Fenua

Opening events with pomp and ceremony are part of the role you play as the President of French Polynesia.

You arrive as the President: the Country’s major VIP. You and your entourage are welcomed. The traditional greetings continue as you are escorted along the route to the stage, where you will say a few words. No one wants long speeches.

A bit like the shock of the unknown in a ghost train, serious women in bright clothing spring out in front of you. They chant and sing. A man throws baby powder into the air.


It’s all too much. You try to suppress your amusement. Your shoulders start to shake. You give up and burst into laughter, singing along with the women.

You recompose yourself in time to cut the tape of tiare flowers.

This is a happy occasion and everyone is relaxed.

The event from the 3rd to 6th May in the Place To’ata, Papeete, Tahiti is the:

Salon made in Fenua

Fenua means land. There are over 90 stalls set up with people selling locally made French Polynesian products.

Coconut products from Tikehau in the Tuamotus

There’s a 4 day programme of Music, dance, comedy and song all performed on the small stage.

Dance and drumming.
The cow on route to the stage. Mascot for Tip Top ice cream.

With glorious weather, the event is popular keeping the traders busy.

The temporary stalls took a week to erect by strong Tahitian men.

This time next week, the venue will be ready to host a different event.

Wheelies.

Noise, dust and polluting fumes are the result of the constant traffic jams along the promenade road in Papeete, Tahiti. It’s a recognised problem which has no solution.

On special occasions such as sports events, the police block off the road to motorised vehicles allowing recreational use to the public.

Road closed by the police, even to the Roulotte trucks.

Sunday was a pollution free day for families to enjoy. People of all ages arrived with their bicycles, trikes, scooters, skateboards, rollerskates…

The road sloping down through the underpass was most popular with the teenagers but small children and grandparents tested it out too.

The latest craze.

It’s good to see people having fun and showing courteous respect to one another to avoid injuries.

What a pity the road can’t be closed every Sunday.

Strike

Honest hard working people are angry in French Polynesia. First they had a protest march through Papeete. Now they are out on strike in true Tahitian style.

Striking postal workers staying relaxed.

Why? Well the government has upped the pension age and reduced the pension. I empathise as I have to wait 6 years longer to get my UK pension.

Most of the striking workers enjoyed sitting in the sunshine snacking on food from one of the many Takeaways.

Hungry work being on strike.

The police were out in force. They had some traffic control duties but the roads were quiet. Most people chose to stay away, were on strike or both.

Out in force.

Many of the potential trouble makers opted for a beer in the shade whilst discussing their predicament.

Discussing strike options in the heat of the day.

I hope the situation will be resolved soon but with two determined bodies of people, this could go on for a while.

Perfect day in paradise.

Moorea is Tahiti’s little sister island.

On Thursday, we entered the Vaiare pass, dodged the ferry and joined a couple of other yachts in the anchorage area inside the lagoon.

We are quite close to the Sofitel . The hotel prices are horrendous. The beautiful public Temae beach extends way past the hotel grounds.

Sofitel bungalows extending out over the reef.

Near the hotel inside the lagoon is a large coral garden. It is protected by the PGEM (Le Plan de Gestation de l’Espace Maritime) The area’s gorgeous to bimble around with a mask and snorkel.

Hanging up the suit to dry after a long snorkel through the coral gardens.

Sunday morning was so relaxing. Sunny weather and crystal clear water.

More boats arrived. Locals and visitors took to the water and had fun.

Fun and laughter from the kids on the nearby yachts. Even an Eagle ray swimming past.

Local families out and about.
Tahiti in the background.
Hire boat
View towards the pass
Dive boat with holiday makers.

Kind friends had been to the supermarket in their dinghy and bought over a couple of baguettes, marvellous people.

I doubt there will be many days so perfect as this.