Friday, July 15, 2011

I Finally Get to See Some of Tahiti

When we arrived in Tahiti (a long time ago), we were immediately transferred to the cruise ship, and didn't get to see any of the island.

But we arrived back in Tahiti last night, and our plane back to LA doesn't leave until 10:30 tonight, so we have some time to explore.

Looking down from our balcony, you can see they are loading supplies for the next cruise, which leaves tonight. They want us out of our rooms by 9:30 am, but do a very good job of taking care of us until the plane leaves tonight.

We took a short walk to the town of Papeete, where I wanted to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

It was built in 1875 and has been restored a few times.

Whenever I go into Catholic churches, I like to look at the Stations of the Cross. They are usually done in an interesting manner, but these hand-painted Tahitian ones are the most unusual I have ever seen.

Papeete has a very busy harbor, compared to the other islands. I found an interesting rusty tour boat. If your look at their website here, the ship looks nothing like this.

There were some outrigger racing canoes zooming through the harbor.

At noon, after an early lunch on the ship, we were given a free 2 1/2 hour tour of the north coast of Tahiti.

The bus made 3 stops; the first was the James Norman Hall House. Mr. Hall was an American hero of WWI who moved to Tahiti in 1920. He is most famous for having co-wrote the book "Mutiny on the Bounty."

The house is filled with antique wooden furniture, family pictures, favorite paintings, and other memorabilia.

We got a great tour from a very personable young lady.

Mr. Hall's son, Conrad L. Hall, is also rather famous. He has won 3 Oscars for his work as a cinematographer in Hollywood films, including "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

Our next stop was historic Matavai Bay, most famous for three events. The first European to discover Tahiti, Captain Samuel Wallis, came ashore in 1767. Captain James Cook sailed into this harbor in 1769.

And then Captain William Bligh arrived aboard the Bounty in 1788. They stayed 6 months, and a few days after they left, a mutiny broke out. The mutineers returned to Tahiti, before forming a colony on the Pitcairn Islands. I guess they knew a good thing when they saw it...

One of the few traditional lighthouses in French Polynesia is located on Point Venus, beside the bay.

Built in 1867, it's made entirely of coral stone.

Back on the bus, we saw surfers for the first time. Most of the islands are surrounded by reefs, the waves are outside the reefs, and if you try to surf out there, you'll crash into very sharp coral.

This tiny island has several rivers; this is the largest. Where does the water come from? As you can see, it rains a lot at the top of the mountains, the water runs down -

And into the ocean.

Our last stop was at Vaimahuta waterfall. I knew there were several waterfalls on the island, but I hadn't expected them to be so huge!

I put 3 pictures together to make this shot.

After the tour was over, we got dropped off at the Radisson Resort, and given an oceanfront room for the afternoon.

When our time was up there, we made our way over to the restaurant to get some dinner. The sun was just going down.

I got Spaghetti Carbonara, Phil had Cheeseburger and Fries, we each had a drink, and the total bill was almost $100! (Did I mention Tahiti is really expensive?)

By the way, does anyone know the purpose of the raw egg on the Spaghetti Carbonara?

After dinner, we were transported to the airport. We had a ticket back to LA on Air Tahiti, but kept hearing rumors that they had gone on strike! Oh no, we might be stuck in paradise!!!

But Air Tahiti must have chartered a 747 and crew from Air New Zealand - that's what we ended up on, and it was still considered an Air Tahiti flight.

So there you have it - the trip of a lifetime!


  1. Indeed a trip of a lifetime! Love your pictures :-)

    Don't know where I've been but I just found your blog tonight. I look forward to reading and catching up on your journey as a full-timer.

  2. What a wonderful trip! Since you blogged about it and posted so many photos, you'll always have a place to come back to and re-live it. I'd love to take a vacation like this one. But I'll bet it will be good to get home again! Thanks for sharing so much of the fun with us. :)

  3. What a fabulous trip. I have so enjoyed your pictures. An area of the world we will probably never see in person so it's wonderful to be able to travel with you. No idea why a raw egg.

  4. Darn - too bad about you being able to leave on an alternate flight! Looks like a great place to be "stuck" for a few days. Loved the photos tonight. That "Stations of the Cross" painting was indeed unusual...and that is what I love about travel. How does the rest of the world view something that is familiar to me? Could it be I don't have all the answers?

  5. The "raw egg" is pretty "traditional" in the making of the dish...

    Beautiful photos - hope you and Phil are doing well.

  6. Trip of a lifetime indeed. You've seen a part of the world most people never do.

  7. Many,many thanks for sharing this trip of a lifetime!! Don't imagine i will get to make it in person but you did a terrific job of making me feel like I was there!!
    missy from the bayou

  8. What a fitting sunset for the end of a magical journey!

  9. So much for Life on the Open Seas, back to Life in the Open Road!
    Thank you for sharing, I loved taking this trip with you!

  10. What a great trip you have had. Thanks for today's tour. The places you have been were all on my list back when we were going to sail around the world instead of RVing.

    Looking at the Lorraine picture, I still am comfortable with the decision we made. Now we have added a cruise on a big ship to our wish list.

    Safe travel home!

  11. ...a beautiful sunset at the close of the day and trip. $100 for that meal--I almost feel I should chip in for the wonderful vacation! Almost. :) I will be interested to hear how your reentry back into your lifestyle goes and hope it's a relaxed, comfortable one.
    Thanks so much again. What a pleasure it was. Might have to check out M on the B come winter.

  12. What an awesome cruise. They should give you another cruise for free after all the publicity you gave them.

    Of course, that $100 meal might choke some people. Did it taste any better than an Olive Gardern?

  13. I've been enjoying your tropical trip from up here in Alaska! And the raw egg was to have been mixed in the pasta, with the heat of the dish cooking it and adding even more yumminess to the meal.

  14. I love that shot of Lorraine. And that sphagetti looks good too. I think its time for a little bit of that around here!

  15. Whew! What an adventure. You did a fantastic job making us feel along for the ride. Welcome home.

  16. Never knew it was that expensive! I too love looking at the Stations of the Cross. They are always so beautiful and different. This one is the most unusual I have seen also. Welcome back to the good U.S.A.

  17. Diana, great cruise ... well told with pictures and words. Will have to find a way to get there sooner rather than later. I had to laugh at your carbonara meal and the cost ... had Mui gotten a burger instead of a salad, I'm sure the cost of our meal in Oslo would have rivaled yours :-). Thanks so much for sharing.

  18. I'm so jealous. But have really enjoyed all of your Tahiti blogs.


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