Part 2, Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia…Excellent Island Tour…

The waterfall in the park in Tahiti, a popular tourist attraction.

We didn’t get off the ship yesterday. Busy visiting with other passengers we were late getting finished with the post. By the time the photos finally uploaded due to a poor connection while in port, it was too late to go ashore and get back in time for the 4:30 pm sailing.

The embankment is protected by wire mesh and chains to keep the rocks from falling onto the roadway. The only other places we’ve seen this was in Madeira, Portugal, and Maui.

Again today with many passengers stopping to chat with us here in the Schooner Bar, we’ll be late posting. We apologize for today’s late post.

We passed through a few tunnels during the tour of the island of Tahiti.

When passengers tour with taxis on their own, the ship won’t wait to depart if there is an unforeseen delay, such as a flat tire, running out of gas, etc. Also, in reading online at TripAdvisor and other sites, there was a degree of unreliability expressed over taxi service in Bora Bora. 

On the last road to the waterfall area, numerous dogs were on the road, many asleep in the way of passing cars.

In an effort to maintain our low-stress travel philosophy, we stayed behind. That’s not to say staying behind wasn’t wonderful. It was. We hung out at the pool with our new friends from the US, Pat, and Charles from Missouri, and thoroughly enjoyed the time together.

Notice the plants inside the painted old tires.  We noticed these in several spots along the highway in Tahiti. It was raining while I shot this photo through the windshield.

After seeing Bora Bora and those adorable bungalows over the water, we’ve decided someday to return and perhaps stay for a month. We’ve found there are other less expensive options for those appealing bungalows which we’d love to experience.

Gnarly Banyan tree.

Taking tons of photos of Bora Bora from the ship, we were satisfied with our decision. Many passengers, particularly more seasoned travelers such as us, don’t get off at every port. We get off the ship when it calls to us which is more times than not.  So far, we’ve only missed one port of call.

A woman selling fruit at the waterfall park.

As the ship continues out to sea until arriving in Fiji on Saturday, June 6th, we’re extraordinarily content with plenty to do to keep us busy. Between hanging out with other passengers, attending seminars, movies, and a variety of entertainment venues, lounging by the pool, working out (for me), dining twice a day, we don’t have a moment of time to become bored or even read a book.

Bamboo growing along the pebble path.

On some days, we actually have to rush to dress for dinner. Tonight is another formal night, which is always tricky for us when many men dress in tuxedos and women in ball gowns. But, somehow we dig through our clothes to find clothes that don’t seem too casual or out of place.

During our walk through the park, we stopped to admire the scenery.

After all, we have no room or interest in such fanfare as we did when we went on our first few cruises with the proper attire on hand. Now down to so few pieces of luggage, we barely have room for a single more dressy item. Luckily, I’d purchased the few items in Princeville which aren’t dressy, although “casual dressy,” if there is such a thing.

Giant rocks in the creek.

Tom has one long sleeve white dress shirt with black pants which we hope will fit him tonight. He’s actually not eaten much on this cruise, keeping the gluten and sugar consumption under control, mostly due to his dislike of some of the options.

Boulders in the creek.

The accommodations for my meals have continued to my satisfaction at both meals surprising me at times as to the good flavor and consideration that has been exercised to comply with my restrictive diet. 

A path in the park-like area of the waterfall.

The kindly pastry chef had offered to be creative and make some type of custard type desserts for me using eggs and cream. I graciously declined his offer. He wouldn’t have used my preferred chemical-free liquid sweetener (purchased online) which deterred my interest. 

A footbridge over the brook.

We’re being mindful of constantly washing our hands and using sanitizer. So far, we’ve heard no mention of Norovirus or respiratory illness onboard which is often prevalent on cruises. 

Beautiful greenery in the park area.

Yesterday morning at breakfast we were seated at a table next to a woman mentioning she was coming down with a cough and sore throat. Again, as graciously as possible, profusely apologizing and asking her not to be offended, we arose.

Musician playing at the waterfall area.

Sure, it was awkward to have to do so. But, getting sick would be very frustrating and we have no desire to take such a risk. We still have nine more days on this cruise and having the opportunity to continue to enjoy ourselves each day as we have thus far, is truly a gift.

The babbling brook.

As we’re sitting in the Schooner Bar at the moment in our quiet comfortable corner, it’s already almost 3:00 pm. The days fly by leaving us with a bucket load of great memories and friends from all over Australia, several of whom have invited us to come to stay at their homes, genuinely making such an offer that astounds us.

Another view of the babbling brook at the site of the waterfall.

Of course, we’d never actually stay in their homes, as much as we appreciate the offers. We’ve always preferred to find our own accommodations without imposing upon others. 

Our friend Jeff sipping on a fresh coconut. Benjamin, our driver is in the background in the red and white shirt.

Today, we share more photos of our tour in Tahiti, and tomorrow, well, there are great shots of Bora Bora. We worried we’d run out of stories and photos on such a long cruise although, at this point, we doubt this will transpire with much more awaiting us.

Have a terrific Tuesday. We’ll be back!

                                            Photo from one year ago today, June 2, 2014:

On this date one year ago, the locals from the Catholic church visited the homes in Campanario to sing and share the Day of Ascension. Entering our house, they continued with their lovely music while we praised them for a job well done, offering a donation at the end.  For more details from that day, please click here.

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.