridge at One Tree Hill.

It was interesting to see Tahiti. Although it’s a beautiful island it didn’t call to us to return at some time in the future to stay for an extended period. The image we had in our minds of Tahiti was very different from reality starting out in the major city of Papeete which not unlike many other major island cities is busy, noisy, and filled with local and tourist traffic.

What a view at One Tree Hill.

Once Benjamin drove us beyond the hustle and bustle, of Papeete the island began to look somewhat similar to Belize in its massive amount of lush green vegetation, old run-down structures, a few historic buildings, mountains, and ocean views. I suppose after Kauai, Hawaii we’re a little spoiled. 

Closer view of the peninsula in the bay in Tahiti.

For many, Tahiti could be an ideal vacation spot staying in one of the many tropical themed hotels with boundless views, sports, and amenities. For us to live there, it becomes an entirely different scenario. 

Our wonderful new friends from Australia, Renee, and Jeff.

However, seeing the beautiful points of interest provided us with a degree of affection for its quaint and eye catching scenery and seemingly friendly people.

Instead of walking over the rickety stairway, Benjamin suggested we follow the path below to access the expansive view of the bay. The single Banyan Tree at the top of the steps was the basis for the name, One Tree Hill.

Back at the ship in time for the matinee, the four of us and two more, the couple we’d met at breakfast, Dee and Ron headed to the theatre for the heart wrenching, well-done movie.

Church in the center of town.

By the time we returned to our cabin, it was 5:00 pm, time to get dressed for dinner and head to the bar for happy hour. Happy it was, that hour until at around 7:00 pm we made our way to dinner for another fine evening of lively banter with more Australians at our table. 

Another church in Papeete, Tahiti.

After dinner, we went to the show, a ballroom dancing extravaganza that was highly entertaining. We’d had another perfect day aboard the ship. We’re not yet halfway through the cruise and excitedly anticipate each day as it comes.

Monument denoted Captain James Cook’s landing in Tahiti. Dark clouds were rolling in.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with Part 2 Tahiti since we had more beautiful points of interest to share than we could possibly post in one day.

Walkway to the beach area near the monument.

Have a pleasant start to the new week!

                                               Photo from one year ago today, June 1, 2014:

The charming streets of Ribeira Brava, our most convenient location for shopping in Madeira, Portugal. For details from that post, please click here.

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