"Uh, bar?" I didn't want to go to a bar. I wanted to pack.
"Sure, come to the bar."
"Well, if you come to the bar then, I will see you there."
In the morning, we all left our luggage in the center of the big dorm room (oddly, this big room has only 8 berths while the small room crams in 10), and headed to breakfast. I was looking forward to seeing my little travel coffee press again in Tahiti—I'd stumbled over a store in Tasmania that still had the old kind I'd used a decade ago, the kind that aren't even made anymore, and I'd bought five of the remaining seven in stock. Two for me, two for my mother, and one for Amanda, who is as hooked on decent coffee as I am.
The ship slipped into Papeete under a mostly clear sky. A rainbow showed itself for just a moment, and then we docked. I dropped off my key and followed the others down the stairs off the ship. Beni would be along in a minute to pick up the Fare Suisse guests. I waited for the second run with Judy and Neil, who I'd ridden with on the way in. They were hilarious and adventurous people, a retired couple who sailed across the Atlantic and once had a farm. Judy and I both had early on confessed our New Yorker addictions to each other.
My room back at Fare Suisse was heaven-sent after the tiny space allocated to me in the dorms. I spent the day wrestling my awkward wooden handicraft into wrapping and posting—bubble wrap isn't easy to find here, but Tourist Information* helped me track some down. And at night, I went down to the food trucks where a dozen other Aranui passengers were milling about. I found Vern and we walked out to the water's edge just in time for the sunset.
That was it, then. Flights out started tonight. I hadn't gotten one—mine was on Christmas day.
Tony came running up, breathlessly.
"Tony, you missed the sunset!"
"No, I was right over there. I ran four blocks to get here in time."
We hadn't had a decent sunset the whole time we'd been at sea. But today's was lovely, as the sun set towards Moorea, lighting up the container terminal.
*If you ever need bubble wrap in Papeete, it's at a store called Hyper Brico on Av. Prince Hinoi near Hotel Tahiti Nui, and also at Carrefour.