Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia

2019 HAL World Cruise

Saturday, February 16, 2019

 

Papeete is the capital of French Polynesia and is located on the largest of the islands, Tahiti.  This is where oceans of cruise ships, ferries, yachts, luxury liners and cargo ships all converge.  The heart of Papeete is the waterfront and its pleasant promenade.  The Municipal Market, La Marche, is the most famous of Papeete’s shopping venues with its lively produce market, fish market and flowers downstairs and the clothing and souvenirs upstairs.  Tahiti is famous for black pearls.

We have been here before and loved the city.  This visit, we joined friends, rented a car, and drove around the island.  We started on the main part of the island, Tahiti Nui and circled around to Tahiti Iti, the smaller orb of the island.  Take a look at a map to see the unusual formation of this island.

The following pictures will give you a sense of the beauty of this place:

1
It was a dark and stormy morning as we arrived in Papeete, Tahiti. We have our fingers crossed in hopes the day will clear-up.
2
But the view of Papeete, as we pull in to the dock, is still lovely and inviting.
3
A mall is like a siren song to me; but today we are driving around the island to see the countryside!
And off we go!
And off we go!
5
Our first stop was The tomb of King Pomare V. This is in a little park filled with families enjoying picnics and ball games.
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Next, we climbed up to Les 3 Cascades. A tall and roaring and misty waterfall that cascades over 3 ledges into a roiling muddy pool.
Les 3 Cascades
Les 3 Cascades
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Then on to Cascade Vaimahuta. There is some sort of memorial at the base between the two cascades.
9
There was no signage or explanation of this display. Alas, I don’t know what it is for; but I’m pretty sure it would make a great story!
10
After crossing onto Tahiti Iti we stopped at the overlook, Belvedere de Taravao. Here, we are looking across the sea to Tahiti Nui, the larger part of the island.
Another view from Belvedere de Taravao.  This is looking at Tahiti Iti.
Another view from Belvedere de Taravao. This is looking at Tahiti Iti.
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As we drove back to Tahiti Nui, we stopped at the Jardin Botanique where we saw this Indian Rubber tree. This is a fast growing tree with aerial roots that anchor themselves in the ground.
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Sandy at Jardin de Vaipahi, the Botanical Gardens, standing INSIDE a rubber tree!

 

It was unfortunate that today was a overcast and rainy day.  As you’ve probably noticed, the photos are mostly a bit hazy.  The sun was elusive, today.  And by evening, when the Roulottes (food trucks) should have been setting up alongside the dock area a heavy storm with gusty wind and lots of rain came through.  All was bleak and cancelled!  But I’ve hunted up a few pictures from prior years to give you an idea of the festivity that accompanies the food trucks!

Food trucks line up on Saturday night!  (2016 photo)
Food trucks line up on Saturday night! (2016 photo)
The local food is a tasty blend of french and polynesian methods and spices.
The local food is a tasty blend of french and polynesian methods and spices.
16
We didn’t sample the creperie when were here before, so I really wanted to try both the savory and sweet varieties. I was so disappointed to see the weather deteriorate this time. Only a couple of trucks set up tonight. But NO ONE came! So sad.  (2016 photo)
This is what it looked like in 2016.
This is what it looked like in 2016.
It's a diner's delight!
It’s a diner’s delight! (2016 photo)
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While hunting for the Roulottes photos, I came across a few La Marche, Public Market, shots. (2016 photo)
The 2-story Public Market in Papeette.  One of the best markets we've visited.
The 2-story Public Market in Papeette. One of the best markets we’ve visited.  (2016 photo)
It is a very colorful market!!!!
It is a very colorful market!!!!  (2016 photo)

 

After a long night of rain and wind, we awoke to find we were still in Papeete and not anchored in the Bay at Moorea.  Alas our Moorea port-of-call was called off.  Too dangerous to run the reef channel with all that wind.  So, we are on our way to Bora Bora instead.  The next post will come from there.