What? Tahiti, but you just arrived in the Gambiers! What is going on? Well, let me tell you. Matt and I sold our home in Austin Texas. However, we did not want to fly back to the states to sign the documents so we hired an attorney to act as our “power of attorney (POA).” The only problem was the title company insisted on a U.S. notary signing the POA. So, we had to fly to Tahiti to meet the U.S. Consulate to notarize our documents. We also had to submit our carte de sejur application for our long stay visa and run a few other errands so all good!
We took a ferry from Mangareva to an uninhabited neighboring island called Totegegie, where the airport is located. Ferry and airport below. The airport is lovely from the outside 🙂
We hopped on Air Tahiti, connected in HAO and 6 hours later arrived in Papeete, Tahiti.
Arriving in Papeete
We found several marine stores and made mental lists for boat parts and products when we come back with the boat. We found many decently stocked markets, pharmacies and hardware stores as well. We met with our agent, visited the local poste to get a stamp and then submitted our visa paperwork at the Haute Commissionaire’s office. We attempted to get signed up for a local wifi service, but we could not convince anyone to give us a local address. We will have to work on this when we return in June with the boat.
And of course, we met with the U.S. Consulate who told us wild stories and became a new friend. He notarized our documents and we gave them to our agent to fedex them to the states.
Matt has to get a French HAM license or our SSB radio. Evidently, his U.S. HAM license is not valid or legal with our current equipment in French Polynesia. So, he had to get a French HAM license. We got the proper forms and email address to send off when we return to the boat.
After two days of running all over the island to complete our business, we spent the 3rd and final day playing tourist. We drove around the entire island and even saw a little bit of Tahiti Iti. It is not a big island so the round trip would probably only take you 2.5 hours if you did not stop.
Grottes de Maraa
Along the coast of Tahiti we came across the Grotties de Maraa. Thinking this had to be a “grotto” we hopped out and jumped on the lush, over populated path. We came across a strange tree that had roots growing from high branches and a beautiful pyramid red flower.
There were two grottes along this path. The first one appeared to have an enormous weeping wall that steadily dripped fresh water into the pool below. The lily pads were easily plucked from the water, but from a far they appeared for form a pretty green highway to the cave.
The second grottes had a wide variety of plants, ferns, flowers, and trees growing off the side of the wall leading to the fresh water pool. It was as if they formed a layered curtain to hide the entrance for intruders. Such incredibly beauty!
Les Tres Cascades
About 10 miles from Papeete, the main town, we found Les Tres Cascades. We were running out of time so we only walked to one of the falls, but it is my understanding that it is the prettiest.
Tres Cascades (three waterfalls) which are all over 300′ tall. The myth is a powerful chief forbade all the males in the town from speaking or interacting with his beautiful daughter or risk death. At 17 she secretly met a wizard of the valley who hid them behind a waterfall so her guards could not find them. In addition, he curtained another waterfall to hide the guards. Thus creating the tres casacades.
On the way to the entrance, we captured one of the falls. The interesting thing to me was that many small shacks were at the base of these stunning waterfalls.
Tou du Souffleur (Blow Hole) 1-collage w/ 3 pics
Perched along the rocky coast of Tahiti and bordered by a scenic black sand beach, Arahoho Blowhole is one of the island’s most visited natural wonders. As waves crash against the shore, a powerful geyser-like eruption sends spectacular plumes of water into the air out of the side of the rocks.
We did a lot of business and frequented a few bars at the Marina Taina.
Beautiful sunset from the Pink Coconut bar
All said and done, Tahiti is a very green, lush, vibrant island. We were mostly doing “city” stuff so we did not see the splendor of the island, the white sand beaches, turquoise waters or serene scenes. Hopefully, we will when we come back with the boat!