On my sports walk I arrived at the To’ata carpark and l spotted a friend. Not only was she feeding the stray cats but she had also fed the hens and the stray dogs. What a lovely lady.
The white dog who I’ve befriended came bounding up to me. I’ve discovered that she has a very shy brother who I’ve also been feeding. Today they were with the park dog greeter. This handsome guy has been abandoned in the park for eight months since his owner died. He’s had to adapt to the park being closed. We’ve all protected him. He was given a red collar but that’s been removed. However, today the three of them played in the car park and the drying up River estuary. Wonderful to see three happy dogs with tails in the air, tearing around with such energy.
Today is day 28 of confinement in French Polynesia, a group of islands and atolls covering an area of over 2,000 kms.
We’ve had 55 known cases of covid19 with 1 remaining in hospital. Most cases have been on the main Island of Tahiti, with a few on her sister Island Moorea, which is just 10 nautical miles away. With restrictions in place, two ferries run a limited service between the two Islands. You can only travel on these for approved commercial reasons or valid family reasons. Otherwise forget it.
I’m in Tahiti. I make the most of my one hour in a one km radius power walk for exercise every evening. From our boat in the marina and from a vantage point on my walk, I look longingly at Moorea in the distance.
We all hope that when safe, travel restrictions will be lifted but until then, we can still admire the view.
Not everyone enjoys a five course meal on Noritaki China. The dish might be far more humble but a necessity in life in order to survive.
Ah bless. I’m always a soft touch for the under dog. She’s been abandoned by the homeless who have been offered a bed and three meals a day during the lock down. Most had dogs but I don’t think they were invited. She’s starving and has terrible rope marks on her neck. This is the third day she has appealed to me . She has food in her belly since I met her but we live on a small boat and I have a flock of chickens to feed. I will do my best.
Day 15. We have 30 cases and one still in hospital.
On January 18th, a big street party was held in Papeete, Tahiti along the main road. The road was blocked off so that families could have a fun day. So typical of the Tahitians. Today cars could travel through but the occupants needed a permit underlying their reason. Consequently the road was empty. The bars that were bursting at the seams are now closed.
Every evening I enjoy my one hour in a one km radius to power walk for exercise. In keeping with the French system, sport is recognised as being beneficial to overcome this current situation, as well as the lock down.
I feel confident that soon we will be back in the street celebrating the best street party ever. We can wait, it will happen.
There was a thunderous noise outside the marina yesterday. So much for the local churches asking for silence on a Sunday. Police vehicles with blue flashing lights closed off the road.It turned out to be an event for the owners of American motorbikes and American Jeeps. Both of which made a huge amount of noise when in action.
Once the vehicles were parked on display outside the marina, there was a blissful silence. It lasted all afternoon.
Unlike the vast USA, Tahiti is a tiny island. Papeete the main town, is already struggling to cope with traffic congestion. Although fun for some, and they definitely drew a lot of attention at the event, I wonder if these gas guzzling, noise polluting modes of transport have a place here on the island.
An excellent band belted out classic American hits from the seventies whilst children and youths practiced bicycle stunts.
Others watched the experienced trick bike team fly up a ramp, spin their BMX bikes and land on a huge inflated airbag.
I discovered that BMX means bicycle motocross, it’s an off road sports bicycle used for racing and stunt riding. BMX started in the early 1970s when children began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in Southern California inspired by the motocross stars.
So the good old Stars and Stripes won over the locals for the afternoon.
With screeching tyres and roaring exhausts the jeeps and motorcycles disappeared as quickly as they arrived.
A short time later the police reopened the road to the normal traffic.
I read in the news that “France will declare a state of natural disaster after rain and hail storms lashed a swathe of the south-east on Saturday, devastating crops”
In Tahiti, I was bimbling round the Papeete local fruit and vegetable market last week. Chatting to a stall holder, I mentioned that prices appeared to have gone up for things like cucumbers and tomatoes. He told me that everything was growing really well, then suddenly for no apparent reason the cucumber and pepper plants just died.
Sunday was the farmers market. I noticed that there were quite a lot of cucumbers but no tomatoes or peppers.
Another stall holder said not much is growing at the moment but they didn’t know why. May is usually a productive month for produce here. I wondered if there had been bad weather in Tahiti whilst we were away on holiday in Oregon.
During our visit to Oregon, we were shopping in Safeways. A lady was promoting Oregon Solidarity wine. It was a heart warming story.
After an order for $4 million worth of grapes was canceled citing smoke-tainted grapes, local winemakers stepped up and used them anyway.
Read more about it in the link below.
We had experienced large areas on fire as we drove through California and Oregon on a previous trip last October. The smoke certainly carried in the wind for miles and the effects on agriculture were devastating. However, tests were made on the grapes and they did not prove to be smoke damaged.
We of course thoroughly enjoyed our bottle of Oregon Solidarity wine.
I’m left wondering what and when the knock on effect will be for us in French Polynesia, if the vineyards in France have been badly affected.
Whilst enjoying a live gig in the Place To’ata Stadium in Tahiti, John nudged me.
Not only did we have an excellent view of the stage from our seats but we also had a commanding view of the Papeete Port. A large cruise ship was docking on the Paqu Dock next to the marina.
This year, there have been more cruise ships visiting French Polynesia than ever before. The “tick box” locations are Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti.
Over the Easter holiday between Sunday April 21st and Monday April 29th, five “Grand capacity” cruise ships with more than 2000 passengers on board, arrived in the Port of Papeete. These large cruise ships are floating cities. There were also a number of smaller cruise ships visiting the port, some of which are based in Tahiti.
Prior to the Easter splurge of cruise ship passengers, the Minister of Tourism headed a meeting with representatives from all the organisations involved with the cruise ship industry to ensure that the hosting was successful. There were a lot of people at the meeting. It seemed like every top official from Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea was there as well as representatives from all the town organisations. It was a gathering to behold.
So, before the passengers purchase their pearls and souvenirs.
Or are entertained by musicians and dancers.
Or take an excursion around the island
Think of all the people who made their visit possible.
The Port authority employees whose tugs and pilot boat bring the ships into port, with line handlers to take the lines.
Customs and immigration clearance before anyone can step ashore.
Reprovisioning of supplies and refuelling.
Waste removal and cleaning .
Security, traffic policing.
The coaches and taxis.
There are the floral decorators who make the town look bright and welcoming.
Then of course there’s all the administration that goes on behind the scenes.
I’m sure the cruise ship passengers enjoy their experience. No doubt the tourist industry profits from their visit and help to boost the economy.
The last few days have been hot and sunny in Tahiti and I am optimistic that the improvement in the weather heralds the end of the cyclone season. The last few weeks however, held a mixed bag of hot humid weather, heavy rain, thunder, lightning, interspersed with some cloudless sunshine.
Spare a thought for Fintan Magee a famous Australian Street artist.
He was tasked was creating a massive street mural on the side of a block of flats overlooking a car park in Papeete. With what must have been months of preparation, the first brushes of paint were applied to the wall around the 14th March right in the midst of the foul weather.
The artist worked long hours every day until the mural was finished.
When I asked him what was the theme of his mural, he said “Love”
The project was completed with Fintan Magee’s signature on the 21st March. I hope he was pleased with the results. I thought it was rather amazing.
How blessed we are in Tahiti, to have such dedicated artists, who create all these wonderful masterpieces for everyone to enjoy.
We’ve had a lot of rain so far this February in Tahiti . When the weather improves, I like to get out and about for exercise.
One sunny clear day, I headed in land on my electric bike called Vertigo. I wanted to find a landmark large cross high up on the hill side. This area is said to have a great view of the port of Papeete and the distant Island of Moorea.
I checked my Google map and set off. The road narrowed with a steep incline, there were only a handful of private properties by now. Turning a corner, I met a set of teeth belonging an alsatian dog who had his barking brother along for support. At the same time the lace on my left trainer wrapped around the bike pedal. Cursing my stupidity, I shouted a few pleasantries in dulcet tones to the dogs. Dropping my right foot to the ground to support the weight of me and the electric bike, I was able to wriggle my left foot out of the trainer. I propped the bike up on it’s stand and disentangled the lace from the pedal. Once I had composed myself, I remembered the dogs. One was sitting down facing the other way, whilst the barker sniffed a shrub and wandered off.
I backtracked and realised that I was on the wrong road and should have been on the road running parallel to this one.
Now on the correct tarmac road, it terminated at a bridge over a small river. A rough concrete road continued but my Google map told me that once over the bridge, I had to turn off to the left. Hmm it looked like a rough track.
I asked a gentleman who was gardening on the other side of the bridge for directions.
He enthusiastically pointed to the rough track which was clearly unsuitable for my type of bike. He generously suggested that I locked my bike behind his property whilst I hiked up the track.
I was surprised to see many depictions of Christ on his crucifixion route as I followed the trail.
I’m somewhat ignorant when it comes to religious matters but I did learn more about it from John who attended Redrice Catholic school even though he’s not a clan member.
Known as “The stations of the Cross” there are 14 images.
There was lush vegetation in the valley and hillside. Eventually I reached the area where the cross was erected.
There was indeed a wonderful panoramic view of Papeete and the distant Island of Moorea. I spent some time there.
A few joggers arrived from another direction, so presumably there are a number of routes to this look out place.
I however took the same route back to retrieve my bike. The gentleman was evidently looking out for me. I declined the offer of refreshments but thanked him profusely for letting me leave the bike in his garden.
As I cycled back to the marina, I thought to myself, what a pleasant little adventure I’d had.