Barry Heath and Marie-Jeanne (Danielle) Peters
Mon 7 Sep 2009 16:26


River trip

It looks wet this morning but the rain hasn’t started yet. Exploration time!! Covered with mosquito spray we are ready. The dinghy drives us to the mouth of the river Faaroa. Both sides of the shores of the river are completely covered in rich vegetation. The river looks great. A little bit spooky. The sky is covered with big cumulus clouds and we are expecting rain. We are gliding through this magic scenery. We meet people cutting the trees which fell into the river after the strong winds of the last week. They are all friendly as most of the Polynesians we met until now. The trees are rustling in the wind. We hear the songs of the birds and discover a nice flat valley. On the side there is an old forgotten plantation where it seems fruit is available. We go ashore for information and meet James a local. James is offering us a tour through the forest and promises us to show us where we can find fruit. James tells us everything. He knows the name of every plant, every flower, and every tree. We are impressed. We taste fruit we never knew existed and flowers we have never seen before. We learned a lot. James I patient calm friendly and polite. We get fresh coco nut water and a nice stroll through this lush vegetation. At the end we get bananas and papayas all for free!! James doesn’t want a tip he did that all for making us happy. We Europeans are already so trained that you have to pay for everything and that people show you the beautiful sides of their country and their culture for free is difficult to accept. Polynesians do it because we are the guests and guests deserve such a treatment. Polynesians are proud of their country and their culture and they are very pleased to show it to the world. Attitude wise there is so much we can learn from these exceptional people.

We got a little bit wet but nothing compared what will wait for us in the next hours. We decide to move the boat to another bay at the end of the afternoon. It is not worse to take the sail up it is only 5 miles. We motor through the pass enter the bay Opoa which has lots of reefs around and a few in the middle. Right now the sky opens and the heaviest rain imaginable pours down just at the moment where we want to anchor. A tricky and a wet affair. We eventually manage.

A nice day ends in front of a protestant temple where the locals are gathering for dancing and drumming. The drums will accompany us again for the rest of the night. Beautiful Polynesia.