Tahiti – 23rd April

Very humid – stiflingly so!! Woke up to find that we had moored right in the township of Tahiti which is the biggest island of the French Polynesian Islands. French is the predominant language and then the Tahitian language.

Our first chore of the day was to walk into town, a very short distance away, and find an internet café which we achieved. Had to pay $5US an hour and the connection was lousy because every other man and his dog was there off the ship – oh well, what do you expect. Managed to get most of the last blog posts in but many suffering severely from lack of photos which will have to remedy on our return to Calgary.

Caught up on our emails and dealt with important stuff but an hour really isn’t quite long enough when you have been off the grid for ten days. Must admit, it has been rather nice though. We returned to the ship in time for some lunch and then went down to join our 4×4 tour of the interior of island. The island is only 40km wide yet it is the largest island. They say the French Polynesian Islands total surface area is no bigger than Rhode Island yet the ocean area it encompasses, is the size of Europe.

We set off towards the east along the main coastal road of the island and then turned inland.

The mode of transport to say the least was very basic. No seatbelts or proper roll bars but oh so appreciated as the wind cooled us all down. It was also raining at times so that gave us some relief. When it rains everyone just keeps going on their merry way as it is very warm rain and you soon dry off.

The scenery was very tropical and lush. As is with all places, it has been invaded by non-indigenous plants which have created tragic consequences for the native plants. We see this all around the world now. They are not all man introduced either. They may come by wind or current as well.

Due to the heavy rain throughout the morning, many of the waterfalls had a good volume of water in them. Up in this area of the island it rains throughout the year with the wet season being October to April. As it has its own micro climate with some peaks reaching over 2000 meters, it creates its own weather patterns.

One of the introduced plants. This is a flower from the tulip tree which came from South Africa.

We were provided with the opportunity to go for a swim in the river which Fras took up whilst Di preferred to stay in the dry. It was a good trip and our guide Patrick was very charismatic and explained to us how atolls are formed which is very interesting indeed.

Back to the ship for a good clean up as we were all soaked and pretty grubby. We went and saw in the showroom on the ship, a Tahitian dancing group. Firstly their energy was exhausting, secondly their dancing was frantic and thirdly, it made us all feel very old. I think every one went back to their cabins to see if they could even attempt to move their hips like the girls and the guys try and do the squats that the male dancers did. Guess that just resulted in a busy medical clinic.

Hmm, we are pretty convinced this is a sea shell so we are giving ourselves an 11/11

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