Tahiti is the largest and most populous island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. The capital, Papeete, is located on the northwest coast. Papeete, meaning the "water basket", was once a gathering place where Tahitians came to fill their calabashes with fresh water.
The island is split in two, connected by a short isthmus. The northwestern portion is known as "Big Tahiti", while the much smaller southeastern portion is known as "Small Tahiti" and it is accessible only to those travelling by boat or on foot.
We have a rendezvous with the fleet in Papeete on the afternoon of Wednesday 28 April. Until then and while there, participants have the opportunity to visit the very colourful market (open everyday except holidays, the market is especially lively on Sunday mornings) and a number of museums, including the popular being the Museum of Tahiti & Other Islands, with its comprehensive collection of cultural artifacts. The Gauguin Museum traces the life and works of the French painter who made French Polynesia home, and the Tahiti Perles Centre features the rare and lovely Pinctada Margaritifera, the Tahitian black pearl. There are also many art galleries and craft shops to wander through.
The Harrison Smith Botanical Gardens reflect the variety of plants Smith brought to Tahiti and propagated to diversify the local vegetation and diet of the local people. Mataoa Garden is also well worth visiting.
Several events will take place in Papeete during our stay:
Tifaifai Exhibition (April 29 - May 9, 2010)
Traditional Tahitian Quilt Exhibition at the City Hall in Papeete
Polynesian Traditional Sports Championship (April 24, 2010)
"Polynesian Traditional Sports Championship" to be held at the Hotel InterContinental Tahiti Resort in Faa'a which include javelin throwing, stone lifting, coconut climbing, etc...
MAHANA PAE I PAPEETE (April 30, 2010)
Festive gathering in the city of Papeete, Tahiti, involving the public and visitors, all dressed in local attire centered around various activities like sports and dances, culinary arts, crafts in the gardens of the City Hall, starting from 9am.