Plastic Palm Leaves

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 13 Apr 2011 21:55
At anchor off Reporepo Island, Rangiroa Atoll
Wind: East nor' east, F2 light air
Weather: Sunny, warm

I thought about leaving today and making our way towards Papeete via Moorea but have decided to stay on more day to complete a few boat chores and to have one last beer with Keld this evening. Unfortunately Keld has come down with a stomache bug of some description and has not been feeling too well over the ast few days but not sick enough to prevent him from debating rigorously all and sundry.

The supply ship came in yesterday and all today the small wharf has been a hive of activity, with fork lifts buzzing around like bees around a hive, four wheel drives and utility vehicles have been queuing for there share of all the goodies that have been disgorged from the belly of the little red ship, and numerous people were checking invoices and bills of lading undoubtedly making sure all the numerous and various items went into the right vehicle. I strolled the wharf curious as to the necessities of island life that were being discharged. Canned goods, powdered milk, bicycles, bags of rice, car tyres, and lots and lots of soft drinks, As far as I could see there was nothing waiting to go out on the ship and I pondered the balance of trade for the islands but cam to the conclusion that apart from copra, the the islands produced low bulk commodities such as pearls and tourism, and in particular diving. One item on the wharf that attracted my attention and made me laugh was what I could only assume to be plastic palm leaves. The label indicated that they were destined for the Hotel Kia Roa. The hotel is right nearby where we are anchored and has been here for ages but is under new ownership, Chinese so I am told, and being revamped. It is a low profile hotel which suits the environment, lots of bungalows in thatched palm style, including many new ones which are being built on stilts over the water. The new ones appear to be awaiting more palm leaves. I guess the plastic leaves are going to last a lot longer then the real thing but it does seem a little crazy to see the island completely covered in palm trees and then having to import plastic leaves. I am sure the development will be great for the island's economy but I cant help but think as the wicked witch of the west so aptly put it, “What a world! What a world!”

All is well.

Hotel Kia Roa: