Saturday, May 29, 2010

Charmed by Tahiti.

Even with our mooring incident at the Quai des Yachts we still have been charmed by the spell of Tahiti. While coming back from the supermarket, where prices are such they should run a credit check on the customers before letting them in, we arrived at the beginning of a very exotic ceremony taking place on the waterfront near the docks where we were moored. Five pirogues of the pure Polynesian style arrived in Tahiti from all the different corners of Polynesia and as far as New Zealand. The event seemed to reproduce the voyages and probably migrations of the ancients. The Pirogues, all sails opened, entered the port of Papeete and were greeted by the call of a Tahitian woman sending her welcome through a large cone to amplify her voice. Well, I say welcome but since everything was in Tahitian she could have said “Go back home we don’t want you here!” and to our ears we wouldn’t have been able to see the difference. However, the tone of her voice, which seemed to sing, and the rhythm of the six giant drums slammed by six Polynesian men with their bare torso and the arms covered of typical Polynesian tattoos and wearing folkloric costumes gave us a clear hint that the travelers were welcomed! The pirogues’ crews went ashore and were greeted by the city officials then followed a sequence of dance shows and oratory performances by the hosts of the ceremony as well as the crews who prepared for the occasion.
In addition to the Museum of Tahiti and the islands we visited a place called the Lagunarium. It is basically a set of small basins built by the “Captain Bligh” bar and restaurant containing rays, sharks and other local fishes. The basins are separated by an underwater structure reaching the bottom in which we can see the fishes underwater through a glass. Nope we were not diving when we took the picture of the shark but behind a very thick glass!
But the highlight of our visits in Tahiti was by all means the dinner and show we paid ourselves $$$$$ at the Beachcomber Hotel Intercontinental. With a five star buffet, consisting mainly of all kink of sea food, we also had a show of dances and songs produced by Les Grand Ballets de Tahiti. Trust me when I say you’ve never seen a girl swinging her hips until you saw the Tahiti dancers. I have no idea which muscles they use to do that but they use them a lot! The men for their part didn’t swing their hips but arms and legs were everywhere. When 10 Polynesians male dancers, all tattooed and most of them with pecs of steel, dance on the feverish rhythm of the drums they move a lot of air!
After the show the dancers were available to take pictures with the crowd. The show and the dinner were maybe not cheap but the food was to die for and the show very impressive. Should you ever come to Tahiti don’t cheap out and pay yourselves this show, you won’t be disappointed.