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Touring Tahiti

26 April 2012


Touring Tahiti
Thursday 26th April, 2012

 

The World ARC programme in Papeete concluded with a group bus tour around the larger part of the island - Tahiti Nui. Again, the day lacked the cooperation of Tahiti’s weather and it rained for most of the day! However, as you would expect sailors and circumnavigators have a strong resolve and so the tourists made the most of each of the stops to jump off the coach and see what each of the sites had to offer.

This tour, like many others in places which the Rally visits, is included in the World ARC crew fee and so more than 100 crew members and visitor joined the tour. The three large air conditioned coaches (identified as the red, white and blue buses of the World ARC colours) made their way around the island in a clockwise direction. The first stop was Point Venus, 15km outside Papeete. This site marks the history of Tahiti’s early settlers. It was where Captain James Cook first landed in Tahiti and where he later observed the transit of the planet Venus in 1769. It is also exhibits a monument to the HMS Bounty, famed for its crew who mutinied to remain in the company of their new Tahitian girlfriends.

The next stop was the blow holes of Arahoho which are seaside volcanic tubes through which, in a heavy swell, air pressure is released from under-rock caverns in the cliff. The seas were quite tame at the time the tour visited but one could see the effect.

Conversely, the heavy rainfall meant the Faarumai waterfalls were anything but tame. As one walked the rocky path to the base of the third waterfall, one was hit by the air pressure and spray of the rumbling water mass. It is not the highest waterfall in French Polynesia but certainly seemed to be the most impressive.

T
he coaches met up for lunch at the Gauguin Museum and the attached ‘Restaurant du Musee Gauguin’. All appreciated being off the bus and undercover and there was a very nice Tahitian buffet to enjoy before or after walking around the exhibits of the museum. It is a shame that none of the original works of Gauguin can be kept at the museum (it does not have climate controlled display halls) but it still tells the interesting story of his life very well.

The last stop was to the Museum of Tahiti & Her Islands. This houses a wonderful display of artifacts to chart the social history of the archipelagos. It was a great stop to round off an interesting exploration of the island. 

The crews are now exploring the Society Islands before meeting up on the leeward island of Bora Bora in the middle of May.


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