Edit Blog Post
Published: February 20th 2015
The essence of French Polynesia - childlike relaxed joy and simplicity.
10 days in French Polynesia. Wow, now who could complain about that! There were hikes in the Orofero valley on the main island of Tahiti, mountain silhouette views of the sleeping pregnant woman off our Huahine beach, and playful forays in the sparkling coral reefs around Maupiti. The days were hot, sticky, and flirting between crystal sunshine and varying intensities of rainfall. In search of both adventure and relaxation, we chose islands a bit off the beaten path.
Once out of Tahiti, a 40 minute flight landed us on beautiful Huahine whose gentle people were quick to laugh and admit that more than a few of them were still hoping for independence from both France and Tahiti. Thanks to the benevolence of France and the retention of family land, residents here enjoy a good life. Fresh tuna and tiny, uber-sweet bananas are as abundant as the lush tropical foliage covering the volcanic hillsides. And for those tourists lucky enough to claim one of only 100 available rooms for rent, simple pleasures abound. For us, it was all about meandering and eating. We cruised the west side of the island in a little rented motorboat, rounded the island roads
Typical lagoon waters, as warm as a soothing bath.
in the back of an open tourist truck with Paul Atallah of Ecotours, and hoofed the beach between our Maitai Lapita bungalow and the village of Fare. And in addition to the fresh tuna, tropical fruits, and French baguettes, we discovered the pleasure of local Tahitian Hinano beer. Ahhh…. Life is good.
After an unexpected overnight rain delay in Raiatea, we hopped over to little Maupiti, the farthest westward Society island served by Air Tahiti. Maupiti, the undisturbed little sister of Bora Bora, charmed our senses and our hearts. Nary a 2 story building can be found nor can resort pools or taxis. But you can rent an old style bicycle on the main island and round its volcanic mountain in less than 2 hours if you don’t get sidelined by the little artisan shacks and alluring beaches along the way. At our little Le Kuriri pension on the Tiapaa motu, life is French sophisticated and Maupiti simple. We are treated with the utmost hospitality by our hosts Camille and Jacqueline. Solar powered lights, stiff ocean breezes, and comfy mosquito net covered bedding grace our little Pilotis oceanfront bungalow. Family style dining with a lovely French family
and our hosts were an anticipated highlight at the end of each day. Superb meals were presented consisting of the likes of tuna with vanilla sauce, papaya gratinee, and chocolate mousse. It was in Maupiti’s lagoon that finally we are able to swim with a Manta ray. Oh, the grace of their gently flapping 2+meter wings, gliding to and fro as they enjoy a cleaning by some little reef fishes. Led by friendly Tahitian “Sammy”, we also explore a coral garden maze and are filled with wonder by the colorful varied corals and fishes in the bathwater warm, azure blue lagoon waters.
Now, as we finish our books, nurse our sunburns, and fly over the Pacific toward Los Angeles, relaxation and adventure still fill our souls. Please don’t change, Maupiti. We all need a place like this to escape to and remember that life indeed can be breathed in simply, one experience at a time.
Tot: 0.629s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 11; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0269s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb