Papeete, Tahitti, French Polynesia, January 23, 2010
Jan 23, 2010
|A hazy, humid, misty, almost overcast day greeted us with our entry to the harbor of Papeete, Tahitti, French Polynesia. The next few days & ports will be filled with touring, sightseeing, snorkeling and taking photographs. I will attempt to at least upload, each day, as many photos as I can so the text will be easier to follow (or skip all together). Needless to say, time will be limited and those days at sea are used to catch up on journal entries.
All is fine in French Polynesia, the threshold to Paradise!
Upon finally getting into our berth dockside, those of us who had tours immediately gathered at the dock. Those of us who had no tour plans, gathered our things to go shopping in the market place and the immediate town area. Since Regent has included shore excursions as complimentary services to World Cruising, many of the popular events are "sold out" and the discounted "premium" excursions are mostly booked (those are the ones that include overnight stays or flight arrangements or more than the "normal" bus ride to a venue).
More later, gotta go------!
Today (Saturday) was an interesting experience, for me but just a "shopping experience for Debbie & Ellie (Ellie had done this with me our "Dream World Cruise" in 2008), so she (Ellie) did not want to get tired or expend too much of her energy going on a local, sponsored by the Papeete Chamber of Commerce, that I DID experience. I'm glad I did and sorry Ellie did not (nor was it the kind of tour that she could have negotiated the curbs, traffic and/or the walking if she did go on the tour. A group of about 5 young ladies were our "tour guides" and gave us (only 3 of us took them up on market PA announcement) the narrative and presentation of sites within walking distance of the Papeete Market.
The tour turned out to be more than the "walk & stop, listen & take pictures" kind of tour most of the walking tours turn out to be. These ladies demonstrated era clothing, gave narrative of monuments & history of Papeete & Tahitti life up to present day. They practiced their best English (all of the tour participants-3-spoke English only and the couple with me were from Toronto, Canada on a 2 week vacation), gave us traditional Tahitti dances in native costumes. There was a "band": 2 drummers, a bassist, yukalalee (sp?) and a guitar player/singer. This was preformed at a cultural center, across from the "Assembly Government Center" (closed on the weekend).
The Chamber of Commerce supported a VERY nice tour of the immediate local area, as it used to be and provided the support for these ladies & performers to give an insight to Tahitti. We all enjoyed the pleasant discovery of a tour we would have been happy to pay for but was given complimentary. We even tried to "tip" or donate money but insulted the participants (they said they were paid by the government to do this for tourism and would be offended if they accepted anything more) by offering; they were happy to provide the tour & performances for us without supplement.
After the tour, that was mostly dodging rain drizzles, was completed, I went back to the ship to learn the "girls" wanted to get some flowers & sent me back out to the market to get a floral arrangement for our next door neighbor, who was not having a good time and made comments about our handicap equipment being in the way in the hall. So, I got a beautiful bouquet for them and of course one for Ellie. All seemed to enjoy the magnificent colors and beautiful flowers, orchids & plants-all made for me as I watched.
We got ready for the evening meal and Tahittian dancers that the ship provided as entertainment for the evening--wonderful! Each dance represented a different meaning, message or event in Polynesian island life or history. It was fascinating and mostly fast paced throughout the performance. Ellie, Debbie & I stayed until the end and it was good that they got "rested" for the evening festivities, earlier. They will be tired even tomorrow by being up late in the night (for them) & we're not sure about the weather tomorrow in Moorea.
Tomorrow was another day. Onward! to Paradise!
"Our World, Our Way, No Regrets!"