Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Island Tour

I picked up a sandwich at the supermarket yesterday, then prepared to go on the round-the-island trip with the tour operator, a local guy named Dave who was originally from Hawaii.

His van was full, and as a bonus, I got a tour of some expensive hotels as he went around and picked up other clients.

Of course, most hotels here are expensive, so it's not like the people staying in them are particularly well-off. They just didn't find any other options when they were looking for a place to stay. I'd found my pension in Lonely Planet, and had chosen it over backpacker digs because it was in Papeete, and I'm a city-dweller who likes to walk or take buses.

Oh. Mr. "I'm Here to Buy A Yacht" was on the same tour.


The tour took us to five sites, and it didn't take long before I was wondering if I could have just rented a car. But I'd read that cars were prohibitively expensive here.

"Shut up and suck it up," I told myself.

We visited the Maraa Grotto cave (where Tahitians quit bathing in the waters for ages after Gauguin bathed there for two hours in hopes of curing his syphilis), the Paul Gauguin Museum, the Faaruumai Waterfall (pretty), a blowhole where water spewed up through a lava tube and created a giant tea-kettle effect, and the Point Venus Lighthouse, which was designed by Robert Louis Stevenson's father and has grounds littered by monuments to Bounty survivors and Captain Cook.

At the end of the day, I quietly asked the driver/guide to drop me off at the food trucks in Papeete, but Mr. Yacht heard, then invited me to join him once we'd arrived.

I didn't want to join him. He was really all right, but I just wanted my alone time after being crammed into a van all day with eleven others. I made a really weak, probably rude excuse and fled.

I posted some photos of Tahiti here.

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