As mentioned earlier, we were eager to leave 2 weeks ago, to be short, we are still / already in Tahiti and still eager to leave. To make a virtue of necessity we took the ferry the day after to Moorea (where we were almost with the sailboat) and had a wonderful week in a bungalow. Fare Tokohau from local Tea and Frenchman Alex was a very relaxed mini holiday park with 5 houses right by the sea, 2 lovely children, dogs, cats, chickens and free bicycles and kayaks. We spent the entire week lounging on our veranda, hiking to the magic mountain and the tree coconuts pass with beautiful views over the reef, marveling at all the blue colors of the sea here and making long kayak trips. While kayaking we were able to snorkel with the current adrift and between rays and blacktip reef sharks. The rays are fed and stroked by the locals who come to the islands (motus) for a picnic. That is why the rays come very close and sometimes almost crawl against you. It is nice to see how they chill here on Sunday. The whole family in a boat or in a super large pick-up with a boombox with very loud music, women with wreaths of flowers and good food and then eat and drink under the party tent all day. Without a pick-up and boombox you really don’t belong here! Because the island is quite small, we were able to cycle around the entire island, including the quiet south side.
We had plenty of time to bake pancakes for breakfast and share them with our neighbors or cook with Danish friends who were going to sail in the Marquesas. Food (basically everything) is very expensive here (2-3x as expensive as at home) but French baguette is subsidized and only 53 ct and mangoes and passion fruit can sometimes be picked up from the ground during a walk. A few times we went out to eat at local restaurants or roulottes where they serve delicious (raw) tuna, grilled mahi mahi with vanilla sauce or octopus! We can get used to that! Tea taught us all kinds of things about the island, for example about drum trees in the forest that the inhabitants used to use for communication, the sound of stone blows on the hollow trunk can still be heard kilometers away. She also taught us all kinds of coconut ripeness and how to eat them. Finally, in a week we saw the island completely, by bike, by scooter, in the local bus with the kayak, snorkeling and on foot and having a drink in all the fancy hotels. Saturday we went back to Tahiti. By bus from Fare Tokohau. Again we were waiting for a bus that may and may not come until it raced past, luckily Tea called the bus driver and turned around to pick us up and take us to the ferry. The past few days we have snorkeled and kayaked here and yesterday we made a nice bike ride along super busy surf beaches full of locals to the valley of Papenoo. Now we have to wait for the screw that hopefully goes through customs today and we can finally leave! (Thumbs up?) By the way, it should be clear that even without much sailing it is wonderfully tropical here to enjoy!