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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Incredible Cruise: Day 2- Huahine

The second day we went to Huahine.   (   )  Huahine is part of the Society Islands  (.
Archipelago (  )

Huahine is really two islands connected together by a bridge.  The larger island is Huahine Nui and has the main town of Fare on it.  The smaller island is Huahine Iti.

 We woke up to rain and a beautiful rainbow.  When we got on the ship it there was another rainbow and I felt good about it.  I couldn't believe I was seeing another one so soon.  I definitely felt like this was going to be a good time.   It was also fun to realize we were being sheltered in a lagoon, 
( I thought its not the blue lagoon but it is pretty and different from what I'm used to seeing.
Rainbow over  Huahine's lagoon
 I'm not used to seeing rainbows in the morning I'm used to them more in the evenings.  Then it dawn upon me what day it was  - Mother's day.  I felt like this was such a great present to get for this day.
Because we had an excursion for the day we got up and decided to eat at the top deck restaurant since it was a grill and we thought the food service would be faster.  As it was it was a buffet and later in the week we at at the other place too and found out they were both buffets and just as fast.
As soon as I stepped out on the deck to go to the restaurant and started to look around I was like - Oh My Gosh --- Oh My,  Holey Moley I'm in a caldera!!!   Because all I could see was  volcanic rock rising up and surrounding the lagoon we were in. I was expecting to see some Lagoonal coral reefs ( but I wasn't expecting to see this.
A caldera is a collapsed volcano.  I had read where Bora Bora was considered a caldera but I wasn't expecting Huahine to be one also.
   After I got home and looked up caldera's I was wondering if this wouldn't be considered more a volcanic crater?; (any insight as to wether this is a caldera or a crater would be appreciated.)

As we were driving around the island I did get this picture so you can see what I mean about being surrounded by volcanic rocks.

These are the pictures I took from the ship.   At first I was just snapping away.  But then I tried to get them in sequence so you could get a feel for how you were totally surrounded.

The light was shifting too as the clouds were moving around.  I was just glad the rain had stopped for me to be able to get them.

The blue waters were so pretty.
I'm having trouble getting them in order but I think this is how they went.
I'm looking to see where the overlap is.  And did them from left to right

Because of the cloud cover I could tell these went together.

 All I knew - I was amazed to be in it and to see it.  I could hardly wait for the island tour we had planned for the day.

They took us by tender to the dock.  Then there were all these people holding up signs for the different groups.  Most of the excursions were for scuba diving and snorkeling.  I was more interested in the cultural aspects of things.  We saw the sign for the excursion we were going on and got on a bus with the other people.  We got these pictures while waiting for the others. But it didn't take long for people to load up.

The bus started to take us around and the guide explained that the island is only 74km long and it is two islands connected together by this one bridge.  On the smaller island there is no electricity and most of the people live on the bigger island.   It wasn't long before we were at the bridge that connects the two.

Most of it was what you would expect a tropical island to look like.  I think this peak was called Fitii.

I was trying to get a picture of it but the palm trees kept on being in the way, yet they were pretty in their own rights.   This is a good picture showing how shallow the water could be.

This was an inlet that I thought was interesting to see.
These road side stands were very common
We took a break in the downtown area of Fare.   They had this near the main meeting place.

 This was a meeting place for the people.
This was the view that they were getting to see while sitting in the shade.

More pictures of the Fare.

I saw this one tent and liked the way the post were decorated with the  weaving.
A closer up of the poles.  I couldn't tell what the place was used for.  It was Sunday and it might have been a market stall that was closed for the day.

After fifteen minutes we were on our way again.  It was interesting to see areas like this were you could tell the tides had brought the water in and nothing really was growing in those areas.
They took us by an ancient meeting place called Maeva that archaeologist have been digging in the area  and trying to reconstruct things as they believed they used to be before things were changed by the missionaries back in the 1800's.

The area was so pretty

After we were done there we went on to see a vanilla plantation.  I recently had read the book  'The Signature of All Things: A Novel" by Elizabeth Gilbert.  In it the heroine Alma Whitaker goes to Tahiti and lives there awhile trying to figure out why the vanilla plants weren't growing beans.  It was taking place back in the 1800's and that was before they knew about pollination.  It was very interesting to read and I couldn't wait to see what the book was talking about.
I must admit after we got here I was disappointed in it.  It looked like someones back yard garden.  They were selling there products and I could tell that it was very important for the tourist to buy things since it did impact their economy so much.

I did not realize that the coconut husks would be used so much to help with keeping moisture in the soil for the plants to grown.  The vanilla plant is an orchid and it grows on other plants.
It was interesting to hear what she had to say about growing the plants.
She did show us this picture so we could see what the flower does look like since none of them were in bloom.   Each flower has to be hand pollinated.    Then from that one bean is made.  From the bean they are able to make the vanilla.  The talk was very basic and I could tell they were more into selling us some stuff.

It didn't take us long before we were on to other places.  This is very typical of the churches we saw while in the area.  As the guide said before the missionaries came they had many gods.  The missionaries helped them discover the one God but in doing so they lost their culture because it wasn't the standards by which the missionaries believed in and lived by.  Now that they believe in the one God they are able to go back and relearn their cultures because the missionaries did take good notes and documented so much.  They are trying to blend the two together with the one belief in God.

I thought these were interesting to see.  They have these walls that trap the fish when the tides go out.  It does make fishing for them so much easier and the families can get just what they need to live on.

The land in the area belongs to families and its hard to get land.  This place was once a hotel but a cyclone destroyed it.  It's never been rebuilt.  I thought it interesting as to how the lands were allocated, and how it could be used.

Tropical beach on Huahine
One of the main touristy things to do is to go and see the kids feed the eels.  Apparently there was an old woman that used to feed the eels and they stayed.  She died off but the eels stay expecting to get feed so the locals have taken over feeding them.
The eels have blue-eyes and there is one that looks like one of the stones.  It's a little left of center coming out of the cement wall.
A blueeyed Eeel At Faaie Huahine
I've gone ahead and cropped the picture so you can get a better view of its blue eye.
Blue-eyed eel on Huahine 
 Here you can see the girls feeding mackerel to a few of them.

They did take us up over one of the ridges and it did give us a good look at the lagoon with the cruise ship in it.

Looking at the cruise ship Paul Gauguin in the Huahine Lagoon

We only spent one day there and then it was on to our next island.
The ship wanted to leave the lagoon while there was still light and it did make for some pretty pictures as we went out to sea.

I came to find out that those little islands are called motu's - a coral rubble islet.

I thought it was very interesting to see the waves breaking where they were. More will be written about this at on other days.
Motu Vavaratea on Huahine

Leaving Huahine via the cruise ship Paul Gauguin

They had shows aboard the ship but I failed to bring my camera to them and didn't get any for this day.
There is a group of people and my spouse  - you know who you are - I just want to THANK YOU for this incredible experience.