After the usual lazy start to the day, Val + I hitched out to a place called Tahiti village. It used to be a luxury hotel, Polynesian style – ie a motel arrangement of a large no. of thatched cabins grouped around a large reception area cum restaurant cum bar cum dance-hall. However, for some reason this one had failed – the cabins are now rented out as permanent apartments, + the central hall is unused, but the big attraction for us is that it has a good beach, more or less open to the public. The hitching was very easy, tho’ it did take 2 rides, + we were able to converse fairly easily with the people – our French has improved considerably in the last few weeks. The beach had only a few people on it, so we were able to find a good spot, then take it in turns to go swimming. We had borrowed Dave’s mask, so could use that to look at the coral. I have to confess tho’ that I barely spent any time in the water. I’m afraid wearing a mask just increases my feelings of insecurity in the water – I become more panicky + claustrophobic, so cannot allow myself to relax. There is also a strong current running parallel to the beach, far too strong for me to swim against, so that didn’t help. However, Val got into it, + was able to swim out to where it was more interesting. I enjoyed myself enough tho’ – Tahiti has followed the French fashion of toplessness on the beach, so I was able to enjoy the scenery.
Tom turned up, tho’ disappeared again soon after, + then a couple from the camp-site, Ian + Sally, came by + chatted. They’re both Australians, born in England, + Ian’s not too bad, tho’ Sally is a bit bossy + boring. Still, they had interesting things to say about their trip across the States – they’d travelled by Green Tortoise, one of the alternative bus companies (America has everything.)
Hitched back to the camp-site with absolutely no trouble at all, + of course spent the rest of the afternoon in the usual way, rapping round the campfire – not that it was lit yet, but the benches are there. Another American turned up, or rather returned – Russ, a quiet, pleasant guy on his way home after a trip to Australia + NZ. Val cooked up a curry in the evening – just hot enough to set the lips tingling + very much appreciated by all. (We seem to be feeding more + more people every night – obviously word is getting round.)
More finding things to do to pass the time, which does not sit all that well with us; we both tend to get itchy feet when we have, to our own satisfaction, exhausted the possibilities of a particular place. But that decision had been taken away from us, so we were trying to make the most of the place. And, of course, there is the camp-site, which has become a growing social hub.