Posted by Manon CORNIC In: French Polynesia, Tahiti

Tahiti: Make a pause! A capital Stopover.

Above the fact that the Icon has lost her pristine beauty, the largest island of the archipelago deserves a real Stop. Indeed, the Empress-Tahiti reveals her secrets to curious & indulgent minds only! šŸ˜‰

The most famous & iconic island advertised by all travel agencies and touristic guides has somewhat lost its lustre, letā€™s admit it ! … Ā Iā€™m greeted by a concrete jungle in a general mayhem that reminds me suddenly a Monday morning in Paris!Ā Travel agencies are still insisting on promoting “Tahiti-Bora-Moorea” as the only trio of islands worth visiting… Well, Iā€™m afraid this jaded claim just no longer applies; and by touting Tahiti as “The Dream destination” …the trusting tourists only end up seeing their dream shattered!

From the naive one (who had pictured a traditional native greeting complete with flowers and loincloths!) to the idealist globetrotter on the verge of jumping onto the first ferry over to Moorea [with the hope that it will live up to ones unfulfilled expectations] thereā€™s just one small step! (straight off the pontoon!;)

Port - Tahiti
Papeete - Tahiti

Yet one could say the ever-globalisation andĀ industrialisation of Tahiti, with Papeete permanently shedding its skin, like a frantic snake, is the natural progression of our modern planet. After all, who would have the audacity and credulity to imagine a Tahiti frozen in the past? Ridiculous! In 2018, the universal motto is more than clear: “TIME IS MONEY”!

Despite the fact that its iconic image has taken a blow and its intrinsic beauty is gradually fading, Tahiti still has a certain charm for those who take the time to delve under its surface.

As the French writer MarcelĀ Proust wisely said: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyesā€… and that certainly an advice to keep in mind when we reach this island : Ā to keep an open curious mind free of any preconceived ideas.Ā 

My second recommendation would be to encourage you to read (or maybe read again!) Philippe Delermā€™s book: “The first sip of beer and other small pleasures” because its in the little things in life that one finds true happiness.

A pint of Hinano with a plate of raw fish; to lay one’s sarong on the VAIAVA beach and take sip of fresh fruit juice; to enjoy a piece of vanilla pie (Tahitian vanilla, of course!) while smiling to the “Ia orana!” of the locals; to get amazed by the myriad of tropical fishes; to admire mind-blowing sceneries and sunsets over Moorea – this large yellow lizardā€“ (* the current Tahitian name of Moorea comes from mo’o: lizard and rea: yellow); to climb to the mountains of Aora’i and Marau; to laze on its volcanic beaches; to walk through the local markets and restore our five senses; to immerse oneself in its essences and fragrances; to be lucky enough to spot the whales which have come to give birth on Tahitiā€™s shores; to actually afford a bouquet of ā€œbirds of Paradiseā€ (5 for 8 euros the bunch VS 30 euros the flower in Paris)

And for those who remain disgruntled and impervious to Tahitiā€™s hidden charms, there is always one last possibility… to head South and embrace the charms of the TaiarapuĀ peninsula,Ā a hidden gem still untouched by the attack of concrete.

MarchƩ Papeete - Tahiti

I would like to say that despite Tahiti ā€œjust not being what it used to be!ā€ (that same old criticism rehashed in every corner of the planet!) we have to stay objective and honest in admitting that the mere fact of simply being here is a blessing in itself! Indeed, when youā€™ll be on the plane back home, you will rapidly bite your tongue at ever having criticized [and even cursed] beloved Tahiti!Ā 

Vue de Tahiti - Moorea

*Accommodation:Ā I encourage you to browse through the various offers available on the ā€œTAHITI REVA DREAMS RENTALā€ website, a real leader in the market, offering outstanding services, catering for all budgets, in carefully selected locations.

I myself had the privilege of staying in the “VAHINERIA” villa, located on the Punaauia beach. This superb house directly overlooks the lagoon, features a breathtaking terrace and a gorgeously lush garden. Its modern, sleek yet comfortable furnishing and prime location immediately inspired me the 3 words that compose the Essence of Baudelaireā€™s poem ā€œInvitation to a journey“: “Luxury, Peace and Pleasureā€.

Aube de la Vahineria - Tahiti
Hamac de la Vahineria - Tahiti

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