Tahiti, exotic and magical, has been the place I would have gone, if I had been the sort who ran away from home. Gardenias have been my favorite flower since I went to Evie Davis’ wedding during medical school. When I set foot on Tahiti this morning at 8:00 AM, I was given a gardenia blossom by the beautiful woman in this photo. As we boarded the bus, we were given a whole lei of Tahitian gardenias. I was in heaven with that fragrance around my neck all day!
We traveled around the whole island, about seventy-five miles, with multiple stops to see the sights. First we visited a marae, a religious site where the chiefs were celebrated at birth and death and humans were sacrificed before they went to war. From there we went to a beautiful garden next door and similar to Paul Gauguin’s garden, which was closed for renovations as was the Gauguin museum. The garden had a waterfall, lily ponds and a wedding party dressed in traditional Tahitian garb taking photos. From there we visited a larger waterfall in a tropical rain storm. I got soaked but did not care.
We ate typical Tahitian food for lunch on a lovely ocean-side estate and then visited a blow hole. This is a place where the ocean waves go into a lava tube and are trapped. The water pressure builds up and the water is released like a geyser from a hole in the surface separate from where the water enters. From this interesting geological formation we went to Point Venus, the site of Captain Cook’s arrival as well as that of the Bounty. An old light house is on that spot and two wind surfers were playing in the bay. This if the first place where I definitely want to return. Color me happy!