Off to Tahiti this morning after three nights and two full days at Tikehau.
First and last night we spent up next to the pass, the middle night anchored
8miles ish south near the main town Tuherahera. Not sure I would have
called the one and only town a whole 6-syllable mouthful like "Tua hera
hera", may as well have called it "town", really. Whatever.
Lunch in the Pearl Beach resort, a miles or two west of town and accessible
only by boat is quite nice, and seeing as we’re zipping in and out, we can
be quite picky and critical. The setting is very lovely, water so clear you
can see every single fish scooting around, exactly like looking into a glass
of water. It’s the thatched rooms on stilts over the water design, seems to
age nicely in the sun. One or two seemed newer than the others, perhaps
recently re-creosoted, not sure.
Buying fresh food ashore and keeping it fresh on the boat is not easy … so
we often end up with a craving for massive salad, again. The salads were
good BUT not quite as advertised on the menu. They tried to wriggle out of
it by arguing what was vrai Cajun or whatever but nah, eventually they had
to re-do it all. Also some residents did the shouty phone thing “OK, deal,
tellem we’re partnering on the main event in LA but the networking and tech
is all their responsibility okay? – can we go with that?“ and so on.
Lonely Planet rates this resort hotel as #4 in the whole of French Polynesia
but –meh- I wouldn’t be much taken by the idea of two weeks stuck there. It’s
a nice enough hotel -lovely in many ways but some of the varnoish looking a
bit less-than perfect, andthere’s not really enough to do other than,
yerknow, read and anorkel and stuff. Which you could do anywhere and then
do some culture or if on a boat, clear off somewhere else. Okay, ace
snorkelling although you can everything here with out a snorkel – look - a
shark, right there. Wow. But for me, there’s not really any freedom that
"sunny sandy island retreat" sorta implies - all meals and everything would
have to be taken in the hotel for a start. And seeing as it’s a posh hotel
with all the normal rules of polite behaviour– there’s none of the potential
advantages of being on a deserted island like um, playing music as loud as
you like, setting fire to something, hacking something down to make a raft,
perhaps, or doing other stuff that probably (definitely) wouldn’t get
through the Mailasail filth filters.
Easily the best thing is to descend on the place from a boat, have nice
lunch, lounge about, and leave in the afternoon. Like we did. Or it would
have been the best thing, but perhaps we spoiled it by being not-pushovery
about the salads not actually including half the items as advertised on the
menu, so they might not be too happy about more pesky boaties coming ashore
As before – gotta book restaurant the DAY BEFORE. We didn't but got away
with it. There’s a nice restaurant on the beach – no good unless you book
ahead, and the boulangerie too. The church is also a er snack restaurant,
bno need to book that, bit weird, with enough tables to seat the entire
island population of 350 or more.
Choir practice while you eat sounds like they are reciting all the vowels in
the alphabet over and over to the tune of the South African National Anthem,
or anything from Paul Simon’s “Graceland”, same thing, ish. Play a major
keynote, third above, keynote again, then second above and Diminshed Seventh
below. Hah – sounded like I knew what I was talking about then eh? Not far
off anyway. Yerknow that Country+W song that has irritating grammatically
wrong chorus ending “ …This land was made for you and I” (should be “me)
well, those chords are similar to lots of Pacific Island music. Nick will
tell me I oughta put in a mp3 file here, sheesh.
We’re off towards Tahiti, perhaps collecting islands on the way. Or, I may
have to do them later, after other islands like Tahiti to refuel, and St
Louis, another small frenchified island.
Before then, there’s Tetiaroa just north of Tahiti …. except it says you
gotta ask permission before anchoring. Aw! That could have been a
contender - coulda been something. I think I’ll go there anyway, sometime,
pay them a little visit, ask them why they’re putting me to a lot of
trouble, being unfriendly and disrespectful, hm? Think they’d like that?
Hm? Tetiaroa is Marlon Brando’s island, innit?
Actually, they’re building a new resort on Tetiaroa called The Brando, or so
it says in one of the guidebooks - should be ready around now. Now THAT’S
gonna be a load more fun, surely? Realistic drive-by machine-gun shootings
every night included, entire bar area smashed to bits once a week,
hopefully, and the exciting breakfast includes half a grapefruit mushed in
your face by an angry gangsterish waiter. Oops erm, actually that last one
was Jimmy Cagney, not Marlon Brando. Doesn't matter, I expect you select
the gangster-film scenes you want in advance.
Finally i put a load of Bovril in Anna's coffee this morning, April 1, but
she just swapped it and didn't say a word. That's even's right? Neither
of us can mention it till after noon local. This doesn't count or course,
cos you're in a different time zone and it's after midday. I just switched
the water off as well. teehee.