The Cruise

World cruise on the Dawn Princess starting in Sydney on May 21, 2010 and sailing west around the world for 104 days.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dawn Princess World Cruise 2010 - Sunday August 22

Day 93 Papeete Tahiti
We arrived in Tahiti this morning and were greeted by Tahitian singing and dancing on the pier. Bill and I had booked an excursion into the centre of the island of Tahiti in a four wheel drive. Our driver had a Tahitian father and a Hawaiian mother. He loved the birds and the flowers on the island. He told us about the wild Hibiscus that grows on the island. It is yellow in the morning and changes colour to red in the afternoon. They boil 100 of these flowers and apply it to babies to rid them of rash. The views of the mountains and of the sea were stunning. We ended up inside the crater valley, which had over one hundred waterfalls. In the afternoon Bill and I spent time walking around Papeete. There was a festival on in the town, and families were out for the Sunday afternoon. They were walking, riding bicycles, roller skating and enjoying the sunshine. I have never seen so many children. The average age of the population is 26. Evidently, most Tahitians die in their sixties because of too much drink, but we did not see evidence of this. The families looked very happy. One custom that is strange to us is that if a family has three boys, then the third boy is brought up as a girl. We saw locals making hats from the coconut tree and jewellery using shells and pearls. Bill and I did a long walk along the foreshore of Papeete. It looked quite new and was beautifully kept, with lots of green grass and paving, with small grass huts for picnicking scattered along the path overlooking the bay. At six o’clock, vans arrived and within a few minutes the pier had been converted into a market selling locally made jewellery, brightly coloured sarongs, vanilla, oils made from the coconut and foods such as crepes, pizza and egg dishes. On the pier, we were treated to the local dance and singing by a group of about 35 locals. They got some spectators up to dance with them and imitate them doing the hula. Some of the men, particularly, were very funny as they tried to move their hips at faster and faster speeds. Tahiti is very pretty and the locals are delightful, but it is very expensive. Bill had a local beer and I had a watermelon juice and it cost us about $20. When we returned to the ship we went to a late folkloric show starring the Hei Tahiti Group where we enjoyed the sights and sounds of Tahiti through traditional song and dance. They did the hula with many changes of lavishly decorated costumes and also did peace dances. What was so great about these performers was that they encouraged people to come up and have their photos taken with them at the end of the performance. As many people were taking advantage of this, we did not bother to go up on the stage for photos, but enjoyed watching other passengers do so. (Barbara)

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