Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Raiatea and Ile Tahaa
this is the lagoon in Tahaa on the way to the vanilla farm
these islands are in the same atoll, Raitea being the bigger of the two and where we stock up. We lucked out tieing to the dock for free and the grociery store right there! I even bought myself some flowers from the market. Then we left to Tahaa where they have a great dance show on Tuesday nights. we had to raft up boats on the moorings as there where so many of us and a bunch of charter boats booked for the dinner and show. ( we couldn't do the dinner as it was all booked out and cost 6500 franks per person!) . We did the vanilla tour, very interesting. the vanilla bean is actually in the orchid family!
this is the vanilla bean growing on the vine
Maya and Emma smelling the drying beans! Steve checking out the grading of the beans. the small ones are shipped to USA/ Canada and the big ones to Europe. it is quite labour intensive doing the vanilla. takes 3 months to dry in the sun and they roll them up everyday to store them and then lay them out again the next day. they also pick through them every day.
faces carved into the dirt on the way to the vanilla farm..
We played music at the restaurant the first night with the Dorothy Marie and Shilling! even had my first maitai!! 1200 franks for that drink!