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Huahine: The Garden Island

Huahine consists of two islands connect by a small bridge. It has the oldest recorded date of human occupation among the Society Islands. Recently uncovered sites date from 850—1200 A.D.

Our first stop on the cruise is Huahine (who ahh he nah). Before we could disembark the ship, we had to attend a safety meeting, eat breakfast, and get our passes for the tender boat that would shuttle us from the ship to the shore.

Once we landed on the island, a fleet of shuttle buses delivered us from the dock to the town of Fare, one of only eight small villages. We had arranged to use a rental car for the day. It didn’t take too long for us get set up and pick up Jerry and Michelle and we were off to explore.

Our first stop was an archaeological museum. It consisted of a beautifully recreated native meeting hall. The floors and walls are made of woven palm fronds and the roof is thatched. Displays inside provided some historical background on the island and it’s original inhabitants. Outside the hall, there was an area of black stone foundations and some standing stones. Farther down the road we pulled of to view an enormous black stone structure from the same time period.
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Back on the road, we came across the dock used as a ferry to take folks out to a working pearl farm. The pearls of this south Pacific area are well known for their unique colors, including the most popular black pearls. The pearl farm itself is headquartered in a thatched building set on stilts a 5 minute boat ride from the shore. We were given a demonstration of how the pearls are “seeded” into living oysters...and then, of course, it was time to shop. By the time we boarded the boat to go back to shore, our wallets were lighter for the money spent, but the purses were plumper with some eye-catching baubles of black pearls.
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Back in the car, we began looking for someplace to eat lunch. On the way, we stopped to visit the sacred eels—yes, I said sacred eels. We saw several of these fresh water eels that range from three to six feet long. Why are they sacred? I honestly don’t know...but they are cool!
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Lunch was eaten at a small restaurant called Chez Tara. The food was excellent, the local beer was cold, and the view from this “on the beach” café was delightful.
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The rest of our tour was spent completing our drive around the southern, smaller island, Huahine Iti (the larger northern island is Huahine Nui). When we drove back across the bridge, we knew we would have some extra time to kill before catching a shuttle bus back to the ship’s tender. Back in Fare, the rental car was returned. Some time was spent checking our the local shops; the rest of the time was just sitting and relaxing in the 90 degree weather. Oh, snow, we miss you not!

Back on the boat, we spent a little time resting (the seven hour time difference has our internal clocks messed up yet) and then we headed to the dining room for dinner. As it turned out, there was no room for the four of us, so we were escorted to the Polo Steakhouse on deck 12 for a fancy dinner. That put us all into snooze mode so we all retired to our suites to rest up for tomorrow.

Posted by jeburns55 10:09 Archived in French Polynesia

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