Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Stop - Huahine

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.


  1. What a great start to your trip. Glad the eels did not decide your toes were sacred :)

  2. So beautiful, but centipedes everywhere? Not fun. And eels, even with blue eyes, are still eely. But what fun to learn about everything - including growing fence posts.

  3. Incredible pictures of a tropical paradise! Enjoy yourself, you deserve a break from all that tiring full time travel.

    Just a thought, I think you shouldn't bring back any of those plants Joel was showing you as a memento of your trip... ;c) Seems Customs Agents have no sense of humor about those things!

  4. From rusty stuff to old fishing boats. You do have interesting likes.

  5. Love all of it - info and pics! Keep it coming and hope you are having a fantastic time!

  6. I get a little behind on blog reading and look what happens!
    Five leaves, but not what it might appear to be..
    Would you collect a small native rock that catches your eye and bring it to me for my collection?
    Looking forward to those underwater pixs.

  7. Looks like a fabulous trip so far. So much to see. Really interesting to learn how other people live. Pretty laid back? How's the food on the ship?

  8. Thanks for the tour ... I think I'll skip the eels though ... they fall into the same category as snakes .. slimy and slithery.

  9. What a great post I just loved reading about a different place and the history that you just told us about what you know so far, that is so funny about the fence now being trees LOL Thanks so much and I cant wait to see and read more! Happy Cruising girl...

  10. Great start to a trip of a lifetime. Havin' traveled in Europe and all through the Caribbean, Linda & I have always planned on Tahiti as our first stopover when we hit the lotto LOL!

  11. Hi Diana-

    From the hot hot Nevada desert we just wanted to say hi. What a fun trip for you guys! Love the pics and have an amazing time. All the best from Bree and I and Henery and Cali.

  12. Thank you so much! What a wonderful glimpse into that part of the world. The low tech way to catch fish is excellent. The peoples of old didn't need technology. They simply used their heads. The eels in such shallow water. So interesting. Glad you've had beautiful weather. Beware of those Polynesian brownies!

  13. JOEL..does look like a character--I think he has stoked a few..lol
    WOW those eels are amazing..Such an exciting trip!!!

  14. Looks like a little bit of heaven on Earth. Now the eel don't look so cool to me...LOL

  15. This is great! I don't ever need to go now.


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