PAPEETE, TAHITI DAY 2
After a day of touring we decided to have dinner in our room last evening.
This is the Waterside Dinner menu
We chose an appetizer, salad and entree from Waterside.
Anne Marie had the Portobello Mushroom Appetizer and Keith had the Ahi Tuna appetizer. We both had salads. They were not on the menu and Jaisin had them made a little larger than a house salad. For our entree we enjoyed Salmon.
Butler Jaison organized the meal for us and served it course by course.
The evening entertainment featured Big Band Dancing with the Crystal Showband and featured vocalist Karin. Since we had an overnight at Papeete there was no formal show.
We began our day as we do most mornings starting with an early workout for Keith at the Fitness Center followed by breakfast in our room. Keith took an indoor cycling class while Anne Marie walked outside on the promenade deck. We had the mot participants in the class since we boarded. A couple of photos before class.
We want to continue with photos from yesterdays tour. We concluded yesterday's post with photos from lunch.
The owner's of the restaurant, Le Restaurant Bar du Musee Gauguin, are Roger and Juliet Gowen. Roger arrived to the island by sail boat. He is from England. He was ship-wrecked on the reef which surrounds the island. He fell in love with the island and with his future wife Juliet. He met her when she was only thirteen and waited five years to marry her. They have owned the restaurant for fifty years.
They bought the house in which they live in about forty years ago. Initially, the owner asked if they would be interested in purchasing the house but they could not afford it. The owner very much wanted to sell it to them so he allowed they to purchase it with monthly installments and no interest on the overall purchase. They said yes and the rest is history. The home is close to 100 years old. It was originally built by a known English write, Robert Keibel.
Roger Gowen was also an author and he wrote a book called Voyage To Paradise which was published in 1963. He showed us the book along with photos taken shortly after he arrived to Tahiti.
Roger is 84 and we are not sure the age of his wife. They are beginning to think of the time when the won't run the restaurant and his son is getting ready to commission an architect to make some modifications to the restaurant along with a few other changes on the property. His son will eventually run the day-to-day operations of the restaurant.
After lunch, we drove five minutes to the owner's private residence and toured inside and outside the home. The man is from England and his wife is Tahitian. In honor of his English heritage they have a large room with a bar with items from England including photographs and paintings of the Queen, Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.
They are a loving couple who have a passion for the restaurant, their family, their home, history and gardening. When he first met her they had to wait a few years until she was old enough to marry.
Photos from the Natural Fern Cave. Lionel used to swim there from time-to-time.
A few additional items from the tour.
The Tahitians are fairly religious with 50% being Protestant, 35% Catholic and the remainder representing other religions.
The economy gets a big lift from France who employs much of the population and provides a big influx of money into the economy.
Up until twenty-five years ago French was the primary language taught in school and young age children would get in trouble if they spoke in Polynesian. This has changed with Polynesian being spoken and tougher along with French. Later in school English is taught.
Lionel explained when we visited the area where people were sacrificed that the sacrifices were in many ways far worse than what has been shown in movies.
A major sport and one that man Tahitians excel is the outrigger canoe racing. Others have studied them including videoing them from underneath the water and still can't master this as well as they do.
We discussed safety and crime. Overall their rates have been low but there has been an increase in petty larceny due to drugs.
A big surprise for us was learning they only get ten to fifteen major cruise line passenger ships per year.
Global warming is having an impact on Tahiti including receding beaches, and warmer waters which is killing off coral. The scientific community in Moorea is growing coral to offset some of the impacts.
For the two of us the tour tied in so much we have learned from schooling, on our own, from prior visits and from many lectures we have seen on prior voyages when we sailed Tahiti. The tour was an example of why in addition to visiting new places we also learn a great deal by revising places knowing you can't do it all on one visit.
We enjoyed the afternoon on the ship including lunch at Marketplace, a walk for Anne Marie and a return to Paddle Tennis for Keith
Following is today's daily Reflections Program.
Anne Marie & Keith