Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Yesterday, (August 11) we rented bikes in the afternoon with our friends off of Mainly, Dan and Joan. We rented for a 24 hour period so we had half of yesterday and the morning of today. It was a good arrangement because none of us has ridden a bike recently. Let me tell you, if the scenery and company hadn’t been as great as they were, the saddle pain would have mitigated the enjoyment. As it was, we had a great time riding the circumference of Huahini Nui, seeing beautiful bays, vanilla crops, ancient stone fish traps, ruins of maraes, and “sacred, blue-eyed, fresh water eels”. Everywhere you look on the island, you see green. Off of the island are the blues and turquoises of the lagoons inside of the coral reef.
Huahini is actually two islands inside of one coral reef. They are connected by a 50 foot bridge over the shallow water between. Legend has it that the warrior, Hiro, split the island in two by paddling his canoe into the middle and breaking it apart. He must have been very large and strong because there’s some tall mountains and a lot of volcanic rocks in the soil.
What I like about Huahine is there are no large resorts to be seen. Small “pensions” and cottages serve the tourists. It is relaxing and feels like the island belongs to the locals and we are their visitors. In Tahiti, it’s more as if tourism owns the island and the locals serve tourism. I wish we had more time here and on Raiatea, the next island over. There are many bays and ancient sites to explore but not much time left on our visas. We need to depart for Tonga by the end of August.