LUSH says farewell to French Polynesia
7 weeks in French Polynesia… well someone’s got to do it!!!!
Wow, what an awesome time we’ve had since I last blogged. We’ve sailed, swam, surfed, scuba-dived, snorkeled, hiked, kayaked, canyoned, cycled, kiteboarded, wakeboarded, water-skied, paddle-boarded our way through these stunning islands!!! I have a massive smile on my face just writing that last line… we really have done all that and what a place to do it. These islands are just breathtakingly beautiful with a mixture of lagoons, reefs, beaches, tiny motous and then massive mountains with all sorts of fruit trees, palm trees and flowers.
The Polynesians are very welcoming and are proud of their culture often wearing the flowers in their hair, as you’d expect from the image of Tahiti and her isles. Now there’s a lot to be said for this tradition as it makes it easy for the singletons out there to know who’s available… so basically a flower by your left ear means you’re in a relationship, one by your right ear signifies you’re single and one at the back of your head means you’re seriously single, in fact desperate for some romance!! There, that’s it!! So simple! It would save those poor lads back home a hell of a lot of time and cost at the bar if the gals just made it this obvious for them!… anyhow, food for thought I suppose.
Now, I’ve got to say I was a bit worried arriving into Tahiti with my hubby after what had happened on the Bounty, what with Fletcher Christian and the rest the sailors giving up their lives on the ocean waves for the Tahitian women and settling in French Polynesia. Thankfully today’s girls don’t live up to their ancestor’s reputation and I’m glad to report all the lads have stayed aboard the good ship Lush!! I know that’s a harsh thing to say about the local women but it’s true, a lot of them just aren’t as slim as they used to be and our impression hasn’t been helped by the fact that there are plenty of Mahu about. Mahu are males who are raised as girls and continue to live their lives as women so as you can imagine initially we were confused thinking the girls were extremely tall, hairy and broad shouldered! Now, the rest of the local lads make up for what the girls are lacking in a big way. The local sport here is va’a (outrigger-canoe) racing. In every single anchorage we’ve been over the last 7 weeks there have been guys out training in their canoes. They’ll paddle out past us at some rate and always with their tops off! Girls, this is some sight!! So, for all the single ladies out their, if the lads still haven’t swept ye off yer feet back home just get on a flight to Tahiti, pop a flower in your hair and off you go!!!
Over the last while we’ve spent most of our time in the Society Islands between Moorea, Bora Bora, Taha’a, Ra’iatea, and Huahine with one nicer than the next. Tahiti is the main island of these and I guess it’s the most well know but it’s not somewhere you’d want to stay for more than a couple of days unless you’re a pro-surfer or something, actually the diving there is pretty good in fairness. The other islands have it all from a holiday point of view but there is one thing missing… no pubs…. at all!!!…. which being Irish I do find unusual. There are restaurants and hotels of course but no such thing as a pub, so at night everyone is in bed by 9 – 10 o’clock, it’s just the oddest thing. Polynesians socialize at the market, church and each other’s houses mainly, with the odd occasion in a local hotel.
The Tuamotus islands were equally stunning, and we pulled into Rangiroa for 5 days after we left the Marquesas on route to the Society Islands. Rangiroa is one of the biggest atolls in the world, with a lagoon so big it could fit the island of Tahiti inside it. It’s a full-on diving and snorkeling mecca so it didn’t take us long to don our fins and snorkles and jump in the water as soon as the anchor bit. My fav spot in French Polynesia was the Blue Lagoon in Rangiroa, which is a lagoon within a lagoon. Wow, it really was out of this world!! Paul’s put up a video on our blog of the black tip reef sharks that circled him in 2 feet of water while we were there. Such an awesome spot! Luckily, we managed to find some time in our hectic schedule to visit a local pearl farm!!! It’s pretty impressive to see the technician performing the culture operation to graft the pearl in the oyster before returning them to the water to harvest for four years. Needles to say we took the lads into the shop afterwards…. sure ya have to support the local economy don’t ya?
There are so many experiences we’ve had over the last couple of months here that I’d be here forever writing about them and to be honest it’s a bit too hot here to spend long typing… I fancy a quick dip in the 35 degrees C water that surrounds us!!! So, for now I’ll log off… next stop….Tonga…. a six day sail beacons first!!
Lots of love to all back home!
Hope the sun is shining for ye!