Our first impressions of Tahaa

…are really positive. The high islands, motus and the fringing reef reminds us of the Isle Gambier and the slow, relaxed pace here is exactly what we like.

Yesterday we moved into the deeply indented Haamene bay, where the water’s a bit murky, but the view of the lush green hills and the calm anchorage makes up for that. After dark the sound of drumming and singing lured us ashore (dinghy’s can be conveniently parked at a floating dock) and we went straight into the dress rehearsal of the dance group of Haamene in front of the church. It was quite an event with all the villagers gathered (many had brought their own chairs as not everybody found space on the benches that had been put up around the square) and we were invited to join in. The age of the dancers varied more than in the other groups we’d seen before, but it’s amazing to see 10 year old girls and boys wiggling their hips and wobbling their knees quite as vigorously as their older companions. The dancing and singing was interrupted with lots of speeches (all in Tahitienne, none in French!!) and went on until around 11 o’clock. It was so much more fun and excitement than the sterile performance we’d just seen in Tahiti and we’ll try to make it to the main village Patio on the weekend, when ‘our’ group from Haamene will compete with the other 7 villages on the island :-)

Today we left the dinghy again at the floating dock and hiked over densely forested hills on the ‘chemin traversier’ (a jeep track across the island) to the northern coast and to Patio. Crossing the island took about 3 hours and again we planned to hitch a ride back on the coastal road. Just like on Moorea it took a very long time to get back to Pitufa by hitchhiking, but for entirely different reasons. Unlike Moorea where hundreds of cars whooshed by without stopping there’s just hardly any traffic on Tahaa. Exactly four cars came along on the way and all of them stopped for us. Unfortunately they all wanted to go only very short distances, so in the end it took 4 cars and some walking in between to make it back to Haamene bay (less than 20 km).

1 comment

  1. Lisa Dorenfest says:

    So pleased that you are enjoying Taha’a. It sounds like you are having a wonderful experience there. We miss you and look forward to catching up with you again at some point!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.