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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tiki Telephone in Huahine

Huahine fishman gathering fish in his hand-cast net
and spearing his catch.
Huahine, a hundred or so miles from the big city of Papeete, Tahiti, is a humble, sweet, laid back French Polynesian island. 

Huahine buildings were unassuming single stories, fronted by neatly maintained yards, often supplemented with a  veggie garden.  Placid, reflective waters were dotted with centuries-old fishing traps.  We watched local fishermen casting and gathering nets by hand from vacas (native outrigger canoes).  The few fishing motor boats we saw were modestly sized.  Even the churches were the simplest we'd seen in French Polynesia.


Phone booths are common
throughout French Polynesia,
even in small remote
farming communities.
It's an island where ancient maraes (sacred gathering and ceremonial sites) are lovingly restored and scrupulously maintained.  

It's an island where we followed the Polynesian drum beat into a covered outdoor auditorium.  There families were spending their Sunday practicing traditional dance for an upcoming Heiva (month-long Polynesian cultural celebration) event.

We felt as if we'd been transported back in time, 50 years or more.  And yet..

When we passed a pay phone with a tiki icon, I made Wayne double back on our rented scooter.  Yes, even in Huahine we saw many locals using their smart phones, but a phone guy in tiki style?!?

Image outside Huahine phone booth.
At least it's not a smart phone and
the tiki's not taking a selfie.
Locally grown papayas for sale outside small rural Huahine market.
Note the incongrous snowy Santa Claus scene
on the made-in-China plastic tablecloth underneath?
No place is truly an island these days; even the island of Huahine.
Location Location
We anchored outside Huahine's most populous town, Fare (S16.42.943 W151.02.321) and left there this morning. We're currently in Viatape, Bora Bora (S16.20.995 W151.45.388). That will be our last stop before our 90 day visa expires July 21st (unless we slip off to Maupiti first). Then it's on to Tonga with a stop in American Samoa and potentially Cook's Suwarrow on the way. Will set several catch-up blog posts to run while we're on passage, internet permitting.