Wednesday 8 January 2014




As French Polynesia is not the cheapest place to visit, camping seemed to be our main option. We caught the local bus around the island, and got off at Camping Nelson on the Western side of the island. The site was based right next to the beach and the beautiful lagoon with sunset views and was surrounded by coconut trees and hibiscus plants. There were chickens and their chicks wandering around and a resident tabby cat and her two black kittens. One of the kittens was in a bit of a sorry state and his mum had given up on him and spent all her attention on the other kitten who was cheeky and full of energy.  The poor little mite had a head the size of a golf ball, watery eyes and a distended belly. He spent most of his time curled up on one of the benches and didn't have the energy to play or run around. It seemed like he was not long destined for this world. I named the kitten Scragglemuffington. Each day I would look for Scragglemuffington in the kitchen and when we couldn't find him Ty would say 'He's dead!' One morning Ty and I fed Mr Scragglemuffington some pate and he became alert and energetic straight away. After this Mr Scragglemuffington would find me and curl up on my lap.  

After a relaxing day of the beach, and snorkelling, we hired a moped to explore the rest of the island. It was fantastic to be on a bike zipping through the island. There were fruit street sellers everywhere and we sampled some amazing mango and coconut. We even stopped to talk to a guy on the street who had caught some amazing mahi mahi that he was selling.

Ty identified that the mountains that we could see from the port were the same ones that were in the 1930s Pan Am art work that we chose for our wedding invitations. We made it our mission to try and recapture the pose whilst we were there. However, the weather was against us, as most of the time we were on the island there was torrential rain, it being cyclone season. Unfortunately it isn't always perfect weather in paradise! We didn't do too badly though if you give us a little artistic licence.

One of my life goals accomplished: opening coconuts by hand.  Brown older coconut ripe for eating: Tick.  Green fresh coconut for drinking: Tick.

First I tried an easier brown one found near the base of a tall coconut palm.  It felt great working with nothing but a blunt stick, rocks and sheer finger prising grunt to access the prize locked in the centre of the armoured boulder.  I then asked the tree if it minded offering a green coconut hanging high above, and with a gentle rustle of the leaves in the breeze, I interpreted a go-ahead.  It took a bit of doing to get the fresh coconut down, and a bit more doing to part the strong wet fibres of the fresh husk - but it's worth it for the sweet fresh refreshing water locked inside.  Thank you coconut tree!

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