The ship left Tahiti right before midnight so they can say it's an 11-day cruise instead of a 10-day cruise, so I didn't get to see Tahiti at all, but may after the cruise. The next morning, I woke up in this gorgeous spot.
We are anchored in Maroe Bay, between the two pieces of the sleepy little island of Huahine, about 100 miles northwest of Tahiti.
I wanted to see the island, so I went on a tour with Joel, pronounced Jo-elle, who was a real character. He left the US for French Polynesia 39 years ago, and is still here.
He is kind of a hippie type. He stopped and showed us many different plants. I forget what this one was, but it looks kind of familiar.
Our first stop was the Belvedere Lookout, where we could see the ship down in the Bay.
Then we went to the small town of Faie, where sacred blue-eyed eels live. They are huge - 3 to 6 feet long!
The eels are gentle, harmless and are only interested in "sacred mackerel" from "sacred cans" that can be purchased at any "sacred market" on the island. Fortunately, Joel had some.
These are fish traps built centuries ago and still in use today. The fish go in at high tide, then can't get out when the tide goes down.
Not all the roads on the island are paved, and many houses don't have electricity or running water. The metal on these palm trees are to prevent rats from getting to the coconuts. (Fortunately I didn't see any rats...)
Joel showed us many different plants and trees. Vanilla from the islands is well-known.
Everything is green here and grows like crazy, even fence posts. Six years ago, this was a fence, but is now a row of huge trees.
The Royal Village of Maeva is one of French Polynesia's most important archaeological sites.
There are more than 200 stone structures, including 30 ceremonial temples called Maraes.
Chickens run around loose on the island. They are communal chickens, so if you need dinner, feel free to grab one. The chickens serve another purpose - their favorite food is the huge centipedes that plague the island.
I loved the old fishing boats, still in use.