Heiva o te

The Day of Autonomy or locally called ‘Heiva o te’ is an official holiday in French Polynesia, an overseas collective of France. It’s celebrated on the 29th June every year to honour Tahitian and French Polynesian self rule. This year was the 35th anniversary of independence of 1984.
Big celebrations were held all day and evening in Papeete, the capital town of Tahiti.
Many dignitaries gave speeches.
In the afternoon a huge procession involving over 11,500 people representing 150 French Polynesian organisations, paraded down the Pouvanaa’a Oopa Avenue cheerfully waving their banners.

Late afternoon there was a festive programme on the waterfront, in the beautiful gardens of the Paofi Parc. The Parc was packed with people relaxing, picnicking and having fun.

I loved the hats and floral headbands, people had made such an effort on this special occasion.

Children’s play activities.

There were acoustic parties

An open air cartoon film would start when dark at 6pm.

At 8pm there was a fireworks display over the Papeete harbour.

After such a busy programme, I expect there were some very tired families the next day.

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Rapa Nui


We recently spent a week on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). I would say that “It’s a small island with lots of big stuff.”


 

As lover of flowers, I got a real wow factor from the size of the hibiscus and poinsettias. The flower heads were truly huge.

Even our Lei garlands, presented as a welcome at the airport, were rather grand.

On route to the famous Rano Kau crater

We hiked through a meadow of flowers creating the impression of stepping through an enormous deep pile yellow carpet.

The trees created a striking canopy of orange flowers.

All in all the flora was rather lovely.

Many large dogs roam around the island. The’re wild but friendly. They chase cattle, horses and cars,. Consequently, many of them have broken limbs. On a 23km coastal hike from Anakena to the town of Hanga Roa, we had our personal pack of five stray dogs to keep us company all the way.

We spotted many birds of prey on our coastal hike.

The coast line was rugged with waves crashing over the rocks.

I was pleased that we arrived by air not sea. The few visiting yachts seemed to be having a rough time, seeking a safe anchorage.

Of course Rapa Nui is famous for its cultural, archaeological and historical legacy.

Ahu and Moai
Great expressions

Pukao. The hats, sombreros and top knots.
The petroglyphs
Observation tower, Tupa. Houses, Oronga Village.

I can’t include enough photos to do the place justice. You will have to go and visit.

The most unexpected discovery of the holiday was the elaborate bells played loudly on the Catholic Church clock. The church was just up the road from our accommodation in Hanga Roa. It probably drives the locals mad but I was fascinated.

Despite the fact that we arrived from Tahiti where the Polynesians love their traditional dancing, we enjoyed an evenings entertainment watching a dance show in the town.

We had a brilliant week. Rapa Nui offered us far more than just the famous Moai.

Shy

All was calm in the marina this morning, no swell. The Muscovy Duck was catching a few rays of sunshine and appeared dry and relaxed. Breakfast was prepared and ready for us to eat in the cockpit but John had disappeared. I thought it a bit weird that he should choose that moment to spray WD40 on his bikes which are secured near the marina gate.

Moments later I was presented with a rose and a bouquet of local grown flowers from the market. Today is Valentines Day. John admitted to being embarrassed about buying Valentine flowers. I had made one of my card creations for John, not a fair exchange really but it was made with love.

Valentines day can be a cruel day. The teenage school girls in Tahiti are demonstrative with their newly presented roses and often look smug rather than smitten. I’ve seen girls purchasing their own roses from the local garage, glancing quickly around to check that no one in their peer group has noticed. Such is the pressure.

Having purchased a baguette a couple of hours later, I noticed that the flower sellers in the market were having a field day. Men young and old seemed shy and embarrassed as they make their choice of bouquet. Token gesture or completely over the top, what message should they give.

A shy Tane scurrying away with Valentine flowers.

On closer observation I was happy to note that families old and young bought flowers too.

Oh no. Not helium balloons.

I don’t want to be too harsh on the concept of Valentines Day but I loathe the fact that it has become another commercial gimmick. How could you possibly approve of a bunch of flowers containing an inflated Chinese helium balloon. So bad for the environment.

Day 8: “Treasure” — Zoom In


The Instructions

Get close to your subject. Use the zoom function in your camera, or physically move closer to it. Often, our goal is to capture as much of a scene as we can. This time, zoom in on your subject or a particular detail to tell a more interesting story.


Today I bought a couple of tickets from the Maison de la Culture in Papeete for the 2018 FIFO International Film Festival. Walking back through the Paofai Park to the marina, I came across one of nature’s little treasures.

We have had wet but warm weather for a number of days now. The combination has given rise to the growth of fungi.

I thought this fungi was rather delightful and deserved to be captured in a photograph. Kneeling down in the moist grass, I zoomed in to take this shot.

Fungi growing in the park

I also took an above shot, of another fungi. It was difficult to recognise it as such but I thought it a rather fun photo.

Looking down at this little treasure.

Another treasure was this Golden Trumpet Allamanda Cathartica.

The flower has bright yellow petals with a gold centre The leaves are green and glossy.

I was trying to capture the rain drops.

I need to practice close up shots because I didn’t think I captured the vibrance of this image.

Ginger

The house of Green Ginger was a coffee shop in my UK home town. Green Ginger sounded exotic when I was a teenager in the 70’s . It was the sort of place where I would rendezvous occasionally with my father on a Saturday morning, knowing that he would pay for the coffee and I would get a lift home. The only other ginger thing in my life at that time was my hair.
Fast forward to present day and I’m retired, living with my husband of 36 years on our yacht in Tahiti. I feel very special because I’m regularly presented with a fabulous bouquet of local flowers from the Papeete market.

These locally grown flowers are totally exotic. My previous assumption of exotic ginger being green in colour, went clean out of the window.

Look at the vibrant colours and look at the stunning textures.

A bright glossy red exotic flower bloom filling the frame, with a few green leaves in the background.
The grand ginger flower

Isn’t nature wonderful.

Red torch ginger (phaeomeria magnifica)

Hawaiian golden beehive ginger (zingibar spectabile)

Wild Crape ginger (costis specious)

Giant spiral ginger.

Also Opuhi rose de Tahiti (alpinia purpurata)

Parrots beak (heliconia psittacorum hurcules )