This is the 8th post of a trip to Tahiti, which started on May 10/2022 (here)
Day 2 -(Sunday) - Aranui Cruise towrd the Marquesses
Kauehi - Tuamotu Archipelago First Stop
Mila- The firts Marquesas Guide who addressed the English speaking group
On the following day, right after the excellent breakfast of Island’s fresh fruit and French delightful pastries , Mila - a robust Marquises native, an on-board guide, of about 40 years old, and a mother of three (left a shore), humorously clarified, at an info briefing run, for the English speaking small group of westerners, all the “do and don’t do” directives, expected of passengers, during the voyage,
Adjustments and respectful behavior toward the Polynesian Sphere, Culture and People is mandated, If at Rome, a foreigner is expected to act as a Roman, so is expected a visitor to behave accordingly. while frequenting the Marquesses.
Born to the last generation of pure blood authentic Marquesses, her own generation is already a product of a mix with Europeans, breed, that id doomed to loose the traditional cultural heritage.
Mila was lucky when growing up, to benefit from being exposed to her disappearing authentic cultural heritage, which has been now going through a revival for some time.
Arriving at Kauehi at Mid-Day
The atoll (one of 75) is located 462 km northeast of Tahiti in the Tuamotu Archipelago,
(largest group of coral atolls in the world.) discovered by the English captain Robert FitzRoy in 1835.
Its 320 km2 wide lagoon is accessible via the Arikitamiro navigable pass. ,
Oval and flat in shape, with little fresh water the island is doted with carpet of palm trees, white sandy beach, and low small houses.
The atoll extends over 24 km in length and 18 km in width for a land area of about 15 km2. and with about 600 inhabitants mainly concentrated in the village of Tearavero
Kauehi is a nesting environment for turtles and is also classified as a “Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO in 2006 and 2017. however we have not seen any ... time constrains..
The Aranui anchored in the Kauehi lagoon, off shore, opposite the Tearavero village, in mid morning, to unload its due cargo.
During the merchandise unloading, we - the passengers were drooped off ship into the barges on board, which were dispatched into the ocean, and were dropped at this small island’s white sand beach, by the amazing turquoise color calmest water
Within the 3 hours visit, during which the Aranui unloaded and loaded its due cargo at the village's small dock, we explored the small village's church, encountered few locals, as well as a swam in the amazing shallow pristine lagoon’s water,
In the Village, collecting Rain Water off the roof into black tanks
The modest housing along the one Road of the narrow island strip
The update Church in the village
The outdated one
Mosaic of cultural symbols
The Good Life...
Buoy Floats and Coconut Shell Trees
The Anchored Tree
When the Aranui completed its unloading and loading and was ready to saill off to its next destination., the staff gathered us back on the barges and into the ship.
Apparently, letting the passengers get into the water and swim meant to compensate for
the long day and night spent on continuous non stop sailing in sea the following day.
Back on the ship
The spirited Polynesian entire crew, proudly introduced themselves and their way of life as well as entertained during the evening hours, with live Fashion Show, of Polynesian merchandise from the ship's on-board shop. The event was accompanied by Polynesian sweetly melodic music and rhythm, played by the staff on their ukulele” guitars and drums.
To be continued....